Buying a car

Ohh Croatia, just as my dreams of never having to go to the Policija ever again seemed so real, we decided to get a car.

Do you need a car in Split? Not really (even though most Croatian would probably disagree), but if you like us are horrible at planning trips ahead, having a car gives you the freedom of seeing the country – and driving to Mall of Split to buy Pepsi Max when ever you want to.

So we decided to buy a car, a used one, as cars in Croatia aren’t as cheap as we would have hoped. We thought about finding a private seller, but after some thought decided to buy from a real car dealer, as this would give us some security.

We went to almost every car dealer, or Auto kuća, in Split and the surroundings until we found our car. A basically new Ford Fiesta, only 1 year old and haven’t done more than 1,000km.

With the car bought, the real “trouble” began – as I mentioned: The Policija.

When you buy a car, you need to have to change ownership and if needed have it re-registered.

The process can be a little bit tricky in the sense that things still work a little slow in this beautiful country, but here is our step by step guide.

Finding the car:

Split have a lot of car sales outlets and most places sales both new and used cars. A quick Google search will help you find adresses (be aware that not all adresses listed are actually where the location of the shop is). You can also use Njuskalo to find cars, both from private sellers and dealers. Of the big places to you to we found Porche Split/Der Welt Auto and VIP cars to be really good in having a big selection. Drive to the places and see the cars – and takes them for a test ride.

Buying the car:

We found our car, put down a little deposit for it and two days after we paid the rest and picked up the car. The reason for the delay was that they wanted to have the car checked before we could drive off with it.

Changing ownership:

This unfortunately requires a stop to the police station.

To get the ownership change you need to bring the following documents:

  • Car registration*
  • Proof of paid taxes + road taxes*
  • Mandatory insurance
  • ID & driver licenses
  • 35 kn in tax stamps
  • License plates

Before going in to the Police station, find a kiosk/Tisak and buy the stamps. The takes off the cars licenses plates and go inside. Take a number and wait till it’s your turn. When you’re up, hand over all the documents, the licences plates and the stamps. The woman will then fill in some forms and find some new licenses plates (you can only keep the old licenses plates if you buy them with the car AND if they are registered in the same city as you live i. Our car had license plates from Šibenik and since we are living in Split, we needed new ones). Before you can walk away as new owner you need to pay some bills. The woman will hand you two different bills (total of approx 110 kn). Go to the nearest bank or post office and pay the bills. Then head back to the police station (we didn’t have to take a new number) and you’ll get the documents and the new number plates.

After this, head to the insurance office and update your mandatory insurance to fit the new licenses plates.

*Cars bought by a dealer will already be registered for a while and have the taxes paid, so you don’t need to pay taxes or re-registrer the car for the time left of the registration. If you buy from a private, it’s different. As we haven’t been through these steps, I can only refer to this great guide: 10 Steps to Registering a car in Split

When we have to re-registrer out car, the next steps will follow here.