Buying a used car in Croatia has recently been made much simpler and having been through the process, I thought it would be useful to tell people about it.
The old complex system is out and anyone can now easily buy a used car here in Croatia and get it registered correctly in under a day.
The most difficult thing for us was convincing Croatian car owners that we were serious about buying their car. Most assumed we were messing them about or not serious. It is unusual for a foreigner to buy a car here.
We used Njuskalo, a buying and selling website and Facebook Marketplace to look for cars in our local area. Often the descriptions are vague and you need to go look at the car to get an idea of what it is like.
Once you have decided on a car and met the seller, things become very simple.
Agree a price with the seller once you are happy the car is suitable for you.
Normally, the seller will meet you in a public place, not at their home, this is normal and nothing to be concerned about.
Ask the seller to bring a copy of the used car transfer form with them, they can get it from the paper store and will know where to find it.
Get them to fill out their part of the form and then enter your own details. You will need an OIB (Croatian ID number). Then check the vehicle document that they should have with them, it will note how long the car is registered for as well as details of the car and their address etc. Make sure that they match the car.
Pay them for the car and they will give you the vehicle document, along with any existing insurance policy.
If the registration is not expired, any existing time left on it will be transferred to you. This includes the Technical inspection time and the insurance, so you will not need to buy new insurance or get the car Technical done until it runs out. The insurance is on the car not the driver.
The seller's part is now done and they can give you the keys and the car.
Then you must go to the Technical centre, there is one in most larger towns.
Take the vehicle document, insurance policy, your Croatian OIB and ID card and the car transfer form with you.
The Technical centre will prepare a new vehicle document for you in your name.
They will make a small charge for the transfer tax. The do not need to see the car.
The car registration plates stay the same.
The car is now legally yours, nothing else needs to be done.
When the registration runs out, you must go to the Technical centre and have the car tested, at the same time you will buy new insurance for the next year.
Simple! No longer do you need to have a notarised contract, visit the Police station, pay the tax, get stamps, etc.