Why you need a VB-Nummer to register a car

FahrzeugscheinI’ve talked before about how the process of buying and registering a car in Germany.

Since I recorded that podcast there has been a change in the way that the insurance works, as I found out when I changed my car last year.

One of the best things about the German registration system is that you must arrange insurance for the car before you go to the Zulassungsstelle to register it.  If you do not, then you will either not receive any number plates to put on the car, or at the very least they will not have valid stickers on them, making uninsured cars very easy to spot on German roads. [Read more…]

Leasing a car in Germany (and why you might want to)

Ford FocusMany companies in Germany who provide their employees with company cars do not actually buy the cars outright, instead they prefer to lease them and my company car is no exception.

By leasing the car, I pay a monthly fee to a leasing company, often a bank, who have purchased the vehicle from my usual dealer.  That fee allows me to drive the car up to an agreed number of kilometres each year.

And when the lease runs out, I just return the car to the dealer and can lease a new one.

Buy why not buy the car outright as a business and then sell it again later? [Read more…]

Leb’ wohl, Bio-Ethanol

Ford Focus FlexifuelIt is now four years since I started driving a car powered by bio-ethanol.  Those four years ended yesterday when I returned the car to the dealer with only a few days left to run on the lease.

The car that I have replaced it with no longer runs on bio-ethanol (E85), although it does use the new E10 fuel.

So how have those four years been and why did I switch back?

Well, whilst on the one hand it was nice to try something new [Read more…]

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