Buying vs. leasing a car in Germany

102 posts in this topic

Posted

I was out shopping the other week and saw a very nice Alfa Romeo, which was being offered for lease at 179€ a month for 2 years and I thought that looked pretty cheap. Jimbo then mentioned that Sixt were offering the Mini Cooper for 100€ per month, again for a minimum 2 years.

According to the site(Bearing in mind I cant really read German very well!)it is 59€ per month.

Now I am never going to spend a lot for a car, or for that matter never going to own a BMW or Mercedes in my life, I am just not paid enough :( So leasing seems to make sense? After 2 years, you just lease a different car?

Can anyone tell me what the hidden costs are here, I know there is a limited mileage(30K), but what else would there be?

http://www.e-sixt.de/main?/neuwagen/autole...autoleasing.php

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Posted

Leasing is a good idea, as long as you don't mind not owning the car. But does mean you can change for a new one quite easily.

Problems : watch the limit, usually the charges for miles over the limit are quite high.

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Posted

If you work for a company, check with your benefits person. Most of the big German companies offer car perks ...even if it's not in your employment package you may be able to jump onto the company's leasing pool or rates.

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Posted

Unless you use a company supplied or sponsored car almost exclusively for business then there is quite a tax liability to swallow - 1% of the new purchase price of the car (including extras) per month. On y €20,000 car that's €200 a month...

Many companies have negotiated preferrable rates with local dealers to get good deals on new (and used) vehicles for their employees. if you take advantage of this discount, but pay for the car yourself, then you won't normally incur any additional tax issues...

YL6

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Posted

Wow, those look like really good deals but are there any BIG up-front costs e.g. down-payment that aren't obvious to those who read crap German?

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Posted

Thanks YL6, the main points you mentioned I pretty much expected.

Just reading the Mini again, from what I can see its a 5,000€ up front deposit.

The limited mileage wouldnt really bother me as when I had a car back in the UK, I only averaged about 3K miles per year, thought granted I would probably drive a bit more over here.

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Posted

Are you sure you need a car?

I have one but Im getting rid of it.

Getting round munich will be by bike, public transport or taxi.

Going away will be by renting a car.

Eg I just rented a Beetle cabriolet to head down to Italy for the weekend. When I turned up to pick up the car they upgraded me to a brand new Mercedes SLK (and allowed me to take it to Italy). Because I get car rental insurance included with my credit card total cost from Fri- Tues am EUR209. This was with Sixt

A "normal" car is just EUR50 or so a weekend.

I figure that the money I would normally spend on a car (EUR300-400 a month inc the depreciation, insurance and hassle) is more than a monthly Isarcard, ad hoc car rental and the cost of the credit card. Plus I get to drive a convertible to Italy, an estate car to Ikea, and a 4x4 to go Skiing if I want. And I get fitter and do a bit for the global environment.

Just a thought.

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Posted

...or of course you could buy second hand. Prices here are low - for the 5k deposit you could pick up a reasonable second hand motor, and if you're not doing many miles it might not be such a bad bet...

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Posted

True, the thought of leasing was appealing until I saw the deposit required. If I had 5K€ spare, I probably would be looking at buying and not leasing.

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Posted

@ speakfreak

What credit card did you get that includes insurance? We currently don't have a European credit card, but might be interested in getting one for that reason alone.

Thanks!

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Posted

Going away will be by renting a car.

Hey, that reminds me. Does anyone know of a car rental company that lets you rent a car in one country and take it back to the office in another?

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Posted

@ theJarvi

Focus Money (the awful right wing buisness magazine) used to have a selction pop up thingy that let you choose the best credit cards available in germany depending what youwanted.

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Posted

It is the Platinum Amex?

It comes with numerous benefits inc the Car rental insurance thing. eg Entry in airport lounges regardless of your ticket, ww travel insurance, best price guarantee for all stuff bought with it etc.

FYI I got it from one of the Amex guys who canvas at Munich airport. Of interest to you will be:

- I had had my german bank account for about a week when I applied for the card

- They have no way of verifying what I said I earnt was true. ;) (I am not payed in this country- nor in that bank account).

- I got given the card before my bank would even give me an EC Card.

- I think the minimum income limit is fairly low for Germany anyway as they try to ramp up ownership over here. (Guess- EUR30K or less?)

- It costs me EUR400 a year although Im told that may be negotiable

- I have made a claim on the car insurance and it all worked as described

- Its actually a charge card- you have to pay your bill off in full every month

- In theory you have no spending limit

...and no I dont work for them.

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Posted

a car rental company that lets you rent a car in one country and take it back to the office in another

I've not checked but I once rented a Sixt car in the south of France and it had a German registration plate.

...and no I dont work for them either! :)

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Posted

Does anyone know of a car rental company that lets you rent a car in one country and take it back to the office in another

Most of the larger companies (Sixt, Avis, Herz, etc) allow this, but have horrendous charges for doing it. At the end of the day you're paying them a premium for them to return the car themselves to the originating country...

YL6

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Posted

Most car rental companies let you rent in one company and return in another for a fee. But there are restrictions on which cars and countries you can do this with. And you cant rent in the uk and return on the continent and vice cersa.

Nor can you rent in say germany and return in eastern europe (if they will let you drive there in the first place!)

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Posted

you cant rent in the uk and return on the continent and vice cersa

Avis have an (expensive!) deal which lets you rent in UK, hand in your car at a channel port. and have another waiting for you on the other side...

YL6

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Posted

There's also the option for one of those car clubs. I think one that I know of is something like 60 euro per year, and then 8 euro per day (or a fraction by the hour) for when you take a car. All inclusive, cleaning, insurance, etc. Pretty nice deal if you ask me.

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Posted

@3Lions

Just to be clear, the word "deposit" in American English implies you'll be getting it back at the end of the lease. On the website, they're talking about an "Anzahlung" or down payment which you definitely won't get back at the end of the lease. This was probably was already clear to you but it's worth mentioning anyway.

Be honest with yourself about how much you'd actually use the car. Chances are you'd be better off renting/hiring on the several occasions that you actually need the car. Otherwise, follow Jimbo's advice and buy a used car. If you buy one that's already say 5 years old then it won't lose so much value in two years. Of course then you have to factor in other things like insurance, taxes and possible repairs.

In fact, you'd probably end up dropping the same amount of money on a lease as you would have by actually buying the same car new and then selling it two years later. At the end of the day, these companies do want to make a profit! Of course this all assumes that your company won't be contributing any money to the cause.

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Posted

There's also the option for one of those car clubs. I think one that I know of is something like 60 euro per year, and then 8 euro per day (or a fraction by the hour) for when you take a car. All inclusive, cleaning, insurance, etc. Pretty nice deal if you ask me.

Never heard of these - do you have any web-pointers, addresses or phone numbers for such clubs in the Munich area?

YL6

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Posted

another option if you are looking for cheap lease cars without the upfront costs is to to take over an existing contract.

ebay has loads on offer... I picked up a nice little Mini with 18 months left, resonable monthly and no upfronts...option to give it back or buy at very good price.

Look under ebay.de and type Übernahme under the Auto section.

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Posted

I didn't find a thread that said much about Stattauto http://stattauto-muenchen.de -- we're members and it's great. You can take cars far away -- Joachim took a stationwagon skiing (roof rack included) for a week to Chamonix in 2002. We use Stattauto when we move, when friends move, when we go to Ikea, when friends go to Ikea, when we drive to visit Grandpa in Landshut and don't want to take the train, Joachim's even driven me to work when it was too icy for me to ride my bike -- and it was cheaper than the bus pass there and back. There are more than 40 stations in Munich -- we've lived in 3 different locations, Schwabing, Untergiesing, and Schlachthofviertel, and have never been more than 10 minutes walking from our nearest station. You never have to find a parking space or pay for it! 24 hour access! No maintenance! Anytime you want to drive you call up the Zentrale, say when you want what kind of car, they say where to get it, you walk over and drive away! Well there's a little more to it than that, all the keys for each station are kept in an electronic safe at that station which you open with a keycard, the key for your reserved car lights up and you take it, when you get in the car you have to hold the key up to a little registering thing before you drive off -- and you have to check the car for damage like you do when renting a car. Gas is included in the price -- you may have to fill up if you're driving quite a way but you use the car's own gas card to pay at any Shell station.

If anyone wants even more details, search the forum for stattauto, I've posted several times with more and more detail. If you join and mention me, Gen the webmistress, we get a 15 Euro bonus for having recruited someone! They're also affiliated with the Deutsche Bahn and with car sharing organizations in other cities, which means you too can car share in other cities. Really a great deal. Don't buy a car.

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Posted

Gen,

I'd like to continue this thread here if possible (or maybe the the powers might be want to move it to a new thread - then sobeit).

I'm seriously thinking about joining Stattauto, so your experiences are interesting for me, and maybe to other readers. I'm about to return a car end-of-lease and as I only drove it less than 8000km in 3 years probably won't replace it. Stattauto looks like a better alternative. I'm curious to know how flexible or dynamic they are? Can I pick up a car at a moments notice? 24 hours a day? Have you had problems with availability of your chosen model? Any downsides you can think of?

I will, of course use your name if I do sign up!

Thanks,

Yorkshirelad6

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