Hi all - I just wanted to share a little info about my recent experience with buying a used car in Berlin. First off, read the Internations Berlin Guide to buying a used car in Germany....it is "spot on"!
Not being a German native and only speaking "ein bisschen" Deutsch I was somewhat apprehensive about the whole process. Internet searches on other expat sites made me believe that the process was akin to pulling wisdom teeth...painful!
Regardless of it all, I still needed a car so I started my search on autoscout.de, which is not too complicated to navigate (use Chrome browser and it will always offer to translate the pages for you). I found two vehicles that were in my price range so I took the plunge and went to two dealers; one was a private dealership with about 20 cars and the other was a certified dealership.
In both instances, the salespersons spoke English, were very friendly, weren't aggressive/pushy about making a sale, and the part I really appreciated was that they were very informative about the entire process of buying, registering and insuring a car in Germany.
I ended up buying a car from the Certified Dealership (H. Laatzig Automobile GmbH, in Berlin-Reinickendorf Protected content . The salesman, Sebastian Mette spoke great English, was as nice a person you would want to meet, and basically "held my hand" through the entire process.
Bottom line is:
- I bought a Protected content car
- It came with a very extensive one year warranty
- The dealership performed several maintenance upgrades to the car (new brakes, rotors, serpentine belt, new tires, new floor mats)
- Brand new TUV and HU/AU (car and emissions inspections) good for two years
- Handled the registration and license plates
- Walked me through and translated all the paperwork for me. He even put the items we agreed upon in both German and English on the sales contract!
- Discussed German Car Insurance, but this was still left up to me to finalize
I spoke with my German Insurance Company about getting car insurance and although they were very helpful the process can be a bit complicated. However, the one thing that will help you considerably is to have a written copy of your past driving history. The more years without an accident the less you'll pay. I was very fortunate in this aspect because when I called my Insurance Company in the US to get my driving history they informed me that they could insure my car in Germany....this obviously simplified this process for me so I would suggest you ask you home country insurance company if they can insure your car in Germany.
Anyway, eight days later and I am driving my new, used car and I couldn't be happier. I can't attest to all car dealerships around Berlin, but I can say that Sebastian Mette at Laatzig Automobile is as good a Car Salesman as I've ever dealt with....I hope this little thread helps you out and hope that you have as nice an experience as I did buying a car.
Ciao for now,