The purchase of a used car goes 5 times faster in the EU than in Serbia

The fact that the citizens of Serbia are excessively burdened with bureaucracy compared to the citizens of developed countries can be seen in even some very simple tasks such as the sale and purchase of a used car. Buying a desired vehicle will last up to five times more, require seven times more payments, eight times more visits and up to 10 times higher amount of money.

There have been nearly 2,500 administrative procedures registered in Serbia so far, and almost none of them can be performed without physically going to institutions and submitting paper documents. The situation should be changed with the Law on E-Business which has formally equalized the electronic document with its paper counterpart, which is the first step towards the digitalization of procedures.

- The citizens are very interested in e-services, which was also shown by the campaign “Ask when we will get rid of redundant papers” realized with the support of the UK Government’s Good Governance Fund. On the website the citizens could propose and vote for procedures that should first be digitalized, and the most votes were assigned for the procedure for electronic issuing of certificates of paid taxes, and we have already submitted the initiative to the Tax Administration. Additionally, high ratings were also assigned to digitalization of procedure for changing name, last name and place of residence in personal ID, the introduction electronic invoice, electronic payment of fees to institutions, and the procedure of VAT refund for the first apartment – said Željko Tomić, the President of E-Government Alliance and the General Manager of OSA računarski inženjering.

The Dutch and French can purchase used cars entirely electronically, while the buyers and sellers in Serbia need to take eight steps and the same number of counters – from verifying an agreement at public notaries, through tax application, car registration to payment of all liabilities for these steps (the analysis did not include the replacement of the vehicle license and the payment of utility fee).

Already the first step (verification of agreement) does not exist in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany, Austria and France, which were observed for comparison, while the Netherlands and Germany even recognize oral agreements. Further on, in Serbia both the buyer and the seller make a total of seven payments (two payments for the Police, National Bank and tax administration each, and one for the public notaries), and a large amount of administration could be reduced by enabling a payment to a single account. A step further would be the introduction of electronic payments instead of visits to the post office or the bank.

Even though there are agencies for vehicle registration which can be hired to finalize the work (with an adequate fee), the right solution would be to ensure that citizens can submit the necessary documents online, and enable that institutions can obtain the data already incorporated in the system on their own. 

A comparative overview of the procedure for buying a used car

  Serbia Netherlands Slovenia Germany Austria France
Number of counters 8 1 1 1 1 2
Institutions 4 1 1 1 1 1
Forms 8 4 3 3 3 8
...filled in by the user 3 0 1 2 1 3
Payments 5 1 1 1 1 1
Days 7 1 1 1 1 2-3
Cost 122€ 10€ 33€ 20€ 192€ 7€

*In the Netherlands and France, the procedure can be performed electronically.
**Costs are calculated for a car worth 3,000 EUR
Source: SIGMA - Serbia OSS Project

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