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, too. The Germans’ quality maintenance culture can be traced to the individual likeness to their vehicles and the rules and regulations of road safety in the country. But do you know how to identify a vehicle used in Germany? This article uncovers:

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

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 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, it is easy to ascertain the originality and authenticity of a German used car for sale. Follow these processes carefully to avoid a dispute with an auto dealer after the transaction is sealed. 

See also → Is buying used cars in Germany cheaper than in other EU countries? 

Buying 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

5 Quick Checks Before Buying Used Cars

  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: 

German Vehicle Registration Documents (Fahrzeugbrief + Fahrzeugschein)

What is a Fahrzeugbrief?

Fahrzeugbrief is a document that shows the ownership of a vehicle in Germany. Since 2005, it has been officially called Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil II. It contains technical data, registration, and holder information about the car. It must not be carried in the vehicle but stored safely.

german vehicle document BRIEF

What is Fahrzeugschein?

Fahrzeugschein is a document certifying a vehicle’s registration in Germany. It contains the owner’s personal data and technical details of the car, such as the vehicle identification number, fuel type, and emission class. It must be carried in the vehicle at all times.

German Vehicle registration certificate (Fahrzeugschein)

What Is The Exact Equivalent Of Both Documents In The US or UK?

There is no exact equivalent of the Fahrzeugschein or the Fahrzeugbrief in the US or the UK, as each country’s vehicle registration system differs. However, the closest documents are:

  • In the US: The vehicle registration card and the certificate of title. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued the vehicle registration card, which shows that the vehicle is registered and taxed. The certificate of title is a legal document that proves the car’s ownership and contains information such as the vehicle identification number, the make and model, and the lienholder (if any).
  • In the UK: The vehicle registration certificate (V5C) and the log book are in the UK. The vehicle registration certificate is issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and shows the registered keeper and the technical details of the vehicle. The logbook records the vehicle’s history, including previous owners, mileage, and service history.

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 inspection certificate before you buy the car, but that could increase the vehicle’s price.

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 vehicle’s origin.

About 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. It lets you know where and when a particular service has been carried out. You won’t have deep insight into a vehicle’s past without a car service history, like if the engine or gearbox has been overhauled.

Asking For Car Service History

But can I ask for a car service history from an auto seller in Germany? Sure, you can. It is one of the documents you should ask the car seller to provide, and any car owner who keeps such a history would like to show you this. The more commonly used term in German is Scheckheft or scheckheftgepflegt (adj).

What Else Should Be On Your Used Car Checklist

a. Pre-owned Car Sale Contract

A car sale contract is an important document you should ask for before paying for a vehicle in Germany. As long as your money is still in your hands, you can influence the content of your contract and make extra deals. If you buy 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, you can use a handshake to close an agreement. Germans prefer a written agreement based on the rules and regulations governing the contract they are about to enter. It is an essential document in a situation of breach of contract.
  2. You need to show this contract to the emergency rescue service when the car breaks down on the road (for a vehicle not registered) when driving home with the car you just purchased with a dealer’s plate number.
  3. The private seller’s or company’s personal details and stamps (for auto dealers) are stated on the contract. With this, you know pretty well who your agreement partner is. The signature of whoever may sell the car to you should be on the contract.

Getting a pre-owned car sale contract from the seller is crucial to staying safe before paying for the car. This contract protects the buyer’s and the seller’s interests. 

b. Car insurance papers

Every certified pre-owned car user must have third-party liability insurance, which helps you 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 with a printed bill along with the car. If this is 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. These processes are completed before shipping down to Nigeria, from finding a choice car to verifying car facts and history to physical examination. At carbuyersbroker.com, 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. 

Is buying used cars in Germany cheaper 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 vehicles 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 vehicle to be at your desired seaport?
  4. What driving system is 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, ” 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 what they want. We get a free quick check before buying a used vehicle.

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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