Purchasing a car without a drivers license - is it possible?

8 posts in this topic

Hello! I would really appreciate some assistance with the following situation: myself and my girlfriend, both EU citizens, moved to Germany about 2 months ago, rented a place and both got registered. It quickly became obvious that we need a car in order for her to get to and from the office so we are currently renting one, however the cost is quite steep and becoming a real burden. We decided it is best to look into buying (or leasing?) a car, either new or 'slightly' (up to about 50000 km) pre-owned one, from a dealer. Since we cannot afford to buy it with cash, we will need to opt for either leasing or financing (to our understanding a bank loan). 

And here we stumbled upon our problem: for financing, the dealers we have spoken with said that the buyer needs to have had a job in Germany for at least 3-months, for safety / creditworthiness purposes. They also said that while there's a bit of leeway here, it ultimately depends on the bank that provides the credit. However, at this point only my girlfriend has a job (unlimited contract), but she doesn't have a drivers license yet (working on it, but as we no longer live in our home country, it will take a while..). I do have a drivers license but no job yet. As we understand it, technically she could buy the car, but she cannot register it as it would require an insurance for which she would need a drivers license. Whereas I could register the car, but I cannot purchase it due to lack of "credit score". 

It would really help if anyone could confirm that these are indeed the limitations in place and whether or not, in this situation, we have any other option of purchasing or acquiring a car.

 

Thank you!

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2 hours ago, Drojdier said:

It would really help if anyone could confirm that these are indeed the limitations in place and whether or not, in this situation, we have any other option of purchasing or acquiring a car.

 

The banks limitations are in place, it could be quite difficult to find a bank willing to make that loan or a leasing contract – without any credit history and being still in probation period. And yes, it's the banks decision. 

 

The owner of the car (Fahrzeughalter) doesn't have to be the driver, so it's no problem to own the car without a driving license. It's also no problem to get the insurance without a license but usually it's more expensive, see

 

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Getting a leased car I think would also be difficult for you, as it is still effectively credit but just administrated in a different way.  I think you would still need to be credit checked, which is a problem given your circumstances.

 

Could you not not get a dirt cheap run around car for the first year or two?  Just a small cheap thing with plenty of KMs on the clock, but will fulfil your needs while allowing to to keep costs low and building up a good history in Germany.

 

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You don't need a license to purchase a motor vehicle. Nobody ever asked me for mine (which is why it took my 5 years to notice it had expired), but driving without a valid license is a crime (not just a misdemeanor).

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Thanks everyone for your answers and details, it really helped in getting a better picture on this. The fact that there isn't actually any limitation for purchasing / insuring the car without a drivers license is great news. While indeed the price of the insurance will be higher, it would have been high anyway, even if she only just obtained the license (still counts as zero experience basically) and we would still register both of us as drivers in that case. 

 

So the part of obtaining a loan or a lease plan seems to be the remaining issue. The price range we are aiming at is somewhere between 15k - 20k euro, so it would not be such a big sum, especially if we're talking about 3-4-5 years payment plan. Would paying a lump sum in advance help increase our chances of obtaining the financing? 

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2 hours ago, Drojdier said:

Would paying a lump sum in advance help increase our chances of obtaining the financing? 

 

Whilst paying 20 - 30% down will certainly increase the chances of a bank being willing to loan you the balance (after all they will be using the trade book value of the car title as security on their collateral) you should never, ever pay any lump sum in advance of having the finance approved in writing.

 

If the car is in the dealer's stock a deposit of 100 - 150€ should be enough to hold it for a week or ten days until the bank gives their OK. In the worst case you don't want to risk what you can't afford to lose.

 

By law, where financing is involved, the buyer can withdraw from a car purchase order within 7 days without penalty in Germany. If they cancel the order beyond that time-frame the dealer is entitled to charge up to 15% of the selling price to cover any justifiable loss he has incurred. Not that they would generally charge that much - it would usually only happen if a car had been re-routed from a distant location or special ordered with a rare choice of equipment.

 

 Whilst you're still in the pre-purchasing planning stage do, do your homework diligently on the type/s (not so much make or model) of car which make economic (not romantic) sense and read up on how to avoid legal and material risks when buying a car.

 

See these pages for links to English language ADAC flyers and example used car purchase contracts for more details - Musterkaufverträge & Musterformulare | ADAC Rechtsberatung

ADAC: Autokaufvertrag und mehr  ADAC: Gebrauchtwagenkauf - Used Car Buyer's Rights, Legal & Practical Tips (in German)  Unterschied Sachmängelhaftung und Gebrauchtwagengarantie  ADAC: Mangelhafter Gebrauchtwagen - Defective Used Cars, Buyer's Rights, Legal Tips

 

Above all try to establish contact with a KFZ-Mechaniker of good local repute and ask him to accompany you to inspect any car you're seriously interested in BEFORE committing to buy.

It could be a LOT cheaper,  even if you end up paying a mechanic twice or 3 times to reject a shiny POS, than having to struggle later to make payments whilst saving up for parts to repair the lame dog you bought in haste.

 

Good luck!

 

2B

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6 hours ago, Drojdier said:

Thanks everyone for your answers and details, it really helped in getting a better picture on this. The fact that there isn't actually any limitation for purchasing / insuring the car without a drivers license is great news. While indeed the price of the insurance will be higher, it would have been high anyway, even if she only just obtained the license (still counts as zero experience basically) and we would still register both of us as drivers in that case. 

 

So the part of obtaining a loan or a lease plan seems to be the remaining issue. The price range we are aiming at is somewhere between 15k - 20k euro, so it would not be such a big sum, especially if we're talking about 3-4-5 years payment plan. Would paying a lump sum in advance help increase our chances of obtaining the financing? 

 

 

BTW: If you other half is thinking about trying to get their driving license you need to be aware that in Germany this will take longer and cost a hell of a lot more compared to the UK.  So if possible, they should try and pass the driving test in the UK.  Although it might be too late now.  There are plenty of other threads about this on this forum.

 

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15 hours ago, 2B_orNot2B said:

 

Whilst paying 20 - 30% down will certainly increase the chances of a bank being willing to loan you the balance (after all they will be using the trade book value of the car title as security on their collateral) you should never, ever pay any lump sum in advance of having the finance approved in writing.

 

My wording was probably not very clear, but indeed I was only referring to a down payment towards the actual loan and not any kind of payment to the dealer to "sweeten the deal" or anything like that. This kind of money never leaves my hands without a written contract of sorts.

 

15 hours ago, 2B_orNot2B said:

If the car is in the dealer's stock a deposit of 100 - 150€ should be enough to hold it for a week or ten days until the bank gives their OK. In the worst case you don't want to risk what you can't afford to lose.

 

By law, where financing is involved, the buyer can withdraw from a car purchase order within 7 days without penalty in Germany. If they cancel the order beyond that time-frame the dealer is entitled to charge up to 15% of the selling price to cover any justifiable loss he has incurred. Not that they would generally charge that much - it would usually only happen if a car had been re-routed from a distant location or special ordered with a rare choice of equipment.

 

That's actually a very useful thing to know.

 

15 hours ago, 2B_orNot2B said:

 

 Whilst you're still in the pre-purchasing planning stage do, do your homework diligently on the type/s (not so much make or model) of car which make economic (not romantic) sense and read up on how to avoid legal and material risks when buying a car.

 

See these pages for links to English language ADAC flyers and example used car purchase contracts for more details - Musterkaufverträge & Musterformulare | ADAC Rechtsberatung

ADAC: Autokaufvertrag und mehr  ADAC: Gebrauchtwagenkauf - Used Car Buyer's Rights, Legal & Practical Tips (in German)  Unterschied Sachmängelhaftung und Gebrauchtwagengarantie  ADAC: Mangelhafter Gebrauchtwagen - Defective Used Cars, Buyer's Rights, Legal Tips

 

Thank you for these, looks like I have a lot to cover :D

 

15 hours ago, 2B_orNot2B said:

Above all try to establish contact with a KFZ-Mechaniker of good local repute and ask him to accompany you to inspect any car you're seriously interested in BEFORE committing to buy.

It could be a LOT cheaper,  even if you end up paying a mechanic twice or 3 times to reject a shiny POS, than having to struggle later to make payments whilst saving up for parts to repair the lame dog you bought in haste.

 

Good luck!

 

2B

 

Back in our home country I drove a company car which I got to know very well, so the plan is to buy the same make and model. Also, due to the whole ongoing talks about diesel bans, benzin / gas will be the way to go. Lastly, in the 15-20k Euro budget we found plenty of offers from dealerships for cars with up to 20-25 thousand km, made in 2016 - 2017, so basically almost as new. While clearly they need to be verified on a case by case basis, the chances these cars are junk is quite slim, considering they are barely used. But I will try to also get in touch with a local mechanic, although language barrier is still a big issue :)

 

12 hours ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

 

BTW: If you other half is thinking about trying to get their driving license you need to be aware that in Germany this will take longer and cost a hell of a lot more compared to the UK.  So if possible, they should try and pass the driving test in the UK.  Although it might be too late now.  There are plenty of other threads about this on this forum.

 

 

She will definitely get her drivers license in our previous home country as she's already more than halfway through the school and she still has business trips there periodically. The only problem is that it inherently takes a long time to obtain the license due to very long time period between the time you finish the drivers' school and when you are scheduled for the exam. 

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