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How to import a Swedish car

How to import a Swedish car?

16 August 2023

Importing a Swedish car is an interesting solution for people who are fond of richly equipped cars – especially if you are interested in the gasoline engine versions. Before deciding on a second-hand car imported from Sweden, however, it is necessary to check several issues as well as calculate the entire undertaking, verify whether you are able to carry it out on our own or whether you will need help of a specialized company. How to bring such a car? What formalities should be kept in mind when carrying out such an undertaking?

*The information given in the article concerns only the Polish regulations.


swedish car - volvo

 Characteristics of the Swedish market

Used Swedish cars enjoy considerable popularity and, most importantly, a flawless reputation among drivers. This Scandinavian country, which is small in terms of population, is known for the prosperity of its citizens – either working and not – who especially like well-equipped cars.


Did you know...

The lion’s share of Swedes opt for gasoline versions – of course, this is due to living in a harsh climate, where the gasoline engine works much better – for example, due to the rapid accumulation of operating temperature and lower consumption of electricity during start-up.


Despite the harsh and definitely longer winters than in other parts of Europe, Swedes consider spilling salt to be an environmentally harmful activity. Instead of melting snow and ice on the roads, they use a different method.



In winter, Swedish roads are sprinkled with sand and fine gravel – this guarantees much better grip. Unfortunately, the price is very characteristic exploitation damage that can be encountered every day on cars in Sweden – striking pebbles effectively damage the front bumpers, headlights, bonnet, sometimes also the windshield.


In Sweden, the value of the vehicle is not negatively affected by the painting of these elements – it is usually the result of removing typical operational traces that cannot be avoided.


swedish car - volvo keys



The lack of salt spilled on the roads also contributes to the relatively good condition of cars in Sweden. Buying a used Swedish car can also be full of surprises when it comes to the accessories that are rare or even unknown in our Poland. Some models, such as Volvo, were equipped with a factory breathalyzer. The driver must use it before each engine start – only a positive test result allows the engine to be started. Due to the unique road conditions in Sweden, additional headlight washers and additional headlights installed on the front bumper are very popular. The winter weather also requires other preventive measures, especially if your car is often parked outside the garage. In Sweden, a huge group of cars is equipped with electric engine heaters – in the front bumper or in the grill there is a connection to an electric socket. Even after a whole night spent in the cold, the owner does not encounter any problems with starting – the engine oil gets warmed up, which facilitates the morning start-up. In the cabin you will also find parking heating or heated seats – all in the name of comfort.



Another matter is the distances in Sweden. Let’s remember that the journey from the vicinity of the capital to the very north is over two thousand kilometers through countless forests and small towns. As a result, transport costs from different parts of Sweden vary drastically.


Where to look for a Swedish car?

When planning to buy a Swedish car, you need to know where to look for it. The auction portals are very helpful, for sure. Below, you can find a list of websites which you can browse in order to find cars put up for sale in Sweden. It is these portals that are best to browse for cars before traveling to this Scandinavian country.

Here are 4 popular websites to visit in search of cars:, and As Sweden is quite a large country, we advise you to look for cars rather in the southern part of the country – this will facilitate all logistics. Driving to the north of the country can effectively reduce the profitability of buying a car – in Sweden the price of fuel is one of the highest in Europe. Huge costs will also be generated by additional travel costs such as accommodation and meals.

Cars imported from Sweden include not only various Volvo models and Saab, which ceased to be produced. BMW, Mercedes, VAG and Ford cars are also very popular. Powerful petrol engines are the most popular.

In today’s reality, finding a car on the Internet that will be worthwhile is not a big challenge – gross Swedish ad sites are also available in English. Paradoxically, the lack of knowledge of Swedish will not be a big problem – Swedish is overwhelmingly fluent in spoken and written English. This will be a great help during the commission transaction. However, many private sellers are quite resistant to selling their car abroad to a foreigner – the case is completely different when it comes to companies which know the whole procedure perfectly well and will also help the buyer to complete the formalities. For logistical reasons, it is best to limit the search to the south of Sweden.



It is also a good idea, as far as it’s possible, to look for a car with low mileage. It’s better to pay more a car in a better condition than later investing in order to save a car in a worse state.



What to look for when choosing a Swedish car?

When deciding to buy a car from this country, it is necessary to check a few things. The most important thing is that the car should be in good condition. A can be checked by the registration number and the individual VIN number for each vehicle. When verifying information about a Swedish car, it is worth paying attention to such factors as:

  • mileage,
  • vehicle history
  • the car’s legal status,
  • state of condition
  • the manufacture year,
  • equipment,
  • MTPL insurance
  • whether the car is registered.




Car mileage

Mileage can often be an indication of how a person has used the car. For this reason, it is worth checking it before deciding to buy a car from a particular offer.

To do this, ask the seller for a VIN number, on the basis of which you can check not only the mileage, but also other information about the technical condition of the car. These are important data that are necessary to make a final decision about buying a car. Publicly available websites (,, where only with the help of the registration number you will get information about the current mileage of the vehicle, are a great help in checking cars before buying one in Sweden. Of course, some copies brought to Poland by traders along the way are subject to adjustment of the meter readings.


Owners of Swedish cars

The presence of all owners of the car is required when concluding the transaction. All of them must agree to sell the car. For this reason, it is worth figuring out who owns the car and whether the contract was written correctly.


Technical condition of the vehicle

The offers often include basic information about the technical condition of the vehicles, but it is worth checking the remaining issues with the provided VIN number. This way, you can see the basic parameters of the car, such as the type of gearbox or engine type, and learn about the history of previous repairs. As in the case of all cars, the mileage does not always clearly indicate the condition of the car. Indeed, many cars in Sweden are in great technical condition, as owners do not save up on the ongoing service. This is largely due to the road culture in Sweden, where high ticket rates and the mentality of Swedes exclude road craziness – almost everyone follows the traffic law. There are also occasionally used copies with actual low mileage which is documented. However, such specimens are not the cheapest, especially compared to domestic prices.


Car equipment

The aforementioned powerful gasoline engines enjoy considerable popularity in Sweden – despite the draconian speed limits, high tickets and ruthless police. Automatic gearboxes and a four-wheel drive for improved traction in winter are common additions. In terms of additional equipment, it is also relatively easy to get a fully equipped copy.


How to import a Swedish car?

Importing a Swedish car requires planning the next steps in an appropriate way. There is an option of delivering the purchased car to Poland on your own or using a tow truck and entrusting the entire procedure to a specialist. Which solution works best in a given case?




Importing a Swedish car yourself

You can import a Swedish car to Poland on your own. Then, however, it must be a fully operational car that does not pose a threat on the road, and its condition has been confirmed by a current technical inspection – much more stringent than in Poland. However, in order to leave Sweden with a vehicle, it is necessary to complete certain formalities on the spot. You will need the following documents:

  • purchase and sale agreement or invoice,
  • two parts of the vehicle registration book,
  • license plates.

When leaving Sweden, you need to deregister your car at the office. Otherwise, the previous owner will still have to pay premiums for the MTPL insurance, road tax and carry out inspections. For this purpose, the yellow part of the vehicle registration book is be required.


del 1 av registreringsbeviset


del 2 av registreringsbeviset


Importing a Swedish car vs. Personnummer

When deciding to import a Swedish car on your own, you need to remember about one more important thing. Before arrival, you should inform the seller that you come from another country and that you do not dispose of the Swedish version of the Polish PESEL number – the so-called Personnummer. At this point, many private sellers give up.


What to do in case of not having Personnummer

Without having this number, it is much more difficult to purchase a Swedish car. The number is necessary for the Swedish seller in order to unregister the car and report the change of the owner. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can purchase a car without the necessity of having such number. First of all, you need to inform the seller that you do not dispose of Personnummer. Then you can use the help of a specialist or a trusted person who has a Swedish PESEL number.



To unregister the car, the yellow part of the vehicle registration book is required. If unavailable, the seller is obliged to have a review done at a Swedish vehicle inspection station, purchase an insurance policy and pay the road fund tax.



Importing a car via an agent

There is also the option of using the help of an intermediary. Then the customer does not have to go to Sweden on their own to bring the car. Everything is handled by a specialist company.

It takes care of the necessary formalities related to the transaction on the spot, and then returns to the country with the car and the required documents. This is a great convenience for people who do not know the Swedish language, the local realities and simply do not have time to organize all logistics.

Used cars imported in this way usually arrive in Poland on a tow truck – with a few copies, the unit cost of transport is no longer so high. For this reason, they can also be not fully operational cars which cannot be transported on their own, by driving them. Damaged vehicles in Sweden are actually cheaper, the cost of even minor repairs is very large, which simply discourages many owners.

If you decide to use services of an agent, you need to be careful. Unfortunately, not all of them are honest and worthy of attention. Some may cover up faults in the car or adjust the odometer readings. When choosing an intermediary, it is worth using the opinions of various people who have already used their services. In this case, the reputation should be the key, not the offered price.


Driving a Swedish car back to the country

After buying a car, you should return with it to Poland. From now on, you have 30 days to complete the necessary formalities in the country. During this time, you need to pay specific fees, translate documents, and perform a technical review. Keep in mind, however, that you must also purchase third party liability insurance during these 30 days.

 When planning a return route, it is worth getting acquainted with the possible costs of the trip – a number of information can be found in the article on toll roads and motorways in Europe. The shortest route to Poland is via ferry crossings – depending on the date, the cost is about PLN 500-700 per passenger car. An alternative is a much longer journey by driving through Denmark and Germany, including the higher cost of fuel and driving through expensive bridges in Denmark itself.


Temporary insurance

Many people opt for the temporary option in terms of insurance. It lets you avoid serious financial consequences. This rule does not apply only to cars that have been unregistered much earlier and brought to Poland on a tow truck. Then, only from the moment of their registration, it is necessary to purchase a third party liability insurance.


Car registration in Poland – step by step

A car purchased abroad must be registered in Poland. Thanks to this, the driver will be able to use it legally after 30 days from the date of its import to the country. For this purpose, however, it is necessary to collect relevant documents and visit specific offices. What’s the correct order of finalizing the formalities? Where do you need to start to properly register a Swedish car in Poland without time-consuming amendments to the documentation?


Documents required for registering a Swedish car

The process of registering a Swedish car in Poland should start with the payment of excise duty. In addition, it will be necessary to provide documents such as:

  • vehicle registration book,
  • confirmation of payment of excise duty and other registration fees,
  • confirmation of the technical examination done in Poland,
  • purchase and sale agreement or invoice translated into Polish.

These documents should be provided by the previous owner of the car. For this reason, you should make all effort to collect all the necessary elements before leaving Sweden.


Costs of registering a Swedish car

The largest cost associated with registering a Swedish car is the excise duty. It is divided into two categories – 3.1% for vehicles with an engine capacity of less than 2000 cm3 and 18.6% for cars with a larger engine capacity. It must be paid in a tax office or through the government website.


Pay attention

Let’s stop here for a moment. The tax office may question the amount of the purchase of indications on the contract or invoice if it considers it to be significantly below the market value. If the car you bought has any defects that explain the lower price, they should be listed in the contract. Otherwise, the tax office will order you to pay excise duty on the amount indicated by the office itself.


Cost of registration vs. individual license plates

The cost increases if the driver wants the car to be registered on individual plates. They cost PLN 1.000. Expenses related to registration include also the price of a technical inspection, which is necessary to submit a complete application. It amounts to about PLN 100.


Translating the documents

When you buy a car, you will probably receive documents in Swedish. You can also write the contract in English, but when you return to Poland, you will still have to translate it into a local language accepted by the authorities. However, the vehicle registration book of a Swedish car does not have to be translated due to the fact that this country is part of the European Union.

You should look for the services of a sworn translator immediately after importing a car from Sweden. You have 30 days to complete the remaining formalities, so it is worth making it on time.


Technical review of the vehicle

Before preparing the application for registration of a Swedish car, technical tests must also be carried out in Poland. If the car was in working order and registered in Sweden, it probably already has such a confirmation.

In Poland, however, another technical examination must be carried out, which is part of the application for registration. Therefore, this should be done early enough, before going to the department of transportation. During the examination, the diagnostician will thoroughly check the compliance of the VIN number contained in the documents with the one embossed on the body, the compliance of the engine version and other things. It will then proceed to a standard mechanical check of the engine for leaks, running gear, braking and lighting. In the event of problems, you will receive a certificate from the diagnostician with which you must return for repeated tests after repairing the defects within 14 days. The cost of re-examination will depend on the number of elements that needed to be fixed.


The VIN and the license plate number are essential

Knowing your car’s VIN before you buy is essential. The current car registration number will also come in handy. These must be obtained from the previous vehicle owner. Having a bodywork number, you can easily perform a VIN check on the autoDNA website and generate a report. It takes into account, among others, mileage, vehicle history, data on equipment, components or inspection results. Remember – check VIN before buying a car – this is an important element of a transparent vehicle purchase and sale transaction.



Is it worth buying a Swedish car?

In Sweden, drivers who move in violation of applicable law have to reckon with high fines. For this reason, cars from Scandinavia are usually in much better condition than those from Poland. It is easier to find an accident-free vehicle at an attractive price. An additional plus is the lack of salt scattered on the roads in winter.

Still, even in this case, there might be some unkempt cars in a bad condition. Therefore, you shouldn’t take for granted that all the cars on this market are going to be in a good condition. You need check them as thoroughly as you’d check cars from any other country. A thorough check before purchase is the basis for a successful purchase.


How many cars are imported from Sweden on average?

Every year, nearly 18.000 cars are imported from Sweden. All because of the rather complicated transport and the long distance and size of Sweden itself. Sweden is one of the less popular destinations when it comes to importing cars, but it is appreciated by people who bet on accident-free vehicles at favorable prices. Contrary to appearances, only Volvo and Saab are not popular.

It is good to know

At, the market-leading VIN decoding tool, you can free VIN lookup on a given vehicle. All you need for this is the VIN number. In the reports, on used cars, you can find information that will allow you to check whether the seller is telling the truth or not. In the report, you can find data on various topics. One of them is the vehicle history or stolen vehicle bases. You can do a VIN check for free 24/7 throughout the year.




How to import a Swedish car - infographic



Also read about import:

  1. a car from Italy
  2. a car France
  3. a car from UK
  4. a car from the Netherlands
  5. a car from Belgium
  6. a Danish car
  7. car from Germany
  8. Ukrainian car

It is, but they constitute a clear minority. In the demanding Swedish climate, it is the gasoline engine that works better, gives greater confidence in operation, especially in winter in cold temperatures.

Of course not. While the Swedes themselves or Swedish traders do not manipulate the odometers, it happens frequently on the way to Poland - despite the possibility of checking the mileage in the Swedish system. Then the dealer in Poland explains that they bought a car with such mileage from Sweden already.

How to import a Swedish car?
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How to import a Swedish car?
Swedish car is an interesting solution for people who are fond of richly equipped cars - especially if you are interested in the gasoline engine versions.
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