You car must come from sellers place to your house or to the port. It can be loaded on a truck or one can drive it with temporary plates.
People from Australia, Canada and USA have asked me how to register a car in Europe and use it for a holiday trip and later sell it or shipp it home. Some buy a van or campervan, travel Europe and sell it again right after the Octoberfest...
German sellers always de-register a car before handing it to a new owner. The buyer has to take care of insurance and registration in his name.
If you don’t have a permanent address in Germany you can’t register a car in your name – but you can get temporary plates. I’ll show you how:
You can get "5day plates" or "export plates" for a longer period of time.
Ask the seller if he can assist you with the plates, some dealers even provide 5 day plates for small money (they get them in their name and hand them to you)
1. You go to a registration office next door to where you bought the car. It is called “Kraftfahrzeug-Zulassungsstelle” or “Verkehrsamt”. Most are open in the morning only, Monday to Friday. Bring some money, your passport, the car documents, a valid roadworthy test certificate (called Tüv Test or HU) and about three hours time. If you want “export plates” you have to bring the car as well.
2. You will need insurance as well to get the plates. You will find an insurance office next to every registration office they also sell insurance at the number plate printing shop which is always there.
April 2021: Because of the Coronavirus - Covid19 situation most German registration offices have limited opening hours only. You will have to apply for an appointment and often they have a waiting list. It may take a couple of days. It's not easy and sorry, I can't assist.
How to apply for “5 Days Temporary Plates”:
The 5 day plates , in German “Überführungskennzeichen or Kurzzeitkennzeichen”. Meaning a set of provisional plates that are valid for five days, allowing you to transfer the car to its destination over public roads during this period.
- You get them at the sellers nearest registration office (“Kraftfahrzeug-Zulassungsstelle” or “Verkehrsamt”). These plates are originally designed for use in Germany only, but you can see them all over Europe. If you plan o leave Germany with these “5 day plates” on your car make sure to have insurance for other countries.
- Close to every registration office you will find a shop or an office where you can buy the insurance. Or ask at the number plate printing shop, they often sell insurance policies. If you don’t see it just ask the people in the reg.office. You can also buy the insurance from the German automobil association: ADAC
- You can buy insurance which covers Germany only, you can get Europe wide insurance as well.
- It will cost about 150 Euro for to cover the registration fee and insurance premium. No need to bring the car to the registration office, no inspection. Just make sure the car has a valid roadworthy test certificate.
-The “5day plates” have a yellow badge at the right end which show the expiering date. Every policeman can see if you drive with valied plates or not. Keep that in mind. Don’t drive with this plates after they are expiered!
How to get “Export Plates”:
These plates allow you to drive the car in every country. To enter some countries outside Europe you might need to buy a local insurance as well.
Before you apply for the plates at the registration office you have to buy insurance. That cost approx. Euro 160 per month for a passenger car or a small van. They want cash in advance for the complete validity period of the plates. You can get them for 14 days, one month or even longer. Some insurance companies only provide insurance for up to 90 days. Close to every registration office you will find a shop or an office where you can buy the insurance. Or ask at the number plate printing shop. If you don’t see it just ask the people in the reg.office. You can also buy the insurance from the German automobil asociation: ADAC
- The insurance you can get is a kind of 3rd party liability insurance. Your car is not fully insured (no full or part collision insurance).
- Go to the registration office. There is one in every major district town. It is called “Kraftfahrzeug-Zulassungsstelle” or Verkehrsamt”.
- You have to show your passport, the car documents (the title: “Kraftfahrzeugbrief” or “Zulassungsbescheinigung”) and a document which proves a valid roadworthy test (called HU or Tüv test).
- You will need somebody in Germany who is your "authorized recipent". That person need to have a permanent address in Germany and has to pay the motor vehicle tax for your car. The tax office want to debit the amount from a German bank account. They don't accept cash for car tax.
- The registration fee, car tax, and the plates will cost you approx. Euro 150,- for a period of 14 days. The car tax is always related to the engine capacity and emission rate, I can’t tell you the exact amout here. It will vary on every make and model.
- The “export plates” have a red badge at the right end which show the expiering date. Every policeman can see if you drive with valied plates or not. Keep that in mind. Don’t drive with this plates after they are expiered!
- If you purchase your car in an other European country better try to get Export plates there. To get German Export plates for a car it would need a German title document and a valid roadworthy test certificate.
If you want to register a car in your name here in Germany some documents are required.
1. You need to have an address here. To proof that you need to show a registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung), issued by the municipal office.
2. You have to show your valid ID. It can be a foreign passport.
3. An EVB number, which is a proof of car insurance.
4. The title documents for the car (Part I and part II), for imported cars a COC document (Certificate of Conformity).
5. A valied roadworthy test certificate ( called TUV Test or HU)
6. A SEPA Bank account: For the yearly vehicle tax will have to sign an agreement for direct debit mandate.
Other points to know:
- For a registration you have to use the registration office in the area of your address.
- The metal plates can be bought at shops outside every registration office, but they are valied only after having a seal of registration and roadworthyness. That are small stickers, provided by the registration office.
- If you have all documents ready you won’t have to bring the car to the registration office.
- With a letter of attorney and all your valied documents somebody else can do the act of registration for you. There are also companies who offer that service, ask the seller of your car.
If you want me as your supplier for a used German car, if you want further information about German cars, if you need a partner in the German market, please contact me by email: