Legally buying used cars from private seller

61 posts in this topic

So happy to have found this thread! Thanks for all the great info! We're planning on getting a 2nd hand car in Berlin and I was still wondering what tax and insurance rates are like. Also any recommendations for a good place to find a car in berlin?

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I think somebody else has already put this link up but just in case here it is:

 

http://www.kfz-steuer.de/kfz-steuer_pkw.php

 

Fill in the form and it will tell you how much you have to pay.

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Yeah, you can do that, but it only makes sense if you're buying the car locally because you will need to get the permanent plates from your local Zulassungsstelle.

 

I don't see the reason it has to be locally. I was about to buy a car 120km away. I was going to take the paperwork, bring it to my area of residence, do the necessary paperwork then go back and pick up the car.

 

Another question that has come to mind is does the Fahrzeugbrief or Fahrzeugschein give the number of previous owners?

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I don't see the reason it has to be locally. I was about to buy a car 120km away. I was going to take the paperwork, bring it to my area of residence, do the necessary paperwork then go back and pick up the car.

I didn't say it has to be, it just doesn't make much sense.

temp plates = 25-30 Euros or so in fees, 30 min at the Zulassungsstelle

2 x 120 km = 30+ Euros in fuel, 3 hours on the road

 

 

Another question that has come to mind is does the Fahrzeugbrief or Fahrzeugschein give the number of previous owners?

 

The Brief (Teil 2) does. Look under 'Vorhalter'.

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I am confused.

 

MrNosey's procedure is to leave a deposit, go back home, get temp plates and go back to pick up the car. Once the car is at you place of residence complete the rest of the procedure to get the permanent plates etc.

 

With what I said, just like above, you have to go back to pick up the car but you have the final paperwork and plates and therefore missing the in-between step of the temp plates. Or am I missing something?

 

Thanks for the reply on the previous owners.

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we:

 

gave a desposit and got the paperwork for the car (both farzeugscheine).

 

got an insurance doppelkarte for the new car.

 

took the papers for the old car and the papers for the new car with us to the registration office.

 

unregistered the old car, registered the new car with doppelkarte. Got new plates too.

 

drove back to car dealership and paid the rest, and picked up car. Luckily we have more than 1 car in the family. Otherwise we would have gotten the train down.

 

ta-da -- new car.

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I am confused.

 

MrNosey's procedure is to leave a deposit, go back home, get temp plates and go back to pick up the car. Once the car is at you place of residence complete the rest of the procedure to get the permanent plates etc.

 

With what I said, just like above, you have to go back to pick up the car but you have the final paperwork and plates and therefore missing the in-between step of the temp plates. Or am I missing something?

 

Thanks for the reply on the previous owners.

 

 

Yeah, we have a little misunderstanding here. :)

 

You can get temp plates at any Zulassungsstelle, no need to go home first. You just need to bring a Doppelkarte from your insurance (or a confirmation number they give you over the phone), so the procedure for temp plates should look like this:

 

Buy car, take all the paper work and keys, go to nearest Zulassungsstelle, give them the insurance number, get temp plates, drive the new car home, get permanent plates.

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The only thing being (wrt getting the temp plates locally or from home), presumably you have to go home first to get the cash (unless you are carrying a fat wad with you) to pay. Nobody* is going to let you drive the car away without having the cold hard cash in their sticky little fingers.

 

*Unless that person is severely mentally retarded and/or has absolute faith that all people are good.

 

Anyway, there is always more than one way to skin a cat and variations on the original suggestion are, of course, entirely possible.

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With what I said, just like above, you have to go back to pick up the car but you have the final paperwork and plates and therefore missing the in-between step of the temp plates. Or am I missing something?

 

You need all documents to register the car on permanent plates and NOBODY (see my last post about retarded/über-religious types) is going to give you them without first having the cold hard cash from you... and to save 2 registrations, it would mean you taking enough cash and in sufficiently different denominations with you to enable you to negotiate a price and pay them on the spot. Of course that is possible but, to me, more hassle than making 2 registrations (your insurance company often discounts this anyway)... you would still need to make 2 trips and the number of trips is usually the biggest hassle, esp when the car is 120+km away. Getting temp plates takes me about 5 minutes at the counter... waiting times may vary but are not outrageous (avoid Monday mornings).

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The only thing being (wrt getting the temp plates locally or from home), presumably you have to go home first to get the cash (unless you are carrying a fat wad with you) to pay. Nobody* is going to let you drive the car away without having the cold hard cash in their sticky little fingers.

Well yeah, but the same is true when you're trying to get permanent plates, which means you're still saving one trip home if you use temp plates. Nobody is going to sign over the car and give you the Brief (which you need to register the car) until they have the money.

 

So with permanent plates the procedure would look like this (if you leave the money at home):

1. Drive to seller, leave deposit

2. Drive home, get cash

3. Drive to seller, pay, get paperwork/keys

4. Drive home, register car

5. Drive to seller, put on the plates

6. Drive home

 

With temp plates:

1. Drive to seller, leave deposit

2. Drive home, get cash

3. Drive to seller, pay, get paperwork/keys

4. Drive home on temp plates

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@bal00

 

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Well, ok. Some dimwit could try your option 1, granted.

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I left cars on the street in front of my house with no plates while I went to the registration office and registered the car. The only time I had a problem was when I left one plate on the car (thinking like Krieg and not wanting to leave an unplated car on the street) and the lady sent me back home to get the other plate. She told me it is OK to leave the car for a few hours while registering it.

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She told me it is OK to leave the car for a few hours while registering it.

 

"OK" meaning "highly unlikely a cop will come by within those few hours and see the car and issue a ticket and/or get it towed".

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@bal00

 

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Well, ok. Some dimwit could try your option 1, granted.

 

I don't think you understand what I was trying to tell you there. :)

 

You said the issue with temp plates is that the car needs to be paid in full before you can get the temp plates and drive home. That's not true because it also applies to permanent plates, and you can't get the cash and the permanent plates on the same trip home because the seller needs to sign over the car before you can register it in your name.

 

The point I was trying to make here is this: If you're not buying the car locally, using temp plates will save you one extra trip home.

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I don't think you understand what I was trying to tell you there.

 

You said the issue with temp plates is that the car needs to be paid in full before you can get the temp plates and drive home.

No, that's not what I said. I said that IF someone wants to drive down, get temp plates at the buyer's local Zulassungsstelle, then drive it home (as was being suggested by you to save a trip 'home') THEN you would need to have the necessary money with you on the 1st trip (because you would need to drive away with the car and all paperwork on the temp plates and therefore have paid in full) in order that you could register it on perm plates 'at home' and save a trip.

 

This variant only started because rodisi and you (post #27) were trying to save a trip by getting temp plates local to the seller - but doing that implies a whole lot of other crap you have to sort out (ie: taking enough cash and the doppel-karte with you, etc. and then also finding a way to get to the local Zulassungstelle and being sure to get your timing right to make sure you are there when it is open, etc...). It's just that option is such a lot of hassle and it was this hassle that I was trying to explain.

 

In all friendliness (really :D ), think about the steps in the process. I don't think you are following it. It doesn't need to be paid in full before you get temp plates but it sure as Christmas needs paying in full before you drive the car away. Who do you think is going to let you drive their car away, with all paperwork and keys, without having the cash in full?

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In all friendliness (really ), think about the steps in the process. I don't think you are following it. It doesn't need to be paid in full before you get temp plates but it sure as Christmas needs paying in full before you drive the car away. Who do you think is going to let you drive their car away, with all paperwork and keys, without having their cash in full?

 

Right, but again, that's true regardless of the plates you're using. If you bring cash, you make 1 trip with temp plates, 2 with permanent ones. If you don't bring cash, you make 2 trips with temp plates and 3 with permanent ones. That's what I was getting at.

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Right, but again, that's true regardless of the plates you're using. If you bring cash, you make 1 trip with temp plates, 2 with permanent ones. If you don't bring cash, you make 2 trips with temp plates and 3 with permanent ones. That's what I was getting at.

 

Nooooo. You don't make 3 trips with perm plates if you don't bring the full cash.

 

Trip 1 - go down with enough cash for a deposit, say €200, then go home with a contract and receipt.

Get temp plates and cash to pay the remaining amount at home.

Trip 2 - go down with the cash for the remaining amount and temp plates from home. Pay and receive paperwork etc, then go home on temp plates. At home, go to your local and get perm plates.

 

One way you could do it all in 1 trip is, after agreeing a price, go to a bank local to the seller and withdraw the full cash (this could be difficult unless a branch of your bank is nearby) then go to their local Zulassungsstelle and get temp plates, then go back to them and pay them in full and get from them all the car docs+keys and drive home on the temp plates. It would make for a full and interesting day but yes, granted, it's possible but you and they would probably need to take the day off work! ;)

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Nooooo. You don't make 3 trips with perm plates if you don't bring the full cash.

 

Trip 1 - go down with enough cash for a deposit, say €200, then go home with a contract and receipt.

Get temp plates and cash to pay the remaining amount at home.

Trip 2 - go down with the cash for the remaining amount and temp plates from home. Pay and receive paperwork etc, then go home on temp plates. At home, go to your local and get perm plates.

We're saying the same thing then. You need temp plates to avoid that extra trip.

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I just heard of a slight variation to Mr Nosey's procedure, which sounds like it might help skip the temporary plates step. If all is agreed, you pay the full amount to the seller and in return get all the paperwork, four items I believe, and the keys. You leave the car with the seller. Take all the paperwork and continue with the procedure explained by Mr Nosey except you go straight to the step of getting the real plates and permanent insurance.

 

Yes, you could do this but... you would also need to take the plates that were on the car, to deregister from him before you can register it to you. You would still need to make 2 trips and it would mean the seller/you would have to leave the car on private ground (since it would be without plates) until you came back and put your new ones on.

As I said, there are other options that may cut corners (for which there is a 'price') - the process I described is the least risk and least hassle method for both buyer and seller.

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Thanks very much for that. Sorry if it caused problems but I can see the various options now. The only thing that is still unclear is step 4 of MrNosey's procedure

 

4. Contact your insurance company and ask for the Insurance card for registering your new car. They should be able to email this as a pdf. Print this out. They will also send you a 2nd pdf which will have a later expiry date - this is for registering the car on the permanent plates, later.

 

Do I understand correctly, I find an insurance company give them my and the car's details - 1) do I at this point pay for my yearly insurance and they send me this "card" which is a temporary cover? 2) The 2nd pdf is my official insurance document?

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