Used Car Import Procedures in Germany

Germans have a distinct taste when it comes to vehicles. This is also the reason why automakers from this European country only produce cars that are renowned across the globe for their quality, performance, and class. However, it is common knowledge how expensive these vehicles can get. That said, many people are learning to find creative ways to get the cars they want at a more affordable price. After all, left-hand-drive European vehicles can also be found in any used car online auction in Japan.

The Japanese regard caring for their possessions as an essential part of their culture. So, it is not surprising to find a used European car in good condition when you join a Japanese car auction. Here at, we want to make the process easier for you. As such, we’ve put together this guide in importing used Japanese vehicles to Germany.

Search & Order your Vehicle

You can go through our online catalog and choose the vehicle you prefer. Send us an inquiry and we will respond promptly with a free quote. Let us know if you approve the quotation and we will send you a pre-forma invoice. Alternatively, you can join our used car online auction and bid for the vehicle you like.

Pay for your Vehicle

After receiving your invoice, make sure you settle the full payment within 48 hours. Once you’ve settled the fees, send us an e-mail with the T/T documents coming from the bank. Keep in mind that you will be paying for the FOB, the shipment charges, and the fees from Japan to the discharge port.
You can also opt to pay for the cost via PayPal. Let us know if you prefer this option and we will issue an invoice containing a link to the PayPal site. Just click on that link, log in, then confirm your payment.

Ports of Delivery in Germany

When shipping a used car to Germany, you can choose from two ports of delivery—Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

Shipment & Pickup

Once we’ve confirmed the payment, we will load your vehicle on the ship for delivery. We will also notify you regarding the ship’s departure and arrival time. All the essential documents from our end will be delivered to your address. You just have to process the fees and documents in Germany, and you will be able to claim your vehicle.

Car Import Taxation and Charges in Germany

All used Japanese cars imported into Germany are subject to the following fees:
Customs Duty on Cars – This is 10% of the Car Price, freight costs, and freight insurance.
Customs Duty on Trucks – The rates vary depending on total weight and the engine displacement. Please consult the customs office regarding the accurate computation.
Import Value Added Tax (VAT) – This is 19% of sum of the CIF and the customs duty.
Vintage and collector’s vehicles are subject to a 7% tax under certain circumstances.

Car Inspection in Germany

Used vehicles imported in Germany are required to undergo Technical Inspection (Fahrzeug-Hauptuntersuchung, also known as ‘TUV’). Once you register your vehicle in the country, you will be compelled to submit the Technical Inspection certificate. Additionally, you can only register a car if it is licensed by the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt / KBA). The vehicle will undergo inspection for the following qualities:

  • Road-worthiness
  • Safety
  • Emission control

Other Requirements

If you are using the car on a temporary basis, you can keep the original license plates and registration for a period of one year. Keep in mind that you will need the registration document with German translation. Otherwise, the vehicle must be registered at a local Kfz-Zulassungsstelle.

In general, these are the documents you will need:

  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of the Title and Registration certificate
  • Proof of ownership – this includes the bill of lading and the commercial invoice
  • Insurance card coming from Japan
  • Third-party liability insurance which can be acquired at the Customs clearance
  • Certificate from the Customs clearance (Zollbescheinigung) – this indicates payment of or exemption (Unbedenklichkeitsbe-scheinigung) from relevant duties and taxes
  • TUV certificate

Car Importation Regulations

The used vehicle is exempted from taxation if it will be used in Germany for a maximum of six months. It is prohibited to sell, lend, rent, or pawn the imported vehicle for a period of 12 months after import.

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