3 Feb 2012

Buying a car in Germany

This is a very vast topic, but I will try to cover the basics.

First steps

The first thing to do, whether you are based in Germany or abroad is to browse the German websites for car ads. The biggest and most important website is Mobile.de.
Another alternative is Autoscout24.de.

You have to know those websites like the back of your hand!

They offer a lot of free advice concerning the technical part of the process, checklists of what to look at when you are inspecting the car, etc. I am not a car expert, so I will leave this part to the professionals :)

Getting into contact

You can always send an email or directly call the person offering the car. The bigger Autodealers (Autohaus) also have people who speak English or even more languages. Depends whom you encounter.
Get as many offers as possible for your picked brand and car type. Then you can start weighing the advantages and disadvantages of your choices. Germans like their cars and put in them a lot of extras, so if you are on a budget, you can get a very good car for a low price, if it has less extras (for example, automatic aid conditioning, Klimaautomatik).


Remember, every price is negotiable, even when it says it is not! It helps if you find some small scratches or damages when you inspect the car. Not having serviced the car at the official dealer is also considered as a disadvantage! For example, the previous owner went to ATU, instead to the official service partner.

If you are young, you can say you are a student and use this as a small negotiation leverage. You can also mention your travel costs and the costs of getting the car to your place.

Many pensioners are selling their cars and those are usually well taken care of. Those cars are called Rentnerwagen or Rentnerfahrzeug and usually accompanied by the term Garagenauto, which means the car was kept in a garage. Those two terms are often used as advantages of the car!


You may encounter criminals in those sites. They usually give a very low price for a car, but the story is that either they or the car is abroad. Be very careful when communicating with such people!

Questions? Just post a comment and I will try to answer it!

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