Moving to Germany: driving and registration number regulations
You want to live in Germany and you are well prepared for your new living situation. Yet you will encounter most changes when you actually live in the country. Take, for example, a simple thing like having the car in your name. The German paperwork is impressive and requires a lot of time and patience, especially when there is no digitization yet. What are the rules in Germany in 2017 regarding transferring the car?
Be registered with the municipality
In order to have a German car transferred to your name, you must be able to prove that you are actually registered in the relevant municipality. You will receive a form when you register as a resident with the municipality. From the moment of registration you will pay taxes. Do not forget to bring this form if you want to transfer the car.
All German cars have a personal number plate. This means that when you buy another car, you mount the license plate plates from the old one on the new car. The first two letters indicate the place where the car is registered. If you move to another part of Germany, you will have to apply for a registration number again. You can make a transfer at the town hall.
Choose license plate and have it made
With a transfer you have the choice to choose the letters and numbers of your license plate. Before you get that far, you probably had to wait an hour or more in the town hall for your turn. When your transfer is ready, you will receive two blank number plates. In the vicinity of the town hall there are small companies that punch the license plate in your number plates for a reasonable amount. With these number plates you then go back to the town hall. Wait until it is your turn to receive the registration papers. If things go against you, you will be working on this for a half day! All vehicles that take to the road have a number plate. You can only choose the license plates of cars.
In Germany, occasions under 10,000 are almost impossible to find at a garage. You will then have to buy privately without warranty. Older used cars are bought by foreign car dealers. They are offered for sale without warranty. In most cases these copies are for export. Relatively few older cars drive in Germany. Apparently people are willing to pay well for a car.
Safe and tidy on the road
Road safety is paramount in Germany. As a rule, the car is properly maintained. A service on time, washing and cleaning. Scratches and dents are preferably removed as quickly as possible. The car is used regularly and in many cases is an indispensable thing. Most families have several cars.
Driving a car is cheaper
In the Netherlands it is assumed that driving in Germany is cheap. Indeed, the purchase of a new car is cheaper because one has a different VAT rate. The road tax is cheaper, but that can differ per state. The insurance is more expensive. Most insurance companies offer a variety of comprehensive insurance options. Repairs to the car are significantly more expensive than in the Netherlands. The option for reusing scrap cars is not known here. Workshops that repair all makes of cars are the least expensive.
German inspection is strict
A mandatory vehicle inspection (TÜV) is every two years. Also a trailer, however small and simple it may need to be inspected! The inspection is strict. Building a permanent construction on your trailer yourself is prohibited. You are not allowed to drill holes! You have to keep an eye on when your vehicle needs to be inspected again because you will not receive any notification. The inspection is done by a recognized inspector who is not employed by the garage where the inspection takes place. If the vehicle is not approved, you will receive a report from the inspector stating the points of rejection. You then have two weeks to have the vehicle made at a garage of your choice. When approved by the judge, you will receive a sticker on the rear license plate indicating when your next inspection must take place.