Thursday. 23.05.2019
El tiempo

Why do we have to pay so much money to bring our family cars to Finland?

Why do we have to pay so much money to bring our family cars to Finland?

I am a Spanish national married to a Finnish woman. One year ago we decided to move to Finland permanently. And some time after we brought our family car, which was almost one and a half years old.

Our surprise came when, at the time of legalising the vehicle before the Finnish traffic authorities, we received an invoice of almost 1,900 euros in taxes. To that amount we had to add another 170 as a registration fee to obtain the new license plates.

My questions for the Finnish authorities are the following: if we are all citizens of the EU and therefore members of an economic and political union, why are we obliged to pay again taxes for an item for which we already paid a large amount of taxes at the time of purchase? Where is the free movement of goods established by the EU treaty?

And this leads me to other questions: if we are all part of a Europe without borders, where people, goods and services should be free to move, why do we have to change the car’s number plates when moving –even temporarily- to another member state? If the car has been once legalised and has its proper insurance and has passed all mandatory reviews, which is the reason for these obligation to be registered each time the owner changes the country?

No one has been able to explain this to me. I hope it is not simply a case of national economic protectionism in a Europe whose authorities harshly criticise any hint of protectionism detected in any other region of the world.