How To Check If A Vehicle Is Used In Germany

How To Identify German Used Cars Easily

Quality fascinates. Yes, the pre-owned car business is booming in the EU. Germany is sitting comfortably in the middle of this trend. Attracting buyers all over the world, especially auto dealers from neighboring countries. A high number of auto importers in Africa are benefiting from it. The quality maintenance culture of the Germans can be traced to the individual likeness to their vehicles and the rules and regulations of road safety in the country. So how to check if a car used in Germany? This article uncovers:

  1. How to identify a vehicle used in Germany.
  2. The documents you should ask for when buying a used car.
  3. German used car service history
  4. To find a used car of your choice.
  5. Is it cheaper to buy used cars in Germany than in other EU countries?

That’s fine. But do you know other things to check when buying a vehicle in the country?

How To Identify German Used Cars Easily

If you have spent a couple of hours on the internet searching for a used car to buy - no doubt - you probably have come across German used vehicles on display on each auto website. You’ll be wondering if indeed these cars are German used. That might be the reason you are here reading this page. Therefore, to make it easy to ascertain the originality and authenticity of a German used car for sale. Follow these processes carefully to not end up in a dispute with an auto dealer after the transaction is sealed.


See also → Is it cheaper to buy used cars in Germany than in other EU countries?


To buy a used car is an excellent choice compared to a new one. But you might consider a few things to help you make a better decision like

  1. mileage
  2. date of first registration
  3. when the next technical inspection is due
  4. the number of owners
  5. fuel consumption

After the registration of a vehicle in Germany, you'll get two documents:

1. Vehicle Registration Documents (Fahrzeugbrief + Fahrzeugschein)

Fahrzeugbrief Fahrzeugschein

German vehicle document (BRIEF)

German vehicle document (BRIEF)

German vehicle document (BRIEF)

Vehicle registration certificate (Fahrzeugschein)

2. Vehicle Certificate Of Inspection

Technical Inspection Association in Germany issues this document. It is given to show car inspection and maintenance records for more car reliability and quality. It is performed every 24 months (2 years) for small cars up to 3,5 tons and trucks every 12 months (yearly). A vehicle without this document is not roadworthy. You can only transport the car with a dealer’s plate number, trailer or transporter. You can ask the car dealer to get the vehicle certificate of inspection done before you buy the car, but that could increase the price of the vehicle.

3. Language Of The Documents

I haven’t heard about a German vehicle document written in a foreign language. So if you come across such, it should be a good reason to ask more questions about the origin of the vehicle.

German Used Car Service History

Unlike some vehicles for export to Africa, used car service history becomes essential if your intention to buy a car relies upon the prior maintenance quality of it. It lets you know where and when a particular service has been carried out. You won't have deep insight into the past of a vehicle without car service history like to know if the engine or gearbox has been overhauled.

Can I Ask For Car Service History From A Car Seller In Germany?

Sure, you can. It is one of the documents you should ask the car seller to provide and any car owner that keep such history would like to show you this. The more commonly used term for it in German is Scheckheft or scheckheftgepflegt (adj).

What Else Is On The Used Car Checklist

a. Pre-owned Car Sale Contract

Car Sale Contract is an important document you should ask for before the payment of a vehicle in Germany. As long as your money is still in your hand, you have the advantage to influence the content of your contract and make extra deals. Whoever you are buying a car from (a car dealer or private car seller), be sure you get a signed contract. Here are the reasons:

  1. Unlike in some African countries where you can just use a handshake to close an agreement. Germans prefer a written agreement that is created based on the rules and regulations which govern the contract they are about to get in. It is a very important document in a situation of breach of contract.
  2. You need to show this contract when the car breakdown on the road (for a vehicle that is not registered) to the emergency rescue service when you are driving home with the vehicle you just purchased with a dealer’s plate number.
  3. The personal details of the private seller or company details and stamp (for auto dealers) state on the contract. With this, you know quite well who your agreement partner is. Whoever may sell the car to you, his or her signature should be on the contract.

To stay on the safe side, it is crucial to get a pre-owned car sale contract from the seller before paying for the car. This contract is designed to protect the buyer and seller interest.

b. Car insurance papers

Every certified pre-owned car user must have third party liability insurance, which helps you to identify if the car on sale was involved in a series of accidents to understand the cost of maintenance involved before acquiring.

A car dealer will provide you a printed bill along with the car. If not possible, you should demand a sale receipt from the seller.

How to find cars suitable for your needs.

Finding a new or used car in Germany from Nigeria can be cumbersome, especially when you have a problem trusting. Buying used cars online is becoming more popular and as well as more accessible. From finding a choice car, verifying car facts and history to physical examination comes in processes before shipping down to Nigeria. At, we prepare you with everything you need to know about buying and shipping your used car from Germany down to Nigeria. For more information about a particular vehicle.


Make Your Vehicle Request Here 


Is it cheaper to buy used cars in Germany than in other EU countries?

Generally, I would say yes, but there are factors to be considered when importing a vehicle in or outside Germany that can undoubtedly influence the cost like:

  1. Cost of transportation to a shipping agency.
  2. What is the distance between the shipper and the shipping terminal?
  3. How marketable is the car?
  4. What is the quantity of the vehicle in the market?
  5. How much is the cost of clearing the car?

However, in my opinion, an importer should also consider other things like:

  1. Quality of the used car in question.
  2. Reliability of the service providers.
  3. How long would it take for the car to be in your desired seaport?
  4. What driving system in the Car?

These factors can influence the cost of buying and importing a vehicle from Germany or other EU countries.

On the other hand, it is all about a matter of taste.

Sometimes I could hear customers saying something like (Could you find me a car with engine problems or damaged transmission and it should be cheap).

In this case, we offer the customers exactly their wishes.

Do you want to know the exact cost of importing a vehicle from Germany to your country? Click the button below to

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