How to bring your car to Germany

Hello everybody,

If you exported your car to Germany, were there any formalities that needed to be completed beforehand? What were they?

What is the best way to export your car? Is there a limit on the number of vehicles, or perhaps the age of the vehicle? Are there limits on emissions or emission controls in Germany?

What are the expected costs of exporting a car? In your opinion, is it worth it?

Once you arrived in Germany, what were the applicable taxes? What was the customs process like?

How do you go about registering an imported car in Germany?

Is it best to buy a car once you have arrived or to bring your car with you, in your opinion?

We look forward to hearing from you!


The formalities and needed alterations (to meet German safety and environmental standards) are such that it basically doesn't make sense to import a non-EU car.
Used cars are widely available and cheap.

I didnt bring my car here. My advise is to ship your car if you are not planning to buy a new one. Its hard to find a decent used car and they are expensive. I have my german friend helping me out but still no luck unless i really want to spend 7000 euro. Try to do some research online to give you more idea. Good luck.

to import car as a single owner,, always expensive. ..better to buy car ,,where are you living...If you have a very luxirious car then its up to you,, if you bring with you,,, but remember taxes and other documentation are higher,,,

Thank you everyone for your feedbacks,

In Mauritius, well, people here are fond of German cars (specially the BMW) , but they are relatively expensive, Volkswagen is a little cheaper. But the most common, due to price and availability of spare parts remain the Japanese models (Toyota/Honda/Mazda).

Surely better to buy a car there, the BMW and other German models lovers will be pleasantly surprised by the prices.

Have a nice day,

Hi. The answer is quite simple. Importing a vehicle from a member EU state is no problem whatsoever. Outside EU states you will be confronted with mountains of paperwork.

Log onto the web site Use the English button and you can compare prices.

If there is one thing Germany has plenty of its cars! Bilogclark’s post that it is difficult to find a good one and he has 7000 Euros to spend sounds surprising. Go online to sites like or and you will find thousands of every description. 

I don’t think that the price levels for used cars here is exactly cheap but very questionable if the trouble and import duties to bring one from outside the EU would make sense except for something special. Germany has strict safety standards and bi-annual inspections for both safety and exhaust levels. And diesels are on the way out as they tighten fine-particle emission allowances. Many cars that one might find elsewhere for little money might not even be allowed here.

Importing a car from outside the EU will mean a 10% import duty and 19% value added tax. Trucks including pickups pay a 22% duty fee, motorcycles up to 250 cc 6% and over - 8%. There are some exceptions to this rule if one is moving permanently to Germany, giving up any foreign residence and using the car for their own use. Lots of details to the conditions though.

If importing a vehicle from within the EU one also has to pay the 19% value added tax BUT you then can apply to get a refund of any such tax you paid in the country of purchase. Any car coming from another EU country, if made after 1996 should have a certificate of conformity meaning it should meet the initial safety standards but of course will still have to pass the inspections every 2 years like all other cars.

Shipping a car is expensive, and parts and maintenance on American cars can be problematic. I have purchased a number of used cars in Germany, and have not found it expensive. Germans take care of their cars and keep them in good condition. The last car I purchased in Germany was a ten year old VW Passat sedan with about 100,000 km. It looked like and ran like a new car, had a new two year TUeV, and the person delivered it about 150 km. It cost me 3000 Euro.

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