Whether you plan to live in Germany or are only visiting for a short time, car insurance is mandatory if you are going to operate a motor vehicle in that country. Germany requires liability insurance on every vehicle operated on its roads. If you come to Germany from another location, you will need to bring your previous insurance policies to show what type of insurance you carried, your driving record, and to give the German agent an idea of how you were insured previously.
Many German agents are especially adept at helping newcomers through the complexities of insuring their vehicles, making sure that those with good driving records receive full discounts and benefits. Ask your agent about these deductions to make sure you are receiving all of your eligible discounts.
Car Insurance for German Drivers
German auto insurance prices hinge on several factors, including your previous driving record, the type of car you are operating, where you live, and how often and how far you plan to drive the car. German insurance agents offer substantial deductions for each year you are accident- and citation free; this is known as the “good year” discount. Because these discounts can be so substantial – up to 25% your first accident free year – it pays to perfect your driving skills before taking to the road; you will save significant amounts of money in the long run.
How Car Insurance in Germany Works
Germany honors all drivers’ licenses issued by European Union countries, and American, Canadian, and British licenses will be valid for up to six months. If you are leaving the country before a year passes, you can get an extension on your American, Canadian, or British license; however, if you are staying longer than a year, you should apply for a German license. The origin of your license will not affect your ability to obtain car insurance, although rates may be different for foreign drivers with limited proof of driving records.
Applying for German Insurance
The process of applying for auto insurance in Germany is fairly simple. Germany has several reputable insurance carriers, and any of their agents can sign you up for a plan. You should be prepared to show your previous driving record, your original license, and the make and model of your vehicle, as well as to give the agent an idea of how many miles and how many days a week you are driving. If you are staying in Germany for more than a year, be sure to let your agent know, as this may affect both the type and price of policy you are offered.
Know the German Car Insurance Requirements
Although liability insurance is mandated, collision and comprehensive are not required by the government. Depending on how the vehicle is financed, however, collision and comprehensive may be required by the lender until the vehicle is paid for. Rental cars have their own special insurance needs which are usually handled through the rental agency. If you are purchasing a car in Germany, whether from a private sale or from a dealer, be sure to acquaint yourself with the specific insurance requirements prior to completing the sale.