The first formalities in Sweden

Like I said previously, the first thing you have to do is get your personal number from the Skatteverket. By doing this, you are already enrolled in the Försäkringskassan. If you are from EU, you don’t need to apply for a residence permit.

You will wait for this special number (about 2 weeks), without which you can’t do a single thing in Sweden, like for instance, opening a bank account. You will try, like I did, to open a bank account with this solely number, and you’ll probably find out that you need to apply for the Swedish ID Card (2 more weeks). I had been told that Handelsbanken did not require this card and I chose that one, but unfortunately, they do require an ID nowadays. Even though, it seems to be one of the best banks for foreign people, as long as the Länsförsäkringar, because they have good conditions for people who go abroad a lot.

When you have these 3 sorted out, congratulations. You have all that is necessary! At least, if you don’t have a car! If you chose to bring your car, like myself, you have a bit more work in hands. First, if you have a new car, and you arrived in Winter, try to install an engine heater as soon as possible. Your car will thank you and you too! It’s quite an investment, but really worth it if your car is new and you plan on keeping it for a long time! Your engine won’t wear off so soon, and you avoid driving on dangerous conditions (ice on the windows). Try to find a house with garage, or at least, a covered parking space with electricity. It will pay in the end! I hope you bought a good set of Winter tyres (it’s impossible to come from Summer to Winter with studded tyres). Here you have the complete list of the tyres approved in Sweden. So far, I have managed quite well with my winter tyres, but of course, if you come in the Summer, you’ll just have to wait for the Winter to come and then buy here your tyres! If there’s a lot of snow, in roundabouts and crossings, you might find your car sliding a bit! No need to panic, though, and if in doubt, just book yourself a driving course for Winter conditions. Even though I bought snow chains, because it was compulsory for crossing France and Germany, I didn’t even got the chance to use them, and do not think I will, because they plough the streets and roads everyday, even in semiprivate ways, so you can’t use your snow chains. Still, if you have them, it won’t hurt you to bring them on the car! Also mandatory is the yellow reflective jacket and a snow shovel (in case you get stuck).

Then, the worse part: you have a lot of papers to read and sent to the Swedish Transport Agency. Don’t worry, they answer phone calls very efficiently and answer all your emails very quickly, so it’s quite a help! If you are from EU, you will not have to pay for VAT (unless your car is new) or go to the Swedish Customs Service. And you have 3 months to take care of this paperwork, but please, do not forget to have your car insurance updated, and assure yourself that it is valid here! You won’t be able to drive for a short period of time (even if you apply for temporary registration and pay the extra), unless to drive your car to the nearest inspection point. I don’t know exactly how long it will take, because I will send the papers only in February. But I am sure I will get back to this issue.

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