What happens if someone drives a car to a country (international, Schengen excluded) and suddenly decides to sell/dispose of (e.g. broken) the car there and take a flight back to home? Does he/she (driver, passengers) have to pay a fine at the airport?

  • Depends one which country, whether they know they came in by car, how the leave your car behind is organized and so on. – Willeke Apr 7 '18 at 20:22
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    This depends entirely on the country and its customs laws, as some may care that the car wasn't exported, some may have systems to track that while others may have no idea, and some may have appropriate exceptions if the car is below a certain value. Do you have a specific country in mind? Note that simply leaving (abandoning) a car is generally illegal in and of itself. – Zach Lipton Apr 7 '18 at 20:23
  • Also depends on the country coming from, e.g., if entire route is Schengen, nothing is checked along the way. However, if the car is sold or abandoned, it can be traced to the previous purchaser if the local authorities wish to do so. – WGroleau Apr 7 '18 at 20:30
  • As i said Internationl so schengen is kind of excluded – N Randhawa Apr 7 '18 at 20:31
  • Schengen is still international. But I take that you understand it has fewer registered travel moves. Other EU countries have no registration of cars coming in either. – Willeke Apr 7 '18 at 20:36

I think it will greatly depend on the country. Each country sets the rules independently.

Here in Canada, you could not register a vehicle in this country unless it were legally imported. The temporary importation you would have been permitted when entering Canada by road from the US, or by sea from other countries, would not permit you to sell the vehicle here. Now, of course, if you had a serious accident or mechanical failure, an exception would likely be made. Technically you would have to contact Canada Border Services Agency and declare the vehicle's permanent importation, but to my knowledge there is no process where they are notified if you were simply selling your vehicle to a junkyard to scrap.

Note that foreign vehicles may have limited scrap value if that particular make and model is not sold in the country where you scrap your vehicle. It may only be worth a few dollars for the metal content.

If you simply abandoned the vehicle, you could be identified via its registration and/or VIN (serial number) so this isn't wise. It would be best to sell it to a junkyard or automobile recycler.

If the vehicle is roadworthy and you simply wish to not drive it anymore, you may not have a choice - legally you need to re-export it.

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