Tips for buying a car

You've got your license in your pocket and now you're off to the road. If you can't or don't want to use a car, you have to bring your first own car. The offer is almost huge. You're spoilt for choice. But don't worry, with these tips you'll find your optimal car.

Finally take off with your driving license.
[Translate to English:] Mit dem Führerschein und dem eigenen Auto endlich durchstarten.

1st Budget: What can I afford?

New or used cars

A basic point in choosing your car is (unfortunately) the budget available to you. It decides whether a new car is in it or perhaps more of a used car. Both have their merits: The high reliability speaks for a new car and you have the latest (safety) technology on board. The used car scores with its purchase price and low depreciation. In addition, a used car does not have to be the same age and rickety. Many car manufacturers offer great vehicles under special used car labels, which are very well preserved and even include some multi-year guarantees.

Table with Euro notes and coins and calculator

2nd vehicle type: What does your dream car look like?

Next, you should think about which car suits you best.

Do you enjoy skiing in the mountains in winter? Then a four-wheel drive station wagon might be just the thing. 

You live in the city and don't want to spend a lot of time looking for a parking space? I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with a little speedster.

Keep your eyes open: What cars on the road do you like? Do your friends have cars that come into question? Make a list of the possible vehicles.

Woman with pencil as moustache and folder in her arms

3rd research: How do your dream models perform?

If you have made a list of possible cars, try to find out more about the models. What is written about this on the Internet?

Helpful addresses are the Communitys  Motor-TalkAutoWissen24 from AutoScout24, the Dekra-Mängelreport or the TÜV-Report. So you can estimate whether your dream car will not become a nightmare later.

Unfortunately, there are some mistakes that will not forgive you in your practical exam and lead to failure.

4. price comparison: thinning the vehicle exchanges

If you have a few specific models in mind, the next step is to take a look at the used car markets. The two largest stock exchanges are Autoscout24 and Here you can either search within a certain radius of your place of residence or in the whole of Germany. However, travelling several hundred kilometres to the car only makes sense if you are sure. Otherwise, the disappointment will be great afterwards.

By the way, you can also find a lot of used cars from dealers on the stock exchanges. The following applies: The reputable car dealership is always the safest option when buying a car. Here you get a checked out car with warranty and partly also a guarantee. In addition, you can have maintenance work done there later and have a contact person in case of problems. 

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5. Test drive: Take a picture for yourself

Once you have found your dream car, you should make an appointment for a test drive. It is best to make a list of questions about the car in advance, which you can then ask the seller. If you have a friend or acquaintance who knows a lot about cars, ask him if he could accompany you and take a look at the car and especially under the hood. In this way you strengthen your negotiating position and make an additional contribution to your security. Makes the vehicle inspection always in a busy place. If you are guided to an orphaned parking lot, the tour stops. Here the danger of robberies is very large!

Your driving school prepares you optimally for the practical driving test.

6. Contract of sale: you should check this before signing it

If you have decided on a car, everything is made waterproof with a sales contract. In a car dealership, these are standardized forms. But of course you should also read the small print for these.

If the seller is a private person, it is best to find out in advance what should be included in the sales contract. 

The ADAC, for example, has a blank purchase contract in which all important points are included.

While the seller receives the purchase price for the vehicle, you get from him:

  • the registration certificate Part I
  • the registration certificate Part II 
  • the certificate of the last main inspection
  • the vehicle keys
  • and, if applicable, a CoC certificate for import vehicles from an EU country

And then it's time to have a good trip in your new car!

Before you can drive your new car with your driver's license, you have to take it on board.
Before you can drive your new car with your driver's license, you have to take it on board.
Driving school sign on car roof

Find your driving school

But before you start looking for your first own car, you can first search for the perfect driving school that will make you fit for traffic.