What is my entitlement to buy tax free vehicles?

Each entitled person is permitted to BFG register only one New Tax-Free Vehicle within any one year period (i.e. if a New tax-free vehicle is registered on 01 Jan in one year, the entitled person will not be able to register a further new tax-free vehicle until 01 Jan the following year.

In addition to one tax-free vehicle, one new tax-free motorcycle/quad bike, moped or bicycle with auxiliary motor, may be registered within any one year period.  However, only one vehicle per ‘Entitled Person’ per year can be exported to the UK free of tax.

Dependent children may only purchase and BFG register Tax-Free vehicles if they are at least 18 years old and not over 25 years old (16 years or older in relation to mopeds or mofas) and they possess a valid full driving license issued by an EU member state Also they must have lived in Germany with their parents for at least 185 days in the last twelve months, and expect to be resident in Germany with their parents for at least 185 days in the next twelve months.  Periods at boarding school, college and university will not count as residence in Germany.

Who, with respect to buying tax free vehicles, classifies as an entitled person?

  • A member of the British armed forces who is present in Germany and who has been assigned, on a permanent assignment order, to a unit of the British armed forces that is based in Germany or to a NATO headquarters in Germany.
  • A member of the civilian component of the British armed forces (UKBC).
  • An employee of a sponsored organisation who is considered to be and treated as a member of the civilian component of the British force.
  • A contractor’s employee who is to be considered to be and treated as a member of the civilian component of the British force and who is a civilian subject to service discipline.
  • A dependant of a person listed in the paragraphs above who has status as a dependant under SO BFG 3217 or a child of such a person who is at least 18 years of age (or 16 in relation to mopeds or mofas) and no more than 25 years of age. Provided, that they have been, or are expected to be (having regard to their assignment order, civil service posting documentation or other document from their employer confirming the terms of their presence in Germany), physically present in Germany for a minimum period of 183 days, and/or that the authorities of British Forces Germany have granted authority.

Can I buy a tax free vehicle from a German dealer?

Yes of course. The import process is exactly the same as for a UK bought vehicle, but if the vehicle is less than two years old you need to procure it through the NAAFI OPA and not directly from the dealer. If the vehicle is over two years old, you will be able to use an Abwicklungsschein from your Unit’s OPA in order to have the Mehrwertsteuer (German VAT) relieved. Please note that the purchaser of the vehicle must be the OPA and not you.

Can I buy a tax free vehicle on the US Forces system?

Yes. The process is the same as buying from a German dealer.

My children are over 18; do they have a tax free entitlement?

Yes. Each of your dependents has full SOFA status up until the age of 25.

Why do I need to keep my tax free vehicle for 12 months?

This was a bi-lateral agreement made between the UK and German governments supplementary to the NATO SOFA to give you a benefit that a normal British civilian does not have.

Can I buy a tax free motorbike and car in the same year?

Yes, but, to return them to the UK during posting, each vehicle must have been BFG registered for at least a year and have minimum of 3728 miles (6000 km) on the clock. Once these conditions have been fulfilled the vehicles are no longer classified as New Means of Transport (NMT). At the end of your tour in Germany you will only be permitted to take one NMT back to the UK, so if you have a NMT car and your motorbike for example has less than 3728 miles on the clock, regardless of how long it has been BFG registered, tax will be due on it. If you are in this situation, or think you may be, contact your local C&I Officer without delay.

If I buy a tax free caravan, does this affect my entitlement?

No.

Can I buy a second tax free vehicle in the same year if my first vehicle has been written off in a traffic accident?

Yes, provided all supporting documentation has been provided (e.g. scrap certificate) and the vehicle has been fully de-registered. However, tax will be due to the German authorities on the amount received for the scrap from the scrap/recycling merchant. You are therefore advised to have your vehicle insured to its tax-paid value. You will also need to apply in writing to SO2 Veh Policy, G1 Branch, HQ BFG for permission to buy a replacement tax-free vehicle.

If I buy a vehicle from another entitled person how will this affect my entitlement?

If the vehicle is tax-free and under a year old you will not be able to buy another new tax-free vehicle until the current one has past its 12 month BFG registration anniversary.

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