New rules for vehicle users in Denmark

On 1 July 2024, new rules for registration of vehicles entered into force in Denmark. This will impact private owners and users of vehicles, businesses that offer company cars to their employees, and leasing companies.

The main highlight is that the concept of the ‘user’ of the vehicle is specified. A user is a physical or legal person who..

Is not the registered owner of the vehicle, and

Has the right to use the vehicle for 30 days or more.

This was also the original definition. However, these changes emphasize that ‘use’ is understood as both physical and legal.

Physical user: A person who has the user rights of the vehicle.

Legal user: A person who can determine who can rent or use the vehicle.

What does this mean for companies?

For businesses that offer leased company cars to their employees, the business should be registered as the primary user of the vehicle. If the vehicle is reserved for a single employee, this person should be registered as a secondary user. This is regardless of whether the car is only used for business purposes. If the vehicle is not used by or reserved for one specific person, there is no need to register any secondary users.

This means that the ‘secondary user’ can now become liable for periodic fees on equal terms as the employer and/or leasing company. And this applies regardless of whether the employee has free car taxation or not. So, the change in registration rules does not as such have tax-related consequences for the secondary user.

What is new here is that up until now, the ‘secondary user’ registration has not been a requirement. Until now, the business leasing the car was registered as the ‘user’. With the registration of secondary users, the authorities hope to combat reckless driving and registration tax fraud. This will also give transparency in regards to sub-leasing, where the physical user of the vehicle ends up being different from the registered user. Now, anyone who has the use rights of a vehicle for 30 or more days must be registered as a user.

Who is responsible for correct registrations?

The ‘owner’ of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring current registrations. So, for leased company cars it is up to the leasing company as the ultimate owner to ensure registrations to avoid fines. Needless to say, it will be an administrative challenge for leasing companies to control this.

Businesses that lease vehicles from leasing companies should keep the leasing companies informed on the use of the vehicles to ensure compliance. And users should inform the ‘owner’ if the vehicle is to be lent out for 30 days or more, so the ‘owner’ can register this.

Registration tax

Normally, registration tax is paid every time a user is added, changed, or deleted from the register. But because these changes are likely to entail many new registrations, changes made as a result of the new rules can be made without any fees from 1 July 2024 to 31 December 2024.

Timeline:

 From 1 July 2024: Vehicles with full registration tax and untaxed vehicles.

 From 1 October 2024: Leased vehicles where there no later than 30 September 2024 is to be paid a so-called ‘forholdsmæssig registreringsafgift’ (proportional registration tax), and not full registration tax. Many company cars fall within this category.

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