Car insurance in Germany

Once you’ve set yourself to buying a new ride, it is time to think about your car insurance in Germany. That step is really important because you can’t even register your car without a valid policy number. There are a few things to consider and the rules might be different from what you know from back home. I recently bought my first car (a Peugeot 308 if you must know, go ze french! 🙂 ), so i thought i would share my experience here in the form of a mini-guide.

car insurance in germany

A little guide to your car insurance in Germany

You will find that german car insurance policies (also known as Kfz Versicherungen) are split between 3 types :

  • Haftpflicht – Liability or third-party coverage

This type of car insurance is minimum legal requirement to be able to register your car. It covers all the damages you and your car might do to other people, other cars or things in case of an accident. It also covers their medical bills too for example. It does not cover damages made to your car if it was your responsibility.

  • Teilkasko – Partial coverage

This includes Haftpflicht & covers all sort of other random risks that life can sometimes throw at you such as damages from theft-attempts or theft attempts themselves, fire, glass damages, thunderstorms, things like that. Vandalism is not covered.

  • Vollkasko – Comprehensive coverage

This type of insurance has all the guarantees of the Teilkasko & Haftpflicht policies, and adds on top a coverage for all damages made on your own car or yourself in the case of an accident. Your insurance company gives money to the person’s car you wrecked AND it gives you money to fix/replace on your own car as well, even if the accident was your fault.

As you might suspect, since there are more liabilities, the policy will be more expensive. Some policies also cover permanent disability you might experience after a crash, or even the death of a passenger. If you buy a car with the help of a financing service from the dealership or from a bank, it might be required to sign-up for a Vollkasko to cover the risks.

In general, when you are looking for a car insurance in Germany for a newly-bought car, it is advised to go for a full coverage as you have put a lot of money to buy the car in the first place. You should try to protect its value. People who buy second-hand cars usually go with Teilkasko.

Factors impacting the costs

Now the criteria that will decide how much you will pay for your car insurance in Germany don’t differ much from what you might know:

  • Driving experience / Age
  • City vs country-side
  • Previous insurance record
  • Number of drivers
  • Postal code: some areas are more vulnerable to crime/accidents/theft
  • Value/model/size/power of the car: the bigger the car is, the more expensive it gets
  • Driving distance: the more you drive in a year, the more it will cost you

Using your existing driving record

One of the first questions i had when looking for a car insurance in Germany was: “It is possible to transfer my good driving history to a german contract?“. I had been driving a few years prior without any accident, so it would have been a shame if i couldn’t enjoy a nice discount on the price i’d pay in Germany too. The answer is more often that not “Yes”. Simply ask your insurance company to write you an official-looking statement proving your good conduct. This helped to access a cheaper car insurance in Germany, only available to experienced drivers. It can save you hundred of euros a year.

Practical steps to sign up for a german car insurance contract online:

Now that you know the basics, you can go ahead and book a contract with a german car insurance company to obtain the eVB number (elektronische Versicherungsbestätigung – electronic insurance confirmation) you need to register your car. You can compare the most competitive offers on platforms like Preisvergleich.de or Verivox.de to get the cheapest rates available. Fill in your information to receive offers via email.

Here are some items you might need explanations for during that process:

  • Saisonkennzeichen (usually, choose no): this is meant for people that only want to have a valid license plate for only part of the year like for a sea-side vehicle for example, resulting in a cheaper car insurance in Germany. Kennzeichen means licence plate
  • Fahrzeugnutzung: state here if you plan to use it for private or professional reasons.
  • Nächtlicher/Üblicher Stellplatz: state here where the car will usually be parked. A enclosed private garage will result in a cheaper rate.
  • Teilnahme am Begleiteten Fahren: In some countries, you can learn to drive with accompanied practice, which usually leads to safer drivers. State here if you did do that.
  • FahrzeugkategorieKombi/Limousine/Cabrio: german names for station wagon/sedan/convertible.
  • Punkte in Flensburg: the local equivalent of the point system managed by the Kraftfahrt Bundesamt, where you can lose points when driving recklessly on the road.
  • Selbstbeteiligung: German name for the deductible, the small amount that comes out of your pocket when there is a claim. The higher the amount, the cheaper the rate will be.

(Let me know if there are other items you feel unsure about)

Once you have completed all your information, you are presented with the best offers that you can pick from to sign a contract. The whole process thereafter can be very quick and it can take less than 24 hours to receive your eVB number by email.

You can finally register your car, and a bit later drive off in your brand new ride to the tune of James Brown’s own “Papa’s got a brand new bag“.

 

Enjoy ! 🙂

Tip : Don’t forget that you can deduct some of the costs of your car insurance in Germany in taxes, when doing your tax return. Be sure to include it your Steuererklärung.

21 Comments

  • Reply VJ 20/08/2017 at 20:51

    Hi, I am thinking of getting only Haftpflicht or Teilkasko for my second-hand car. In case I cause an accident and hurt myself, will my health insurance pay for the ambulance, hospital charges etc? Or should I get a separate private accident insurance for that? Thanks!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/08/2017 at 08:49

      Hi there VJ. This is Germany; in case of accident, all these costs are taken cover by your health insurance.

  • Reply Nishanth 16/08/2017 at 10:20

    Hello .
    very useful information thanks .
    i am living in Germany period of stay may be 2years max , i have driving experience of 12years no accident records with valid driving license and i hold an international driving permit too.
    i am buying a used car am not sure about the insurance validity , will insurance costs me more should i look for any specifics or consider while buying ? please suggest

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/08/2017 at 10:10

      Hi Nishanth. The only advice i could give is to check whether or not your perfect driving record can be transferred to a German policy. Otherwise, please refer to the post for specifics, it’s always useful to compare with comparison platforms.

  • Reply Sam 18/06/2017 at 18:17

    Hi.. I live in Berlin.. driving for the last 3 months.. recently had an accident. I have a partial coverage with excess of 500 Euro.
    Does it mean, The insurance only cover the 3rd party ?
    what will happen to damage to my car.. and if I want to insure for my next car.. does the insurance skyrocket ?

    Thanks
    Sam

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/06/2017 at 09:27

      Hi Sam, if you have Teilkasko then yes, only the 3rd party is covered, no the damages to your car in case of an accident if it’s your fault. This accident will be put in some record yes. Depending on the accident, it might increase your policy’s fees.

  • Reply Raouf 05/05/2017 at 13:11

    Hi! Thank you for the great post!
    I’m from Egypt and I have a driving license since a long time, but I just got my driving license in Germany, My car in Egypt was insured only for the last 2 years, as it’s not obligatory like Europe. Unfortunately, I have made 2 accidents, 1 accident per year, but very small ones, the value of both claims were circa 400 euros . My question now, is it worth to ask the my insurance company to issue a letter and look for a company here to accept it? or you think 2 years are quite short time period, and there will be no real saving out of it?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/05/2017 at 10:05

      Hi Raouf, given that the Egyptian record is relatively short and that it might have mentions to those accident. Maybe it’s not worth it indeed.

    • Reply Zoran 13/06/2017 at 17:59

      Hi,I have register my car 7 days ago but my HUK24 insurance did not yet finish the contract, still in processing. Is this normal, I want to drive my car as soon as possible

  • Reply Nada 12/04/2017 at 19:01

    Hi. Thanks a lot for the information. I have a question concerning my complicated situation. I live in Berlin and brought my car recently from another EU country. I was sure that my registration (basically technical check and insurance) expires in May, yet it has expired a few days ago. Will that influence the registration procedure here? I plan to stay here only for 5 more months, but I am stuck now here with the car with expired registration so I do not dare to go back to my home country to register it, so I guess I would need to register it here.
    And I have one more question on insurance. I could still insure my car in my home country (which so much cheaper), but will that be recognized here?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/04/2017 at 09:57

      Hi Nada, if you plan to be resident for more than a year, you need to have a German car insurance. Otherwise, you are fine with your original policy. If it has expired, it would have a influence on registration here but you still would need a German insurance policy and a TÜV check.

  • Reply Sebastian 08/04/2017 at 21:48

    Hi i am from italy but my license is from outside the EU, i have an international license its that ok to use in germany for the insurance and registration? Does the insurence history of a country outside the EU works for getting a cheaper rate? Thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 09/04/2017 at 10:53

      Hi Sebastian, if your license is from outside an E.U country, you will need to change it to a German one if you plan to stay longer than 12 months. As for the rest, i think it might be better you research what the country where your license is from is saying about that. There be might a bilateral agreement.

  • Reply Skysan 17/03/2017 at 15:20

    Hi.I live in Brandenburg and my girlfriend lives in berlin can I insure her car in berlin??meaning she owns the car and she has it under her name.can I pay insurance premiums when I still reside in Brandenburg ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/03/2017 at 17:48

      Hi there. Yes that is possible, she doesn’t need to own the bank account paying the fees. You can pay for her policy. Make sure the policy is under her name and she is the designated driver on it.

  • Reply Arttu 22/02/2017 at 15:57

    Hi!

    Wonderful information, thank you so much!

    Would you know if there is any difference in insurance costs if I have a Finnish EU driver’s license
    or is it better (cheaper insurance) to have a German license?

    Arttu

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/02/2017 at 08:58

      Hi Arttu. I don’t think it matters where the driving license was issued, especially in the EU space. The only way to have a cheaper policy is to transfer your positive insurance history from your finnish insurance company to a german one, as mentioned in the post.

  • Reply George 19/01/2017 at 07:38

    Thanks for the information. I recently moved to Germany from the UK and I will like to know how the payment of the insurance is done once the insurance company is selected. Is the payment done straightaway before getting the electronic confirmation or it can be done later.

    Thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/01/2017 at 10:48

      Hello George. You will receive the confirmation first with a request to pay the amount. However, if you do submit the EVB number at the Zulassungsstelle, you will be obliged to pay for the policy.

  • Reply Ivan k 16/01/2017 at 02:28

    Hi I live in Ireland I have a learner permit ,the insurance companies are robing everyone in this country,I’m thinking getting insured by another European country is the smarter option if available,could you please faward me information on this subject if it is possible PS

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/01/2017 at 12:13

      I don’t know about Ireland but in Germany, if you become resident, you need to switch to a local insurance company within 6 months. So it might not be possible to do this in Ireland. I don’t have the answers for you on this particular matter. Maybe someone else should help you.

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