Selling a car

Tips and information

If you want to sell your car, you should always remember that there are some important points to consider. The first question you have to ask yourself: For how much do I want (or can) sell my car, and where do I offer my vehicle best to get the highest possible selling price. 
But also the question of the sales formalities, for example the conclusion of a written sales contract, is very important in order to put the sale on a legally stable basis. Here we have put together the most important points about "selling a car" for you.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when selling a car.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when selling a car.

Where do I offer my car best?

Here you don't have so much space for car information or pictures. Still, you reach a lot of interested people with it. Always write the three magic letters behind the price: VHB. This means a basis for negotiation and shows that you are quite willing to let us talk to you. Therefore you can set the price a little higher in advance. You should also consider which contact information you would like to provide. What's important Only use the number of a phone that you can turn off if you get too many calls (which can happen and be very annoying). An address should not be indicated and also not the full name. At the address given, there is always the danger of falling for fraudsters, who then suddenly stand in front of the door and can no longer be turned away.

The second option is to place a sales advertisement on the Internet. The same points apply as for printed advertisements in a newspaper or magazine. The two largest used car platforms are and Autoscout24. But you can also advertise your vehicle on Ebay Kleinanzeigen. The advantage of the online platforms is that you have plenty of space for information about the vehicle and can add numerous pictures. In addition, you achieve the maximum reach online with your ad. One thing is important for the photos: For security reasons, cover the license plate or retouch it out.

There is another way to sell your car over the Internet, but it is not quite as well known. You can set the vehicle at an auction house. Here, too, of course, the important points that have to be observed in the printed sales advertisements posted on the Internet apply. But when it comes to the price, the question arises in an Internet auction: What is the minimum bid for the vehicle? Do I go on full risk and offer the car from one euro, with the danger of selling the car far below value? Or do I want to set a minimum sales price at which I can bid? When setting up a vehicle in an online auction, it is also important to take as many photos of the vehicle as possible, from all sides and if possible also from below.

Another option is to sell your vehicle to a dealer who either buys used vehicles or places them on his property on commission. The former is good if you want to turn your car into money quickly. However, you must also expect that your proceeds will probably be a little lower, because the dealer would also like to earn on the sale of the car.

The variant, sale on commission, is always a double-edged sword. Some second-hand car dealers actually commit themselves to selling the vehicle soon. Others are only interested in the space rental they receive for the vehicle and the longer it stays in their yard, the more money they get from you.

A third possibility is that you give your car in payment at a dealer. This means that the dealer will credit you the value of your car as a discount for a car purchased from him. Here, good deals can often be made for both sides. The dealer benefits from the car sale and you benefit from the discount and save the time you would otherwise have to invest in selling the car. So if you want to replace your old vehicle with a newer one this is a very practical way.

Even if the Internet has clearly made competition for this form of sales, there are still regular used car markets in many places. Here, private individuals and dealers can offer their cars for sale in large car parks, for example. Here you pay a stall fee for your car and then you can come into contact with many potential buyers on the spot. However, be prepared for intense price negotiations. This is similar to flea markets. It's not everyone's cup of tea. If that's not your thing, you probably drive better with the online ad on a used car exchange.

The optimal sales display

The most important rule here is: The better and more honestly you describe your vehicle, the greater the chance of selling it quickly and easily. If the potential buyer has all the facts on the table, he can consider in advance whether the car is suitable for him and only make contact in this case. If the advertisement is incomplete, the potential buyer will only find out on site. Yours and his time will be wasted.

Therefore you should indicate the following information in your advertisement:

  • vehicle model
  • mileage
  • Engine type (petrol, diesel)
  • engine power
  • Date of first registration
  • Number of previous vehicle owners
  • Accident car yes/no
  • Residual validity of the HU badge
  • Colour of the environmental badge
  • Condition Mechanics
  • Condition Electronics
  • extra equipment
  • Car radio, CD player etc.
  • Air conditioning and / or seat heating?
  • garage vehicle
  • Tuning conversions?
  • Repairs made
  • Your target price

That shouldn't be in the ad:

  • Address written out
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Full Name

Be careful with the phone number, too:

It is possible that the telephone does not remain quiet after advertising. Think about whether you want to or whether you might be able to use a second mobile phone.

10 tips for better negotiating

If you have arranged an appointment with a potential buyer, we have put together a checklist with the important points for a successful sales talk:


  1. Honestly name the age of the vehicle and number of previous owners.
  2. Don't hide it if it's an accident car. If, after the sale has taken place and the vehicle has been handed over, it is established that the car is an accident vehicle, the buyer can claim fraudulent misrepresentation and the sale of the car would have to be reversed.
  3. When would you like to hand over the vehicle?
  4. Was a vehicle check carried out before the sale, made by yourself or in a workshop?
  5. If the paint or certain parts are no longer original, inform us.
  6. Lower pain threshold in price superior.
  7. Special features should be emphasized again, also to justify the selling price even better.
  8. How would you like to have the purchase price, in cash or on the current account? Then remember to remind the potential seller that the vehicle registration document will not be handed over until the money has been received.
  9. And important: Always insist on a written contract! If the prospective customer does not want this, fingers away from this business, because this is guaranteed NO serious thing! The handover of the vehicle should in any case only take place after both parties have signed the purchase contract, the handover of the vehicle registration document only after receipt of the money. This must be made absolutely clear to the interested party.
  10. Meeting on the safe side: No meetings for the vehicle inspection in the evening without daylight and not in areas which are uninhabited and have no pedestrian river. Here there is always the danger that you will fall into the trap of fraudsters who will take your car with or without armed force.

Determine vehicle value easily

On the DAT website you can get an orientation value for your used car up to the age of 12 with just a few clicks. For this you have to give your postcode, the first registration and mileage and information about your model. The current dealer purchase value will then be displayed. This is a rough guide. Depending on how much extra equipment your car has or whether it has major damage, the price may fluctuate up or down.  

Table with Euro notes and coins and calculator

Do not allow to be lured into the trap

Basically, whenever something of value changes hands, there is a risk of falling into the hands of the wrong people. Worst case scenario, you end up with no vehicle and no money. Therefore, extreme caution is always required when selling a car. Whenever you have a funny feeling, you'd better keep your hands off that interested party. Better wait a little longer for a buyer instead of going online with a fraud. With these precautions, you can protect yourself from fraud:

If the interested party would like to meet in a very remote place without traffic, e.g. on weekends in an industrial area, you should refuse immediately. Suggest instead a lively place with sufficient "public traffic". Here you have many potential witnesses, if anything should happen.

Always take a friend or family member with you. That gives security. Communicate this to interested parties in advance in order to deter possible fraudsters. And in the worst case, your companion can at least serve as a witness.

Drängt der vermeintliche Käufer, dass es nicht anders geht, weise ihn darauf hin, dass er nur bei Tageslicht einen guten Eindruck vom Auto bekäme.

Do not hand over the vehicle registration document BEFORE receiving the money and BEFORE the signature of the buyer under the purchase contract. If the interested party absolutely wants to have insight into the vehicle registration document, then you can show him a copy of it. Only hand over the vehicle registration document at the end when the purchase has been duly made.

Always conclude a written sales contract. Interested parties who reject a written purchase contract are in any case dubious. You can download a sample contract here.

Documents for vehicle handover

In addition to your car and the sales contract, you should bring the following documents with you to the vehicle handover:


  • Registration certificate I (vehicle registration document)
  • Registration certificate II (vehicle registration document)
  • Vehicle key, if available also training key
  • Inspection booklet from the workshop
  • Proof of purchase for repairs and additionally installed parts
  • CoC certificate if applicable for import vehicles from an EU country
  • Deregistration from the insurance: This must be signed by both parties to the contract, buyer and seller.
  • Notice of sale, i.e. proof to the registration authority that the vehicle no longer belongs to you. This must be signed by both contractual partners just like the deregistration from the motor vehicle insurance.
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.