Nowhere in the world is running chores in public offices a joy; it usually means a heap of paperwork, lack of guidance, moody service staff, and running around like a headless chicken.
In many countries, technology has taken over, processes have become paperless, and things can be done in just one location. Well, that phase still hasn’t come to Croatia… and buying a used car here requires at least 10 pit stops, perhaps even 11 if you count therapy for PTSD afterwards, before you can drive away as the new owner.
Firstly, you have found the used vehicle that you want, and you have agreed on a price, and you will soon process the payment.
Step 1 – Notary Public
Find an authorized notary public where, together with the car owner, a purchase contract will be drafted and signed by both parties (Buyer and Seller), identifying the car and agreed selling price. The notary public will verify the identities of both Buyer and Seller and the document will be stamped and signed, ready for the next step. It is recommended you get at least two copies. If the owner doesn’t want to be dragged along through the next few steps, you can also draft a power of attorney giving you the right to do everything without him/her.
Tip: To avoid to much driving around and searching for parking, we suggest you find a notary public close to where you will pop in for step 2. Therefore, park in the large public parking across from the Municipality building on Domovinskog Rata and find a notary public near the bus station adjacent.
Step 2 – Tax Office
On the third floor of the Municipality building on Domoviskog Rata, you can pop into room number 36 where you will get a bill of 5% of the cars value (open 7am to 3pm). You are unable to make the payment to the tax office and need to physically go to a nearby bank to pay the fee.
Step 3 – Bank
With your bill for car tax payment (5% of the car’s official value, not necessarily the value you you bought it for), go to a nearby bank to make a payment, either by cash or card. Directly behind the municipality building is an OTP bank for instance but an bank is also located in the tall Lavčević building across the main road.
Step 4 – Tax Office
After receiving payment approval n receipt from the bank, bring the paperwork back to room 36 where a payment approval awaits you to bring to the Traffic Police department.
Step 5 – Traffic Police Department
The Police Station is located on Trg hrvatske bratske zajednice 9, right next to the Croatia Osiguranje building nearby the courthouse. Walk into the right (you don’t need a number yet) and go directly to Counter 1 with your sales contract, tax payment confirmation, and ID card. She will give you a blank form with 35kn scribbled in the corner (don’t panic, you don’t need to fill it out), and two bills to pay for new plates (if needed) and owner change.
Step 6 – Bank
After you got the bills from Counter 1, pop next door to Splitska Banka to pay the fees (Cash Only!) on the two checks. About four autographs later, and a payment confirmation slip, you no longer need to make any payments…at least not old skool style in a bank.
Step 7 – Tax Stamps in Photo Olga
Across the Police Station is Photo Studio Olga and you’ll need to pop in here to buy tax stamps worth 35kn (remember the 35kn scribbled onto the blank form mentioned in Step 5). Yep, you heard me right; good old tax stamps bought in a photo studio J
Step 8 – Traffic Police Department
Return to the station and print out a queue number (press number 3 which will eventually guide you to Counter 11 when your time comes). Now just hand over the blank form, payment receipts, tax stamps, the old registration AND the license plates of the car. The lady will process new registration documents and hand over a new set of license plates. Before you start this process, ask what numbers are available in case you want something in particular. If you want to order a number, it’s a whole different ball game which you should discuss at Counter 1 when you first come in.
Step 9 – Insurance Office
Before getting your care re-registered through technical testing, you’ll need to renew your compulsory insurance. Unfortunately, rate shopping for a compulsory insurance policy doesn’t really pay dividends as the price is regulated by the government and depends solely on how many kW your cars has, and not its value or age. You can buy a policy at the Technical Testing center directly, the road leading up to it, or elsewhere. If you are looking at buying a full insurance policy, you might as well get them both from the same insurance company where in that case, rate shopping really pays off. We suggest you ask the financial advisors at OVB (www.ovb.hr) who can source much cheaper offers without charging you.
Step 10 – Technical Testing
Yey, you have come to the final phase of this lengthily and painful process! With insurance and new car paperwork in hand, drive over to the EuroDaus Technical Testing Center on Hercegovačka ulica 59. Park in the queue marked ‘Osobna Vozila’ and go indoors to register at the first counter. Go back in the car and wait in line until the technical crew instructs you further. Two counter stops and about 900kn later, you can drive out as a new car owner.