This summer a friend and I are planning a one-way road trip from within the EU to the Caucasus region. Here we would like to leave the car behind and fly back home. Since we will be traveling on a budget our car will be an old banger. We therefore have no problem driving it to the nearest junk yard. But is this allowed? As we understand, the car gets a stamp in your passport as soon as you leave the EU.

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    “As we understand the car gets a stamp in your passport as soon as you leave the EU.” Not sure what you mean by that but I seriously doubt this is the case. I have left the EU by car many many times (to Switzerland) and never got anything.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 10:50
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    @Brilsmurfffje Switzerland is part of the Schengen area but that has nothing at all to do with free movement of goods. It also has ad hoc agreements with the EU but I went to Switzerland by car many times before either of these so that does not explain anything. Still the border is “softer” than most and I could imagine things are a little different when going to Turkey for example. But I am still not sure how you suppose this stamp-of-the-passport thing would work. What's your understanding based on?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 10:55
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    There are AFAIK no EU wide regulations on this subject and I would assume that the details depend on exactly which EU country, in which the car is registered. There are no formalities required to take the car out of the EU, but there might be requirements to fulfil to get the car 'unregistered'. I once cancelled the registration of my car in Germany after having left the car in a non-EU country and I had to provide a declaration of the whereabouts of the car, but there was nothing more required. Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 11:03
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    Note also that the country where you leave the car will probably consider you to have imported it and therefore may want you to pay import duty on it. You need to research that country's particular customs rules. Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 11:10
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    Perhaps the OP is being confused by the fact that the entry and exit stamps given at road crossings of the Schengen external borders have a little picture of a car on them? This just indicates that the stamp was given at a road border crossing, not "the traveler has a car with him". (Pedestrians and bicyclists get the same stamps!) Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


Every country is happy with export. Just make sure that it is considered an export - you'll have to deregister your car in your home EU country so you don't have to pay insurance and road tax anymore.

But it mean you import your car to the country you're going to shrot it. It might be necessary to pay import taxes, which might exceed the actual worth of the car.

The scenario you might consider is to declare that your car got broken abroad and therefore it was trashed. You should inform yourself what procedures are required in that case. Depending on the laws of the country you come into it might be just the best option to crash you car against a tree a few meters from junkyard and get police protocol to proof in your registration country the car was damaged in an accident.

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    I'm pretty sure intentionally causing a crash would be illegal.
    – Andy
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 22:01
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    On the long run, lies have a habit of catching up with you. Simply state that "the car was no longer in a condition for the return trip" and get a receipt for the sale as trash.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 5:44
  • The deregistering part is the easiest as my government allows for self demolition of the car so basically handing back paperwork and the license plates is enough. I think we will just go and see what happens, in a worst case scenario we have to drive the car back to Greece.. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 19:15

I have completed the trip and can say that leaving a car behind without receiving money for it is easy as you donate the car to the foreign government. It however depends from country to country how easy this process is. My advice would be to consult you Embassy about this matter in the country you wish to leave a car.

  • What do you mean by “donate it to the foreign government"? Did you drive it to a police station or something? Just abandon it somewhere? What kind of paperwork, if any, did you need to enter the country? No deposit? How did you deal with your insurance and the authorities back home? What did the Dutch embassy in Georgia advise? Since you completed the trip, I think all these details would be very useful to dispel all the confusion in the question/comments?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 8:05
  • @Relaxed, these kind of regulations change on a regular basis, since the trip has been over 3 years ago I would doubt if any of the information is still relevant. But the most important one is that you need to figure out how to get the car on a foreign license plate e.g. imported into the country. The formalities back home were dead simple, just go to the road administration and show the proof of import into another country. Out of cost savings I had already cancelled insurance and road taxes during the trip since we were out of coverage for the insurance.. Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 9:01
  • @Relaxed, deposit is only required for countries via the carnet du passage system and Georgie is not on that list so it is just two stamps in your passport, one for the car and one for yourself upon crossing the border. The visa for the car is a stamp in your passport and had 90 days of validity. The Dutch embassy was of very little help as I guess with most embassies for these kind of holiday inquirers. Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 9:03
  • I do think this information is relevant and doesn't change that frequentely. To the extent that it does change, an answer stating that it's easy would seem misleading. Same thing for the embassy, if they were not helpful, why recommend contacting them? The insurance bit is worrisome, I doubt many people would be comfortable with that or find it easy, a big warning is in order!
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 9:27
  • Finally, I certaintely agree that importing the car is the main issue, several people explained that back when you asked the question and that's why I asked you about the paperwork entering Georgia. Clarifying this would hugely improve the answer. You can just edit that in directly, no need to discuss it in a long comment thread.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 9:28

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