When it comes to buying a car as an expat, there are many new processes and paperwork to learn.
We’ve been living in Germany for 14 months now, and we haven’t had a car since we arrived. We rented a car twice since we’ve been here, for travel to German villages. Most of our travel has been on buses, planes, trains. To have more travel options, we decided to buy a car. In an effort to find one just right for us, we had to come to some compromises. Considering the narrow streets and tight parking, small cars are the order of the day here.
Rob likes this Land Rover. It’s very cool both in city or as a farm vehicle. This truck and a dog, and life is good.
Barbara likes this one, the Citroën Dyane 6. Citroën hasn’t produced this model since 1983, and it definitely has a cool, vintage vibe.
Here are some more cars we looked at:
Of course, Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes have a huge presence here. The Stuttgart football team plays in the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Mercedes are everywhere!
Making the Purchase
Purchasing a car in Germany is challenging, with multiple government offices to visit, offices with limited days and hours of operation, and lots of paperwork. We visited Bavarian Motor Cars in Kaiserslautern on a recommendation from a friend. First of all, they actually had a car on the lot for sale that we liked. In Stuttgart, we have been told to order online and wait 6 weeks for delivery, because there is no inventory available. Secondly, @LeeWilliams made it a great experience, walking us through every step of the way.
With our initial paperwork complete, we returned to Kaiserslautern to pick up our new car the following weekend. Since it is 3 hours away, we decided to spend the night once we completed all the paperwork. We parked our new ride at the hotel and took a FreeNow (Uber) to Oscar’s Irish Pub to celebrate. We continue to learn new things about living abroad, and buying a car as an expat felt like a huge accomplishment.
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