Car translations Germany

Before you go to Germany, you can hunt for a car “online” beforehand. Such an option is much more comfortable than travelling without any guarantee of finding something of interest on the spot.

An ideal source of advertisements for used cars is online portals.

You can browse through thousands of adverts on sites of this type and, using special search options, narrow down your search criteria and find the pieces you are interested in.

Once you have caught the eye of a few interesting specimens, it remains to travel to Germany and verify their condition in reality. If you do not have a friend who can travel to Germany with you by car, a very good option is to travel by plane.

If this is the case, it may be worth looking at a larger number of cars in the area so that we can make a purchase the first time around and the cost of the ticket paid off to some extent. You can also look for specialised companies that organise minibus trips to Germany.

You need to know that a large proportion of the cars in the adverts come from commission shops and auto-dealers, where the car will be paid for in cash in euros. Bargain! It is possible to enter into negotiations with many vendors and, as a result, knock down the price by 10 % or even more.

Obviously, it is most cost-effective to buy from a private individual, whereby reaching them is not always so easy. If you are buying a car from a private individual, a purchase and sale agreement will be prepared for you. “Kaufvertrag”.

If, on the other hand, you decide to buy from a car dealership, you will receive a bill (Rechnung).

In addition to the proof of purchase of the vehicle (contract, or invoice), when you buy the car you will receive:

  • The vehicle card – Fahrzeugbrief, known in Poland as the “big brief.” This document is very important to you. This is your source of information on all
    existing vehicle owners. Check that the holder’s details are identical to those of the seller. If not, you have the right to ask for authorisation. To make sure that the car is from a legitimate source, you can compare the body number (you will find it on the nameplate) with the number entered in the document.
  • Fahrzeugschein, or so-called small brief – the equivalent of a registration certificate. It should be endorsed and stamped to confirm the deregistration

With the vehicle purchase agreement and the documents you have received, you must go to the Strassenverkehrsamt , i.e. the German transport department, where you will buy the export plates, as well as insurance. You can buy boards with a yellow or red stripe.

What is the difference between yellow and red boards?

  • Plates with a yellow stripe, the so-called Kurzzeitkennzeichen – are necessary if the vehicle does not have a valid inspection. You can only ride them for five days and the cost to get them including insurance is around €85.
  • Plates with a red stripe, the so-called Ausfuhrkennzeichen – you can buy these when the car has a current technical inspection. It is worth considering buying them as they are valid for a long period of time. They can be valid for 15 to 30 days. Buying such plates (including insurance) will cost you €200 for 15 days.

It is a good idea not to delay the purchase of the plates until the last minute, as in most German cities the communications departments only serve applicants from 7 am to 12 noon. It should take you no more than two hours to produce and legalise your registration documents.

Where to go if a vehicle does not have up-to-date technical inspection?
If, despite the lack of a technical inspection, you want to buy plates with a red stripe, you must go to the Tüv or Dekra and carry out an inspection stating that the car will be exported from Germany. When making plates with a red stripe, a visit with the car to the office will also be necessary.

Once you are in Poland, it is necessary to have all your documents translated by a sworn translator (check the translation of car documents from Germany).

The original documents, and their translations, should be photocopied.

If you have a bilingual purchase and sale agreement, it is possible not to translate it, although it is good to bear in mind that some authorities may require a sworn translator’s stamp on such a document.

Being in Poland, a technical inspection is essential for further formalities, so you must have your vehicle tested at the nearest Vehicle Inspection Station.

After the inspection, you will receive two documents: a certificate of technical inspection and a Vehicle Identification Document.

The next place you absolutely must go to is the Customs Office. You have five days from the date of purchase of the vehicle to do so. You visit the Customs Office competent for your place of residence. You can find your Customs Office on the website of the Ministry of Finance. On the website of the Customs Chambers, you will find templates of the necessary forms to fill in and a lot of necessary information, including the number of the bank account to which you must pay the excise duty.

It is here that you submit the so-called ‘Thesis’. “Simplified declaration for intra-Community acquisitions”, marked AKC-U. You must also pay the calculated excise duty into the bank account of the relevant Customs Chamber.

Excise duty
The age of the car has no effect on the excise duty. The amount of excise duty, depends on the engine capacity of the vehicle purchased.

If, therefore, your vehicle has an engine with a capacity of :

  • up to 2000 cc , the excise duty will be 3.1% of the vehicle price
  • over 2000 cc, the excise duty will be as much as 18.6% of the vehicle price

There is a varying wait for the certificate. Sometimes you’ll get them straight away, other times you’ll have to wait a few days.

What documents do I need to show in order to obtain a document confirming payment of excise duty?

It is necessary to present:
the completed AKC-U declaration
a completed application to the Head of the Customs Office for the issue of a document confirming payment of excise duty
proof of payment of stamp duty for the document confirming payment of excise duty – you will pay PLN 17 for it

You must also include the original and copies of the following documents for inspection:

  • Car purchase document (purchase contract, invoice, bill of sale)
  • Document of deregistration of the car in the country of purchase
  • Vehicle identification document issued in an EU Member State (registration certificate, vehicle card or other)
  • Technical inspection certificate
  • Translation of all documents

Excise duty is paid by bank transfer
You must pay the excise duty by transfer to the account of the Customs Chamber. In the title of the transfer you write “excise duty on a passenger car”, and state the make and body number of the car.

Once you have received confirmation of payment of the excise duty, you must go to the tax office responsible for your place of residence. This is where you will arrange your VAT paperwork. Remember that you are not obliged to pay VAT in this situation,
because the vehicle was acquired in the intra-Community area.

Unfortunately, a visit to the tax office is necessary, as you need to apply for a decision from the office on exemption from VAT.

To receive it, you fill in and submit a VAT – 24 application, and pay the amount of PLN 160 to the office.

In some tax offices it happens that the fee can be paid on the spot.

You submit to the VAT -24 application:

  • Originals and photocopies of previously translated vehicle documents
  • Proof of payment

Interestingly, each annex submitted with the application is subject to a fee. Once you have submitted the complete set of documents, it remains to await a certificate confirming VAT exemption. There is usually a seven-day wait for it to be issued.

It turns out that the list of your charges also includes the recycling fee, which you pay by transfer made to the account of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

Remember to include in the title of the transfer the model and make of the car, the description “recycling fee”, and the VIN or chassis, body or frame number of the vehicle. Once the payment has been made, all that remains is the Department of Motor Vehicles, where you will register the vehicle. This fee is not small, as it amounts to PLN 500.

Your final stop is the Department of Communications, where you will register your car. When you go there, you take all the documents you have collected so far, as well as copies and translations. It is compulsory that you also take with you a completed car registration application. You will hand over the original brief, plates and certificate of deregistration of the car in Germany on site. In return, you will receive a temporary registration certificate, plate and window sticker. Now you still have to go with the proof to the insurer where you will conclude the third-party liability contract.

What expenses will I incur when registering my car?
In the case of the registration of a car purchased in Poland, the registration cost would be PLN 180.50. When registering a car imported from abroad, we have to reckon with additional costs. First and foremost is the previously mentioned recycling fee of PLN 500, which is compulsory and the same for all cars registered for the first time in Poland, regardless of whether we imported them from European or non-European countries.

The cost of registering a car purchased in another country is an expense of PLN 256.

What is included in the registration price?

  • Licence plates – PLN 80
  • Registration certificate – PLN 54
  • Vehicle card – PLN 75
  • Temporary permit – PLN 13.5
  • Legalisation sticker – PLN 12.5
  • Control sticker – PLN 18.5
  • Registration fee – PLN 2.

You are now a fully-fledged vehicle owner! You can start to road.

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