How to Buy a Used Car in Germany

by Jamie Lisse

You can buy a used car in Germany from a private owner or a dealer. While you may be able to get a car for a lower price from a private owner, you will only get a warranty offer from a dealer. Dealers may also offer financing for a used car purchase. Buying a used car in Germany can be as daunting as it is in the United States. Remember that all legal documents will be written in German when you make the purchase.

Decide if you want to purchase your used car from a dealer or from a private owner. For dealer used cars, search on sites such as Look for privately-owned used cars in German newspapers, such as the Frankfurter Rundschau.

Secure financing if you are not paying the balance in full for the used car. Look for cars that are not too old, have a good resale value and low mileage. Some dealers and banks offer used car financing. Once you locate a dealer ask about their used car financing policies. You can also check with your local bank in Germany. The best financing rate is typically available with 20 percent down.

Inquire at a dealer about purchasing a demo model, known as Jahreswagens or Vorführwagens. Jahreswagen vehicles have been owned for a year or less by an employee of the car manufacturers. Vorführwagen vehicles have been showroom and test drive cars. These types of vehicles can typically be had for good prices.

Check and verify the details of the used car you are interested in buying. The important things to verify are the number of previous owners, type of catalytic converter, mileage, date of first registration, model year and date of the next inspection. Pay special attention to these things when buying from a private owner.

Prepare for the purchase with proof of insurance. If you are purchasing from a dealer you will need to show them proof of insurance from a current insurance policy, or sign up for insurance in front of them, so that they can obtain your registration and license plates. If you are buying from a private owner take your proof of insurance and your sales contract to the local motor vehicle department, or Kfz-Zulassungstelle, to get your registration and license plates.

About the Author

Jamie Lisse has been writing professionally since 1997. She has published works with a number of online and print publishers. Her areas of expertise include finance and accounting, travel, entertainment, digital media and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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