Trading in my used car at dealer, what happens?

3 posts in this topic

I am about to trade in my used car for a new one at a dealer. It is the first time I do so in Germany, so I would like to get some advice on the process. I have a couple of questions:


1) Do I need to deregister my car after trading it in or do I need to wait until the dealer resells it before doing so? Can I take off the license plates from the car and take them with me to make sure the car is not driven while still "under my name (and liability)"?

2) Is it possible to register the new car under the same license plates as I had on my traded car?

3) What happens to the insurance of my old car after I trade it in, is it common for insurance companies to refund the unused annual premium already paid?


Any other advice on the subject is also welcomed.


Thank you to those of you that reply. I appreciate it.


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If you buy your new car at a VW-/Mercedes-/Opel- or whatever-dealer let them do the job for you. Should be a free service.(exept for the state fees and new plates).


Hand over the (2) car papers, and send the confirmation of deregistration (Abmeldebestätigung) which they will give you once deregistration (and the new registration ) is done to your insurance company.


Licence plates are car-related and not owner-related, so they remain with the car (or end up on the trash bin ).


Your existing insurance contract ends with the deregistration and you will be refunded with the unused premium. Or, if you stay with that insurance company, will be used for the next car.


Be prepared to have your ID/Anmeldebestätigung, your bank account datas (for the annual car tax) and your insurance contract with you at the dealer.


That's it, and if there is more your dealer will let you know.


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Normally, you should de-register the vehicle yourself, but it would not be uncommon for the dealer to offer to do this for you - make sure this is specified in the sale contract, that it is done in a fixed period of time (max 5 working days) and that the dealer sends you confirmation that he has done it. If you want to de-register yourself you will need to take the plates and the registration paperwork (Zulassungsbescheinigungen I and II, also known as Kfz-Schein und Kfz-Brief)


If you don't de-register yourself you should advise your insurance company that you have sold the vehicle as soon as it leaves your hands


When the vehicle is de-registered the registration office advice both tax office and your insurance, so you will receive refunds on any outstanding premium and tax a few weeks later.


Remember that until the de-registration takes place, then your insurance is still covering the vehicle and you are still paying car tax.


If you wish to use the same license plates you must either register a new vehicle at the same time as you de-register the old one, or advise the registration office at the time of de-registration. They will keep the same license number for you (and only you) for a maximum period of 60 days.


If you are selling to and buying from the same dealer, they will almost certainly be prepared to take care of de-registration and re-registration for you, possibly through an agent. There will be a fee for this (40-50€) which the dealer may absorb in the interests of good customer relations. This is certainly the easiest for you - all you need is to get insurance cover for the new vehicle beforehand in the shape of an "elektronische Versicherungsbestätigung" number - eVB and give the dealer a Power of Attorney ("Vollmacht") to take care of the registration in your name.


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