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.

55 Comments

  • Reply Milton 13/06/2018 at 02:36

    Hello I am a Portuguese citizen I want to buy a pied a tier in Berlin is it possible for me to buy a car and insure it to that property even though I live and work elsewhere in the EU ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 22/06/2018 at 01:09

      Hi Milton. The question is confusing. Can you rephrase it?

  • Reply Nuno 08/06/2018 at 19:03

    Such a usefull blog.
    Its funny because I just bout a Peugeot 308 as well.

  • Reply THI HAU VU 05/06/2018 at 14:50

    Hi, my family just moved to Bayreuth from Switzerland and we bought new car here. A Nissan. My husband has no record of accident or claim accidence in Switzerland. But the guy told us because we have no record in Germany, so the premium would be 1650EUr. is is true? That is even more expensive than in Switzerland

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/06/2018 at 21:55

      Hi there. As mentioned in the post, if you can’t prove a positive record, you won’t get any bonus on the policy.

  • Reply Nissreen Askar 05/05/2018 at 09:56

    Hi,

    My husband and I live and work in Nuremberg. We have a leased car and I am in the process of getting my German driving license. If my husband and I share the same car, will the insurance premium change?.

    Thank you for the great post.
    Nissreen – Nuremberg

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/05/2018 at 20:33

      Hi there. yes, if you are both appointed drivers on the insurance policy, a negative history from one of the drivers will impact the premium still.

    • Reply sergiu bruma 19/06/2018 at 05:34

      I was wondering if you knew if it was possible to get liability insurance with an international drivers permit?

  • Reply Christine 24/04/2018 at 17:05

    My dad is 86 and he is originally from Germany and he still has his German driver’s liscence. He has lived in US for over 50 years and he lost of driver license in America due to mild demensia but he refuses yo lose his independence and wants to move to Berlin and drive. All if his told him not to do that, so I am trying to find information online to see if there is a maximum age limit from a German auto insurance company, so I can show it to him. I know for the rental car there is a maximum age limit of 75 . Thank you so much in advance!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/04/2018 at 09:21

      Hi Christine, i don’t see a maximum age per say for the insurance, but there is a premium to be paid with most companies. See here for example.

  • Reply Alex 02/04/2018 at 10:47

    Hey guys, first of all, thank you for all the brilliant information on this post. My wife and I will be moving to Berlin soon and we’re trying to figure out how much the car insurance would cost (we’re both car enthusiasts and will probably want to drive bigger sized engine cars), we checked the links mentioned in the article but all we get in reply is a phone number to call. Can someone give us an example of cost for people that are in their mid 30s, with no incidents, for used car with en engine of, let’s say 3l, about 8-10 years old?
    Thank you in advance

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/04/2018 at 15:18

      Hi Alex. Unfortunately, i can’t say myself but you can use the comparison platforms to get a rough idea.

  • Reply Tamas Sztanka-Toth 21/03/2018 at 14:34

    Hi!

    I recently bought a car, and have an insurance for it. If a sell my existing car and by a new one, can I update the insurance? ie change the type of the car etc.

    Best,
    Tamas

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/03/2018 at 19:00

      Hi Tamas. Yes.

  • Reply Salman 17/03/2018 at 23:12

    Hi,
    I am in a strange situation, please help advice.
    I got my License in 09/2015, I bought my first car in 07/2016. I got SF Klasse 0.
    I then sold my car after 1 year 2months in 09/2017.

    Now I bought a second car in 02/2018. and guess what my X car insurance provider still lists me in SF Klasse 0.
    He gave me a crazy reasoning that the mindestjahr frist is 180 days till December, which I didnt not fulfil in year 2016. So they did not change my SF klasse.
    During this whole time I had insurance, I had no accidents or claimed no damages. Despite that even after paying Halbpflicht for more than a year… I am still in SF-klasse 0.
    What I fail to understand is ,for year 2017, I paid insurance in SF0 for 9 whole months… they are even not counting that. This is crazy.
    This is a crazy rule, and I just fail to understand why.
    I have the license since 2015, but even now I am in SF0. Please help.
    Also, the new Car insurance which initially put me to SF3 and offered a cheap rate is asking now for 600 more euros after they get bestätigung of SF0 from my old insurer.

    What can I do now, what options do I have.
    Can I just simply unregister my car, for a week or so, and then re-register with a new car insurance?

    any help/advice would be highly appreciated.

  • Reply Kathryn 06/03/2018 at 12:37

    Hi! Thanks for this!! I am doing some research because my company wants to employ a private driver in Berlin. The person applying for the job has “Unternehmenversicherung” for her role as a professional driver. I am currently trying to find out the coverage amount of her policy. Do you know what the term for this in German is? On the Bestätigung she gave me, there is a “Versicherungssumme” of 23,000 Euro. Is this the coverage amount?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 07/03/2018 at 17:30

      Hi Kathryn. This would be a professional coverage for usage in the workplace, but i don’t if this number relates what covers her, the vehicle, the passengers… etc.

  • Reply Fae 16/02/2018 at 11:37

    Hey!

    Thanks for your post! I’m french and Im thinking about buying a campervan in Germany to travel around Europe.. Do you know if I can take a german insurance? Thank you for your help 🙂

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/02/2018 at 11:09

      Hi there. If you are German resident, yes.

  • Reply Vladas 16/01/2018 at 08:04

    Full insurance cost is why I am not looking at new cars. I am not living in Germany, but I just guess it would be similar. Full insurance costs as much as 10% car value per year. So financially this will add another 50% something to car cost until you don’t care about full insurance anymore. I could and would pay for new or almost new car, but when I count in insurance in it does not worth it. It’s better take 6 something years car and don’t buy full insurance. That is if it’s personal car to drive to work and back. It’s probably different for people who drive A LOT. Or use car for business. But for personal use and not driving very much it’s not worth to buy new or almost new car only because of full insurance costs and not buying full insurance for expensive car is maybe only for people who likes risk in their lives.
    Sorry this is maybe a bit off-topic. I just wanted to share 🙂

  • Reply Matt H 14/01/2018 at 06:59

    Hi there,
    I’ve just stumbled across your post and it sounds like you may be able to Provide me with an answer for a question I have.
    My girlfriend and I are coming to Germany from New Zealand this year and are looking to buy a vehicle and travel the EU plus some extra countries (Turkey, Morocco etc)
    Do you know if there are any German insurance companies that provide for non-EU citizens? And also, is it easy enough for us to buy and register a vehicle there? Do we need a permanent address or anything else? (I have family there that could help)
    Thanks,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/01/2018 at 08:53

      Hi Matt. If you are able to fulfill the conditions stated in this post, then i guess yes is the answer. Being EU or non EU citizen is not relevant to insurance companies.

  • Reply Bruna 10/01/2018 at 19:50

    Hi. I bought a car a few weeks ago in germany and the car insurance has expired. Can i buy a new car insurance via internet ??? Can you recommand me any site adress? i live in italy and i havent taken my car out yet …

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/01/2018 at 22:57

      Hi Bruna. yes you can compare insurances on the platforms listed on this post.

  • Reply Jeff 21/12/2017 at 20:59

    Great Post! Do you know if your driving record in the States will be brought over to Germany when they calculate your insurance premium? I.e. will my insurance claims in the states be shown to the Germany insurance companies?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/12/2017 at 20:59

      Hi Jeff. Most likely not, unless you bring a good proof with you and they accept it.

  • Reply Dan 21/10/2017 at 14:22

    Hi,
    Great summary-

    I have been driving in Germany for 3 years, but scratched a car in a car park last year, so now have a costly claim on my record.
    I am getting a new car, and have recently got married. My wife and I share the driving (perhaps I drive slightly more 🙂 ).

    Is it cheaper for the insurance to be in her name?
    Should I be on as a named driver? does it make a difference?

    Any help appreciated,

    Dan

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 24/10/2017 at 10:55

      Good question Dan; i don’t know if that trick will work but there are good chances, so why not giving it a shot? You can also compare what happens when you put your name on the policy and hers, to see the difference in price.

  • Reply Lina 28/08/2017 at 18:44

    Hello! I never had car on my name, I was just renting cars so now I wish to buy a car here in Germany. Is it true that even if I am driving for 6 years they consider me as a new driver and I have to pay a lot of money for the insurance?? Do you know how much is about the cost? Thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/08/2017 at 09:21

      Hi Lina. If you never had insurance under your name before, then yes, you will be considered a new driver. Cost depends on companies and the kind of coverage you want, as described in the post.

  • Reply Jasmine 24/08/2017 at 13:55

    Hi,
    Great post! I just bought a used car and got a teilkasko insurance. I want to lend my car to a friend. Would my insurance cover damages (to my car and 3rd party) if my friend were to get in an accident? Does she have to have her own car insurance?
    Thanks!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 25/08/2017 at 08:01

      Hi Jasmine. Well it depends on your insurance policy. Some Teilkasko do cover additional drivers in this case, some don’t. You’ll have to look at your contract.

  • 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 Besmir 08/12/2017 at 01:31

        Hello. Great forum. My question is specific. I want to buy a BMW E60 530i. The car is year 2008, 3000cc petrol/gasoline. automatic transmission. I have 17 years experience but for Germany i am a new driver. They dont recognize Albanian driving history. Anyway. How much will i pay in a year with this car?

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 09/12/2017 at 11:25

          Hi Besmir. If you go on any of the comparison websites mentioned above and enter these details, you will get a quote.

  • 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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