Legally buying used cars from private seller

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You need two verification numbers, one for the temp plates and one for the permanent registration. The Zulassungsstelle will plug this number into their computer to make sure you have liability coverage when you apply for the plates. Some insurance companies will email you a PDF with the number, some may send you a letter and some may give it to you over the phone.

 

Getting coverage for the temp plates is very easy. You just call up the insurance, tell them you're buying a new car that you would like to insure with them and that you need a Versicherungsbetätigung for temp plates. If you're an existing customer, they'll probably give you the number right away. If you're not, they may want something in writing first. The temp insurance is free if you buy permanent insurance from this company.

 

You normally get the second number (for the permanent plates) once you have filled out the application.

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taking off on a slight tangent, I'm looking at buying a used car from a private party but the title is held by the dealer (or maybe a finance company) and they obviously want to be paid off before they release the title. apparently I can go to their website and pay the lien directly (I'm guessing the seller doesn't have the funds to do so) and have them send the title to me. I'd like to be trusting and assume this is a typical and safe process, but in the states I'd probably shy away from such a deal and look elsewhere as I like to have the title, keys and car when I hand over the money.

 

Is this a normal thing in Germany?

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Hello everyone,

 

Here's my situation:

 

I want to buy a used car in Germany. The car is now registered in another city and I'm not sure how to proceed with the registration in my city.

 

The owner gave me two options:

 

1. He gives me the papers, keys, and registration numbers (while the car remains parked in his city) and I give him the money. I take the papers and registration plates and I go in my city to register the car. Once is registered I go with my new plates, I put them on the car and drive home.

 

2. I give him the money. He gives me the papers and the keys and I drive the car that I bought to my place. He follows me to my place in his own car and after I parked the car he removes the stickers from the plates of the car I bought (he said something about insurance which I didn't quite understood). I go in my city to register the car and take the plates home.

 

I have understood from some comments on the website of strassenverkehrsamt that when changing registration from one city to another, VIN number has to be checked.

If that is true option 1 is out of the question.

Can I still drive the car if he removes the stickers from the plates? He said something about insurance but I thought the stickers have to do only with HU.

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Both are good options. There may be an exemption for trips to the Strassnverkehrsamt without proper plates, but he's presumably scraping off the stickers so you _don't_ drive around with a car that is registered to him, and even if what you do is not illegal, plates like that would surely attract the attention of the police. I wouldn't drive it.

 

The Strassenverkehrsamt _can_ check the VIN if they want to, but that's very very rare. Normally option 1 will work, but it may be a good idea to call and ask your local SVA about their policy.

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Hey,

 

I believe the sticker he wants to scrape off is not the HU one but rather the county seal. If that sticker is removed the car is no longer legally registered. If you do not have off-street parking this option could become tricky for you. Cars parked on public roads have to be registered, without the seal they´re not and could be towed. If you only take like a day or two to register the vehicle in your town you should be fine, but I would worry about it.

 

The seller of course wants to do that because he fears someone whom he doesn´t know will be driving around with a car registered in his name, with insurance and everything. It has happened too frequently that people sold their cars, the buyer promising to take care of the registration change only to find out they never did and were involved in accidents or worse. It´s just pretty risky for a seller, leaving their name attached to a car that they sold.

 

Here is a third option, albeit somewhat more costly. You could get temporary plates (Kurzzeitkennzeichen) from the Straßenverkehrsamt, registering the vehicle for up to five days to make the transaction. You need ID, Meldebestätigung and proof of insurance for those five days to get them. You get a Fahrzeugschein and will have to fill out the relevant information about the vehicle yourself, using something permanent like a pen. Of course this way there are fees to be covered for the registration, the plates and the insurance. But this should be the safest and most comfortable way for both you and the seller. Check § 16 FZV (Fahrzeugzulassungs-Verordnung).

 

Another option could be getting dealer plates. These are the ones with only the county designator followed by several numbers, no middle letters, with red writing on white. (called "rote Nummern") Problem here is: They are registered to a dealer, he pays the insurance. They won´t just hand them out to anybody. If you happen to know a car dealer or garage owner quite well they might lend them to you.

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It seems i should go with the temporary plates but I have one more question about it.

 

I've understood the temp plates can not replace long term plates (normal ones), this means the car will have to be deregistered before using the temp plates on it.

 

Is the car needed for a VIN check when deregistering it? I think it should not.

 

P.S.

I'll try to phone the zulasungsstelle as well.

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Hey,

 

do check with Zulassungsstelle, but I believe you could just take off the permanent plates and put on the temp ones when buying the car. The seller could just take the permanent plates to the zulassungsstelle to deregister, a VIN check shouldn´t be necessary.

 

Cheers

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I need to revive this thread because I am a bit unsure of how to do this.

 

Firstly, we sold our car a couple of weeks ago and let the buyers keep our plates/insurance. They made an appointment for their registration for the week after, and we were generally comfortable with them taking the car. They de-registered it as promised (we were informed by our insurance company).

 

Now, I want to get another car from a private party, and I see a lot pf people saying they will be removing the plates before the car is taken away. Fine, but it seems Frankfurt only allows you to get short term plates if you have the car papers? Is this the general rule in the country? I've never got them before, and I do not want to go to another city twice to get a car. Am I missing something about the plates?

 

This is definitely not an easy process. It's a huge hassle. I really need a car-dealer friend :P

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Where is the new car?  where will the car need to be delivered too?    Do you have "Off street" parking?

 

I can probably borrow a set of Red Plates from my Car dealer buddy...

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Haha, It's always SP to the rescue when I have car issues.

 

I don't have a car yet, but the ones I keep finding are at least 50 km away. Needs to get to Frankfurt. I do have off-street parking. But you live really far away too. Can red plates be lent out?

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A trailer can be had from here  for under €60 a day.  (your favorite search engine : "Anhängerverleih Autotransport")

A sprinter to pull it from Sixt or whatever.

 

But the car you buy will have to then live "off street"  until you get new plates.

 

SP's offer beats this though

 

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Ah good to have a link.

 

But, what if I don't end up buying the car? I'll have spent 100 euro or more for nothing and will have schlepped a trailer and van around the country :P

 

So, I guess it's true that there aren't really any short term license plates available to a private buyer. For a car-crazy country, you'd think the Germans would have figured out a better way.

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Unfortunately they changed the temp plates rules making it more difficult, you need a valid TUV in order to get them.

 

And you worry about renting the trailer and going there and not buying the car.  Well, it was the same with the temp plates, if you bring them there and you do not buy the car you lose them even in former time when they were flexible.  Except if you could find a same brand, color and model car under 5 days to buy.

 

For 50 km the best is to drive twice.  You are making it more difficult than it has to be.

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I'm making it more difficult? Hehe.

 

I think I'll just stick to looking in Frankfurt. The cars tend to be more expensive (BTW my budget is VEEERY low - I want a project car, hence the desire to avoid a lot of random costs and travel time), but oh well.

 

BTW nobody is really responding to my messages about cars they've advertised.

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2 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

BTW nobody is really responding to my messages about cars they've advertised.

Often for sellers, as soon as they put a car on mobile.de or similar, they start to receive dozens of automated calls from trade dealers/export looking to pick up a quick bargain. Just make sure you call, rather than text and try to arrange a viewing.

You mentioned you are after a project car. If there is a particular type, try to see if there is a fan club for that vehicle,  and ask the members if they know of anything that one of them might consider selling.   

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Cheers. I found a seller nearby and convinced her to leave the plates on for a week. I'll pick it up today I think, and I got an appointment for Monday at 8 am surprisingly! The problem is we haven't yet received our old vanity plates from the people who bought our car, so we will likely be unable to use them (the number is available though). Oh well, I'll have to think of a new one.

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4 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Cheers. I found a seller nearby and convinced her to leave the plates on for a week. I'll pick it up today I think, and I got an appointment for Monday at 8 am surprisingly! The problem is we haven't yet received our old vanity plates from the people who bought our car, so we will likely be unable to use them (the number is available though). Oh well, I'll have to think of a new one.

 

If the number is available you can pay the 20 EUR and get it and pay for new plates.   You do not need to bring the old ones.

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