Register A Vehicle In Germany | Process & Regulations
Driving in Germany is described as one of the most exhilarating places to be behind the wheel since it’s home to the Autobahn, a highway famous for its lack of speed limits and fast cars.
As you settle into Germany and prepare to transfer your car over, here are a few guidelines for registering the vehicle and getting around.
Registering A Vehicle
Much like other EU member nations, there are higher standards and regulations for cars coming outside of the bloc. Many of the requirements have to do with your intent as far as staying in the country and what you plan to do with the vehicle once it’s imported.
But if you can’t meet all those requirements, you end up paying a duty equal to 10% of the car’s worth and another 19% in import taxes.
You can actually avoid paying import duties and taxes if you meet a specific set of requirements
- If you’ve lived outside of the EU for at least a year.
- If you have plans to become permanent German resident.
- The car is under your name.
- You’ve used the vehicle for at least six months.
- You intend to sell it after more than a year.
Those coming from neighboring EU countries need only make sure its registered in another EU member country and have insurance.
Back to cars that are coming from non-EU nations, the vehicles must pass a safety inspection that includes a general check as well as an emissions test. Failing to pass those tests means you have to modify the car to meet the requirements.
Once you pass those tests, registering a car is as easy as providing the following documents: proof of insurance, an picture identification, certificate of inspection, original car registration documents and original sales invoice.
Vehicles can be registered at the Vehicle Registration Office.
For information about shipping a car to Germany, the anticipated costs, and what to expect, you can find more information on our international shipping page!
Rules Of The Road
People looking to get started driving in Germany who aren’t from the EU should have an international driving permit or a translation of their driver’s license. Depending on what country and region of said country you’re from, you may have to take a written and/or practical exam to get on the road.
While the country is infamous for its autobahn highway with high speeds, the nation also has a number of areas with controlled and reduced speeds. Those areas are denser as far as population. Exceeding the speed limits will net you a ticket and points added onto your license.
For the highway, there’s no official speed limit but the government recommends a maximum speed of 80 mph or 130 km/h.
Germans drive on the right-hand side of the road though it’s generally illegal to pass vehicles on the right. Using your cell phone while driving isn’t only frowned upon but also illegal. The country is home to the highest volume of traffic in Europe which also means it experiences the highest injury to accident rate.
Resources For Registering A Vehicle In Germany
Federal Motor Transport Authority - Information from the department that handles vehicle registration and oversees the Central Vehicle Register.
Register An Imported Car - Good general information about driving in Germany, including an in-depth section on how to register an imported car in the country.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.