*Car insurance from € 46 per year: The calculation is based on the assumption that the policyholder has held a driver's license since the age of 18, has a car insured in his name and has not had an accident since then. You can find the calculation basis here (as of 10.05.2023).
Germans are car lovers and of course, the cliché of Germans and their love for rules and regulations does not stop with their cars. In this article, you will find an extensive overview and guideline on how to manage all the paperwork and details for an automotive insurance in Germany.
We give you all the information you need to know about the car insurance in Germany:
- Which form of car insurance is required?
- What options do you have?
- Check out online, which car insurance in Germany is the best for you.
Additionally, you will find information on how to register your car in Germany, as well as which type of driver’s license you will need for driving on German roads.
German Car Insurance – The Basics
In Germany, car insurance is a necessity – you cannot register your vehicle without one. Having a car and an insurance is basically a self-evident fact. Especially if you are a long-term resident in Germany, you should think about acquiring a German car insurance since foreign insurances often are not sufficient.
Generally speaking, there are three types of car insurance in Germany:
- Third-party liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung)
- Partial coverage insurance (Teilkaskoversicherung)
- Fully comprehensive coverage insurance (Vollkaskoversicherung)
While third-party liability insurance is compulsory, you can choose whether you would also like to have a partial coverage or fully comprehensive coverage insurance for your car. The cost for your car insurance depends on various factors, the most decisive ones are your age and no-claims discount bonus (Schadenfreiheitsklasse). This means: The longer you are driving without any accidents, the cheaper your car insurance fee will turn out. Your car insurance rate will also vary between different insurance providers.
The insurance providers collect information for the price calculation on the distances a vehicle is mainly used for, the primary usage as a city car for short distances or if the driver needs the automobile for long-distance car rides on highways.
The company will ask for further information to determine a suitable car insurance for you. In order to estimate the cost of your car insurance in Germany, you will need the following data:
Age, gender, name, driving experience, additional driver
brand, type, age, history, date of purchase and registration
No-claims Discount Bonus (SF-Klasse)
Place of Registration (Regionalklasse)
Commitment to a Workshop
German law requires each vehicle on the street to have at least a liability insurance. The third-party liability insurance is the simplest type of car insurance in Germany and therefore the cheapest form. This classic car insurance covers:
- Compensation for the victim of an accident
- Personal injury
- Vehicle damage
- Other property damage
Generally speaking, the third-party liability insurance covers for the damages the insured vehicle might cause. Concerning damage claims, the insurance will cover damages to third parties. Additionally, indirect parties such as health insurance providers, accident and pension insurance as well as employers can also recover their costs from the insurance provider.
Good to know: If you drive a car in Germany without this type of insurance, you are committing a criminal offence. A third-party liability insurance is mandatory not only in Germany, but in every EU-country. Therefore, if you are an EU-citizen driving a car in Germany, your foreign third-party liability insurance is valid.
However, the third-party liability is not obliged to pay regarding certain circumstances. For example, hit and run accidents and the damages caused by participation in illegal car races as well as gross negligence are classical reasons for the insurance company to reject the demands.
Both types of car insurance in Germany are voluntary. You are not legally required to have a partial coverage or fully comprehensive coverage insurance for your car. Nevertheless, both versions add an additional layer of protection to your obligatory liability insurance.
To summarize the important facts about the partial coverage and fully comprehensive coverage car insurance in Germany:
- It covers damages to your own car
- Partial cover is restricted to damages due to influences out of your control
- Fully comprehensive cover includes all damages caused by yourself and others
With more damages covered, the car insurance pricing rises. Therefore, a fully comprehensive coverage car insurance is generally speaking more expensive. But especially for new vehicles, this type of insurance may pay off in the long run. A comparison between insurers and insurance types shows your best options.
Car insurance types in Germany at one glance
We offer three different car insurances: a third-party liability insurance, which is mandatory, a partial coverage insurance and a fully comprehensive coverage insurance. With each version, you can choose between classic, comfort or premium conditions. The extent of insurance services depends on, which conditions you decide on.
Note that the services of a partial coverage or fully comprehensive coverage insurance provide supplementary benefits in addition to the basic, third-party liability insurance.
The following chart helps to compare our car insurances.
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Which further aspects affect the price of your car insurance in Germany?
In order to find the perfect auto insurance quotes for you, compare insurance providers within the market on car insurances. Car insurance regulations are influenced by three compare rates: type class (Typklasse), regional class (Regionalklasse) and no-claims discount bonus (Schadensfreiheitsklasse/Schadensfreiheitsrabatt SFR).
- Type class (Typklasse): Statistics show, that some vehicle models are involved in traffic accidents more often than other cars or more likely to be stolen. Considering these risks, the German Association for insurance industry (GDV – Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft) has arranged a chart of all type classes, in which car brands are registered.
- Regional class (Regionalklasse): The regional class indicate, how high a car must be insured within a particular region. It turns out, that some regions in Germany are affected with car theft or traffic accidents more than others. A region with a higher theft or accident rate requires a higher insurance fee.
- A third factor in pricing of your car insurance is the no-claims discount bonus (Schadenfreiheitsklasse/Schadenfreiheitsrabatt SFR). The SFR reduces the overall costs of your car insurance – sometimes it is possible to bring your SFR bonus from your home country. In order to have something at hand, get yourself an attest on your driving record from your old insurance provider. By proving your accident-free driving record, the car insurance determines a certain percentage, which influences your insurance costs. The more years you can verify no accidents, the lesser you pay for your insurance.
How to Find Your Optimal Car Insurance
Even though the German market offers many insurance providers and your confusion might be rather high, finding the perfect car or vehicle insurance for you is not hard. Having only a third-party liability insurance resembles a cheap version of car insurance in Germany, but you should evaluate, if this is sufficient. Use this checklist to find your requirements to determine which type of insurance you need:
Is your car older than five years?
Then a third-party or partial coverage insurance might be sufficient. Please consider our different insurance conditions classic, comfort or premium.
Does your car have any built in extras which raise its market value?
Then look for a partial coverage insurance that covers the extras.
How high is your no-claims discount bonus?
(Schadensfreiheitsrabatt SFR). Fees for car insurances in Germany depend on the years during which a driver is accident-free. If a driver can prove accident-free years, the insurance fee may eventually be cheaper.
Do you want full coverage of all parts of your car no matter what happens?
Then a fully comprehensive coverage insurance is your best option.
How extensive are your personal needs concerning a suitable car insurance?
Is a third-party liability insurance sufficient? Or do you need a more progressive car insurance to cover all eventualities?
To find the perfect auto and vehicle insurance in Germany, you can use a car insurance calculator online. With this tool, you will be able to get a comparison between car insurance rates, costs and find the perfect option.
Which Factors Determine the Car Insurance Cost?
Insurance providers asses risks to estimate the premium. Therefor they evaluate you as owner and driver as well as your car. Here are the most important factors that insurance providers take into account:
|Features of the vehicle||Age Class/type|
|Features of the insured person(s)||Age Experience in driving Mileage per year Traffic violation points (Flensburg points)|
|Others||Desired insurance type and scope of coverage added services|
Recalculating Your Existing Car Insurance
Many Germans switch their car insurance annually – due to changes in the market, the costs often reduce with a new contract. Not only the contract is changed but often also the insurance company.
Registering Your Car in Germany
You are legally obliged to register your car or vehicle in Germany, in order to drive on public roads. Here is all you need to know on how the process works:
Necessary Vehicle Registration in Germany
Vehicle registration is necessary in specific situations:
When you buy or receive a new car, you need to register it in order to drive with it on public roads. For brand new vehicles, this is called first registration.
When a car was deregistered, you need to re-register it as soon as the seller has cancelled his registration. The change of car ownership must be registered with the registration office.
For this process, the time span, for which the car has been deregistered, is important. Within a period of seven years, a car can be re-registered any time. After this timespan, you will need a complete report by the Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV) to make sure the vehicle is ok. This report determines, if you are allowed to re-register. The Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV) is an independent institution, which controls the condition of your car. After buying a new car, the first TÜV-Inspection is mandatory after three years. Subsequently, car owners must have their car checked by the TÜV every two years.
How to Register a car in Germany
In Germany, you have different options to register your car. Please check, which of them are available to you. This depends on your main residence:
Required Documents for Registration
To register your car or vehicle, several official documents are necessary. You will need:
For re-registering a used car, you will additionally need:
Good to know: In order to register a car, you do not need a driver’s license. You can only be the vehicle owner while somebody else drives the car.
After you have registered your car, you will get a license plate number. That number allows you to order license plates in a sign shop. You can also reserve specific license plates for your car online for an extra fee.
Foreign Driver’s Licenses in Germany and Car Insurance
German authorities might grant you the permission to drive with your foreign driver’s license depending on a few points:
- Permits issued in the EU countries: Usually, your driver’s license, issued in one of the European Member States, will be accepted.
- Permits issues in non-EU countries: You can convert your driver’s license by submitting an application to your local driver license office.
If you have a driver’s license issued in another EU country, there will be no problem for you to drive in Germany. That means until your foreign license expires – afterwards, you need to transform it into a German one. That applies also to EEA licenses, e.g. licenses which are issued in European Economic Area countries.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions:
- Age related: You need to be minimum 16 years old, to get a EU Licence for mopeds, light motorcycles and quadricles. For cars, standard motorcycles and medium-sized vehicles, the minimum age is 18 years.
- Vehicle size related: There are different types of driving licences (AM- D). They are linked to different vehicle sizes from mopeds to buses are large vehicles. Depending on the vehicle’s size, you need to meet certain criterias. For more information visit the European info site about EU Licences.
Here, the German laws and standards apply to the individual groups of vehicles and age restrictions.
How to Convert a Non-EU Driving License into a German One
Convert your foreign driving license at your local driving license office. You need to submit an application for this cause. Make an appointment ahead of time to prevent complications with your expiring license.
These documents are necessary to transform your license into a German one:
- Valid ID, passport or national ID card
- Biometric passport picture, it should be taken recently
- Original driver’s license
- Translation of your foreign license
- A German certificate of registration (Anmeldebescheinigung)
Sometimes, the officials need additional documents – it is advised to schedule an appointment for your specific case to get all relevant details and documents aligned. Some non-EU countries have special arrangements for the exchange of driver’s licenses, which can be clarified during this appointment.