Buying a Car in Iceland

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Buying a Car in Iceland


Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Q: I am a Dane who is going to live in Iceland for five months. According to official sources, any stays that don’t exceed six months do not need to be recorded if you’re a citizen of another Nordic country. Therefore, and because I cannot leave my address in Denmark during this time, I am not officially moving to Iceland. However, I want to buy a car for those five months, but in order to buy a car I have to have an Icelandic ID, address and bank account. I will not have an Icelandic ID or bank account since my stay is so short, so how do I solve the problem with owning the car?

Thanks in advance for the answer!

Freyja, Denmark


A: You will definitely need an Icelandic ID number to own a car, as it will need to be properly registered here. Your only way around that is to borrow a car registered to someone else’s name, that is if you know someone in Iceland who would be willing to assist you with that.

As a citizen of a Nordic country, who is staying for a short period of time and does not want to change his or her legal address, you are also eligible to apply for an ID number for this period of time. You must either contact your employer, if you plan on working during this period of time, or the Directorate of Labor (Vinnumálastofnun) and have them submit for you form A-264 to acquire it.

If you do decide to get an ID number, opening a bank account, even temporarily would be easily done. If you would rather not, I’d suggest discussing the issue with the proprietor of the car dealership you decide to do business with, they might be able to make an exception, but that would be at their discretion.

You could also look into other options, such as long-term rental or if your travel times happen to fit in with the ferry company Smyril Line’s schedule (from April to October, with exceptions during the winter months, contact them for further information) you could bring your own car from Denmark.