All drivers in Germany must be covered by some form of car insurance. You cannot register a vehicle without it. If you are a long-term resident in Germany, you will need to have German car insurance, even if you brought your car to Germany from abroad; foreign car insurance does not suffice.
The price of car insurance in Germany depends on various risk factors, including the driver’s age, experience and location, as well as the value and engine size of the car. If you have only just learnt to drive, for instance, your insurance is likely to be more expensive. It might be worth opting to pay a higher excess in exchange for lower monthly premiums.
Expat-friendly car insurance providers
Not sure where to start? What type of cover would be best for you and can you bring your no claims bonus with you from abroad? Our recommended car insurance providers give friendly advice and, even better, have customer service in English:
Car insurance providers:
Motorcycle insurance providers:
Types of car insurance in Germany
Your insurance cost is also affected by the type of cover you choose. There are three types of car insurance in Germany:
Third-party coverage (Haftpflicht)
If you wish to register your car, having this type of insurance is the minimum legal requirement. It covers any damage you or your car might inflict on other people, cars or property, including medical bills. It does not cover damage to your own car, if you were responsible.
Partial coverage (Teilkasko)
As well as covering third-party damage, partial coverage also protects you in the case of accidental damage, fire and theft (but not vandalism).
Comprehensive coverage (Vollkasko)
Comprehensive insurance is, as the name suggests, fairly comprehensive, covering third parties, fire, theft and any damages you might make to your own car or yourself. If you buy a car on finance through a dealership, you may be required to take out this type of insurance.
Breakdown insurance (Schutzbriefversicherung)
You might also consider purchasing breakdown insurance, which covers the costs of having your car towed in the case of a breakdown or accident. Some policies also provide a rental car while your car is being fixed.
No claims bonus (Schadenfreiheitsrabatt - SFR)
It may be possible to bring your no claims bonus with you from your home country, in order to reduce the overall cost of your car insurance. It is a good idea to request a letter from your insurance company at home, attesting to your driving record. Your new insurance company may accept this as proof for a no claims bonus.
Taking out German car insurance
The German car insurance market is fairly competitive, so it is worth shopping around to search for the best deals. A price comparison website can help you make a decision. It is usually possible to take out a policy online, by supplying a few personal details, such as your driving licence number and your German bank account.
Getting your eVB number (elektronische Versicherungsbestätigung)
Once you have chosen a provider and taken out a policy, the provider will issue you with an eVB number (elektronische Verischerungsbestätigung), usually via email. Along with your TÜV certificate and vehicle tax form, you need to provide this number to the car registration authority in order to register your car.