4. August 2021

Tips for a safe used car purchase.

Tips for a safe used car purchase.

Last year, more than 7 million used cars changed hands in Germany. In order to avoid mispurchases and the associated unpleasant surprises when buying a used car, we would like to give you helpful tips on the way. They also apply to the purchase of modern classic and classic cars.

Complete vehicle documentation, including:

  • Valid report by TÜV (German technical inspection association)
  • Exhaust emission test (AU – Abgasuntersuchung) – certificate
  • Neat service book
  • Registration certificate part I (vehicle license)
  • Registration certificate part II (vehicle letter)
  • Possible general operating permits (ABE – Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnisse), e.g. darkened windows, rims, etc.
  • Repair and maintenance bills

In addition, the following is very important:

  • Check whether the seller is entered as the owner in the documents
  • Document all verbal agreements in the contract

The inspection should take place outdoors in daylight and dry weather in order to identify possible damage or defects. A test drive with the vehicle is also essential, as this is the only way to gain clarity about the driving behaviour and technical characteristics.

During the test drive of the used car, check that the cockpit instruments and all other switches and buttons (e.g. window lifters, air conditioning, lights, etc.). The gears should also be easy to engage in the manual transmission and, as with the automatic transmission, the gear changes should be smooth and jerk-free.

Attention should also be paid to the steering wheel, it must not vibrate during normal driving or when braking. In order to check the brakes, it is definitely advisable to accelerate to about 100 km / h on the highway and to check straight-line stability during the somewhat more forceful braking process, of course only if the maneuver does not endanger other road users. The car must stay on track and should not be leaning in any particular direction.

Helpful: a used vehicle inspection by a testing organisation or by a specialist. This gives you a neutral assessment of the condition of the car from an expert.