Car: these 4 points to consider when buying a car

 Car: these 4 points to consider when buying a car

Guidebook these 4 points to consider when buying a car

Christian Schnell

Buying a car: what really matters?

munich the germans’ relationship with cars is legendary. Hardly any other people on earth are so enthusiastic about technology and design, spend so much money on care and maintenance. In addition, despite all the recent scandals, the car is still a symbol of status and individuality. 46.5 million cars on german roads, according to new figures, and the number has been rising for years.

Many people in the country are therefore often faced with the question of what would be the right vehicle for them. But buying a car is still a decision between reason and emotion. The Handelsblatt has therefore compiled a guide to the most important questions concerning the purchase of a car.

What is the starting position?? 3.44 million new vehicles were registered in germany in 2017. This is the highest level so far this decade, according to the industry association VDA. The pressure on sales is therefore high to at least maintain this level this year.

In addition, because of the new WLTP emissions standard that has been in force since september, many cars have been quickly registered and are now entering the market. "numerous additional low-priced very young used cars will now have to be marketed by the end of the year," says andreas geilenbrugge of car valuer schwacke.

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Good, then, for interested parties. Favorable offers can be found at any dealer. This also applies to used cars, where the choice is also huge. If you want to find out in advance, you’ll find plenty of offers on the internet. Market leaders are mobile.De and autoscout24.De.

1. New or used?

This question is often decided by the wallet. Depending on age, equipment and mileage, used vehicles are sometimes much cheaper, but then also more susceptible to expensive repairs.

A favorable alternative to a new car is often a year-old car. As the name suggests, they were first registered less than a year ago. They have usually been driven by the manufacturer’s employees beforehand. This speaks for a considerate driving style and a manageable mileage.

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Dealers also frequently offer so-called daily registrations. These vehicles are usually registered and deregistered once, without the car being moved. So it can be sold with a higher discount. However, the buyer is then officially the second owner, which depresses the price in the event of a later resale.

Demonstration cars can also be an inexpensive alternative to new cars. They were used for some time for test drives or by sellers and have a few thousand kilometers on the tachometer.

Cars from car rental companies are even cheaper. They are usually replaced after half a year. However, since they are used by many different drivers and not always with care, a certain amount of caution is appropriate. In addition, scratches in the paintwork and damage must be expected.

2. Diesel or gasoline?

Just three years ago, more than half of germans opted for a diesel; today, the proportion is one-third. The diesel scandal with manipulated emission values is of course to blame, as is the discussion about driving bans for the so-called diesel engine in large cities. Manufacturers such as BMW are taking a stand and promising to take back the car if diesel driving bans are imposed in a municipality within a radius of one hundred kilometers of the place of residence or work during the term of the leasing contract.

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Regardless of this discussion, a diesel generally pays off more for frequent drivers. For example, if you drive a gasoline-powered car fast on long stretches of highway, you can expect noticeably higher fuel consumption. Even then, the diesel driver’s costs are kept within reasonable limits. This also applies to the popular large suvs, which are still mostly sold with diesel engines.

3. Or just an electric car?

So far, skepticism prevails among buyers. This is due on the one hand to the significantly higher price compared to an internal combustion engine, and on the other to the limited range of many models to date. The federal government attempted to counteract the former by granting an environmental bonus in 2016.

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4000 euros for purely electric cars, 3000 euros for hybrid vehicles, i.e. a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Nevertheless, only a few people were convinced. Around 70.000 applications for subsidies were submitted by the end of July, more than half from companies.

If you are interested in an electric car as a private individual, you should also think about charging the battery. A public charging station should be easily accessible. Or they can charge the vehicle at home, which usually requires a garage.

Charging at a conventional socket is a lengthy process and often overloads the home power system. Better is a so-called wallbox, which must be installed by an electrician. It costs upwards of 1,000 euros to buy, so it has to be added as another cost factor for the electric car.

4. Fully comprehensive, partially comprehensive or liability insurance only?

Anyone who causes an accident will recognize the difference by then at the latest. Fully comprehensive insurance pays for other people’s damage as well as your own. Partially comprehensive insurance only pays for theft, fire, marten and weather damage to your own car. Liability insurance only compensates the other party in the accident. The premiums for fully comprehensive, partially comprehensive and liability insurance differ accordingly.


Within these categories, however, the type classes are also decisive. They show whether a model causes few or many accidents, resulting in low or high damages. They are adjusted every year, and the latest figures have just been published.

So for just under 30 million car owners, everything will stay the same. 5.4 million are covered by more favorable classes, 5.7 million by more expensive classes. Generally speaking, large sedans, but also SUVs and convertibles, are represented in particularly expensive type classes.

Another feature for calculating the insurance premium is the regional class. Here, the main residence decides what has to be paid. This tends to be less in rural areas than in urban areas. But regional classes are also reviewed year by year.

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