Tax-free shopping? New research reveals the best countries

Tax-free shopping? Travellers shop till they drop and you can bet they count every dollar! Check where you can save the most!

Tax-free shopping
Tax-free shopping

A study by analysed the prices of the most popular overseas purchases from Chanel Handbags to Apple MacBooks. The potential amount that could be saved by reclaiming VAT was then calculated using Upon’s VAT Refund Calculator, to reveal the best (& worst) countries for tax-free shopping. 

The Best Countries for Tax-Free Shopping

RankCountryStandard VAT RateAverage Saving*
7Republic of Ireland23%14.22%
Tax-free shopping

*An average saving was taken across the following items: Apple iPhone 13 Pro and MacBook Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Burberry Mid-length Chelsea Heritage Trench Coat and Classic Fit Wool Suit, Alexander McQueen Oversized Sneakers, Pigalle Louboutins, Louis Vuitton’s Speedy Bandoulière 25 Bag, TAG Heuer Carrera, Cartier Love Bracelet, Classic Chanel Handbag, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and 1837 Tiffany ring. 

The country with the greatest saving on average is Croatia, at 17.12%. Croatia has one of the highest VAT rates on the continent, which enables you to claim a significant portion of your purchase back.

The nation with the second-highest average refund amount is Hungary, at 16.8%. However, it also has one of the highest minimum spending requirements, as you’ll have to spend 54,001 HUF (around £120/€141) to qualify for a refund. 

In third place is Sweden, with a standard VAT rate of 25%, and an average refund saving of 15.22%. As well as allowing you to make huge savings, Sweden also has some of the lowest spending requirements. Here you’re able to claim back on purchases as low as 200 SEK (around £16/€18).

The research also revealed the worst countries for tax-free shopping: 

Luxembourg ranks as the worst country for tax-free shopping. With a standard VAT rate of 17%, the average amount you can claim back is 10.44%.

RankCountryStandard VAT RateAverage Saving
Tax-free shopping

Further Study Insights: 

  • The best products for tax-free shopping are luxury watches
  • The cheapest countries for duty-free shopping include Spain and Cape Verde. 

The most expensive countries for duty-free shopping include Kenya and Ghana.

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