Vehicles

CARS AND BENEFITS OF CAR REGISTRATION IN ANDORRA

The primary advantage of car registration in Andorra is that you can drive indefinitely on tourist plates, which can be renewed year after year. Due to the 7% tax this option has the following advantages:

  • Glamorous plates from a European mountain principality. No problems at borders if you are motoring in Europe. These plates get you the best parking spaces at top hotels, casinos etc.
  • Andorra is the only European country which has no restriction on how long you may drive on tourist plates.
  • Much easier and cheaper to insure valuable cars due to the low rate of car crime in Andorra.
  • Extremely quick and efficient registration procedure (often within 24 hours).

Compare Andorra's 7% tax to the 180% luxury tax on cars in Denmark, for example, and you will see that this solution could save you a small fortune!

However, you should be aware that:

  • A 7% initial tax is payable on registration. In some cases a 2% European Union transit tax is also payable.
  • The car must be present in Andorra for registration.
  • The plates issued are tourist plates and you must provide an address outside Andorra. They are different from Andorran resident plates.
  • Cars must conform to European Union standards. Cars made for North American market may require adjustments, and other cars may fail to meet EU environmental and safety standards.
  • A personal visit to Andorra is required along with your car.
  • The plates are so beautiful that they are often stolen by souvenir hunters. This can be a real problem as they cannot be replaced outside Andorra, and you will be stopped by the police for driving without plates!

As in most European countries in Andorra traffic circulates on the right hand side of the road. You will need an EU or international driving licence and insurance green card. Car hire is available through local firms e.g. Avis & Hertz. A regular and inexpensive bus service of "clipols" connect the main towns and villages. Regular coach and jeep excursions are run to beauty spots throughout the Principality.

Once a foreigner has obtained a passive residence permit and has registered with his Comu, he may import and register in his own name any number of cars. The first car he imports must be under 5 years old and thereafter any other cars must be under 3 years old. He must have been registered with the Comu for at least six months. An import duty of 7% of the book value of the car is payable when the car is officially "imported" and registration, plates etc. add another 130 Euros to the costs. New car prices must incorporate EU VAT charges if applicable, this affects Japanese and US cars. There is an annual licence fee which varies with the power (CV) of the vehicle.

As a foreigner here on a visit, that is without a residencia, you cannot register a new vehicle nor purchase a vehicle already registered, on regular Andorran licence plates, neither can you apply for an Andorran driving licence. However, you can register a car on Andorran tourist plates (see below) and until your residencia has been approved you may drive your foreign registered car in Andorra provided it is insured.

Roads in Andorra are generally of a good quality. Entering from the Spanish side is a relatively straightforward drive; however entering from France is a more stressful affair involving many hairpin bends. Border control officers at both sides are generally fine. Entering Andorra, you generally do not need to even stop, but you must slow down and be prepared to stop if requested. When leaving Andorra, you must stop and be prepared for delays during busy times. Be sure your car is in good condition, since Andorra is very high.

Also beware of black ice and snow drifts as the temperature in Andorra can be much colder than at sea level.

The approach from the French side passes through the 2.9km long Tunel d'Envalira which requires a credit or debit card for payment of the fee. The amounts are: winter (remainder of year)

  • Cars €5.60 (€4.80)
  • Others €16.70 (€10.70)

Winter is from 1st December to 31st March

Car rental The usual car hire companies operate from Andorra airport and other locations such as 'down town', the desks are sometimes quiet and unmanned so it may be a good idea to book in advance online, your rates should still be good value.

  • From December to March, is recommended to have winter tires and/or snow chains to hand in the car.

Taxi Josep provides a Mercedes Benz car and speaks many languages Tel: 376 323111;

Taxi Domenec Segura provides a van but does not speak English or French tel: 34 636 490 685. Taxi Josep can arrange the ride with Taxi Domenec Segura if you absolutely need a van. Payment must be in cash.

Taxi Barras 376 323743 provides local taxi service in Andorra.