European Consumer Centre Bulgaria

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You plan a holiday abroad but you do not want to lose time and money to travel by your personal car? The maybe it is a good idea to consider car hire. You can also save money when you buy a car from another country?


Before hiring a car

  • When checking the offers on the Internet, bear in mind that often only the basic price is quoted. Pay attention to the surcharges for receiving the car from the airport or for additional insurance coverage.
  • Check how much the extras cost - the use of a child-seat for expample, or navigation.
  • Pay attention to the fuel policy - whether you should return the car with a full petrol tank or not.
  • Check for age restrictions.
  • Notice what is the sum that is to be charged from your credit card as a guarantee and under what conditions you could cancel the contact.

(!) Bear in mind that when hiring a car on the Internet you do not dispose of a "reflection period" and you do not have the right to cancel the contract out of the conditions provided.

During the car rental

  • Check carefully what the insurance coverage includes. On that depends what amount of money could be charged from your credit card in case of car damages.
  • Ask about the company's policy in case the car breakes down or in case of an accident.
  • All outward damages on the car should be marked down on the check-list.
  • In case the car breaks down, follow the instructions and do no try to fix it by yourself or for your account without prior authorization.
  • In case of an accident, notify immediately the police and the rental company and follow their instructions.

Returning of the car

  • Always try to return the car during the working hours of the rental company and make sure that you receive a declaration that the car has been checked and collected with no remarks.
  • If you are returning the car outside the working hours, you should park it on the designed area. It is possible to make pictuers as a confirmation that you have returned the car in a good condition.
  • The vehicles returned outside the working hours are checked for damages on the following day and therefore it is possible the sum for the damages to be charged from your credit card subsequently.


You could save money when buying a car from the European Union and your rights will depend on that:

  • whether the car is new or second-hand,
  • whether you are buying it from a dealer or privately.

Rules for VAT (Value Added Tax)

The rules for VAT(Value Added Tax) for vehicles bought in the European Union are different from the rules for other goods as it depends whether the car is new or second-hand and whether you are buying it privately or from a dealer:

New cars

  • When you buy a new car in another EU state with the intention to bring it to your state of residence, you are not charged for VAT in the state of the purchase. You should pay VAT in the country in which you register the car. For the taxation purposes a new car is the one that has no more than 6000 km made or which has been registered before less than 6 months.

Second-hand cars

  • When you buy a second-hand car private owner, you are not charged for VAT. However, in case the seller is a trader, you will pay VAT following the rules of the country of purchase. Second-hand car is a car which is older than 6 months and which has made more than 6000km.


By law, in the EU the guarantee of the goods is 2 years in cases the purchase is made from a trader. The guarantee includes manufacturing defects which have existed to the moment of the delivery. The traders often provide an additional merchant guarantee for new cars and some traders offer a guarantee for second-hand cars as well.

(!) Purchase of a car from a private owner - bear in mind that when the purchase is made privately, you are not protected by the consumer's legislation.If you are not able to solve the problem without legal proceedings, you should take a private legal actions against the dealer.

(!) Beware when buying a car through an auction or through the Internet. It is advisable to make an inspection before the auction as there is a rule that "the car is bought after it has been seen" i. e. the seller does not bear responsibility for defects on the car.

Was this information helpful?

How to solve your problem when you are not happy?

  • In the first instance you have to contact the trader and to put a claim for the defect product or service. You can do this at the premises where you bought the product or service, or at the repair service.
  • Please check carefully what additional rights you have from the commercial guarantee, as it is leaglly binding for the trader. For example, you could have international guarantee and you could claim repair at home to the local repair service.
  • When you make a claim always respect the terms - two months since you know for the defect product, and 14 days since you know for the bad service.
  • If you are not happy with the handling of your complaint and reclamation, you can contact us and receive additional help.

We can:

  • provide additional advice on the specific problem, including information on your rights in the country where you have bought the product or service.
  • contact the trader and provide you with assistance for finding an amicable solution to your claim.
  • advise you to make a claim to an ADR mechanism, or if not possible to make a court claim.
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