Buy a damaged car in Germany

August 18, 2022

Damaged Car

Cars are expensive in the Netherlands. Some people see merit in buying their car abroad and the bravest choose to buy a (cheap) damaged car in Germany. Is it wise and is there any benefit – or profit – in buying a damaged car in Germany?


Why would you want to get a damaged car from Germany? Do you want to scrap it and sell the parts or use it yourself for a ánother car? Or do you want to buy a car cheap and refurbish it? Before you travel to Germany or make a rash purchase over the Internet, you should ask yourself a lot of questions.

Damaged car from Germany for professionals

There are companies that see a revenue model in damaged cars from Germany. They therefore know the opportunities and risks of such purchases. Who have already asked themselves all the questions about damaged cars from Germany, probably know the answers and can estimate the cost of the damage well. But for individuals, buying a damaged car in Germany is very different.

Wrecked car from Germany for individuals

What do you understand by damage? A dent, major collision damage and/or engine or other technical damage? Maybe you know a lot about the construction of cars, but does that make you a damage expert? Can you estimate if the visible damage is the only damage and if there is no underlying damage? There are quite a few risks that can make buying a damaged car in Germany and refurbishing it a costly endeavor.

Repair capabilities

If you answered all questions in the affirmative, will you repair the damaged car from Germany yourself or will you outsource it? Does the lower price of a damaged car from Germany offset the cost of the parts you think you need? If you can’t repair the damage yourself, is there any financial room to have the work done by professionals? After all, labor is expensive.

Bringing damaged car from Germany to the Netherlands

Chances are that a damaged car will not even be allowed on the road again. Then you have to have it transported. This also creates additional costs that you must consider when deciding whether it pays to take on such a job. You also have to apply for a Dutch license plate for the car – before or after the refurbishment – otherwise you cannot drive it and you cannot sell it.

Additional costs for damaged car from Germany

In addition to the purchase price of a damaged car in Germany and the costs for parts, repair, possibly transportation, there are other costs around the corner. Just think of the RDW inspection required before you can get a license plate, the fees for the license plate and the license plates you need. Should the RDW find the damaged car unfit for use, you will receive a license plate, but it will immediately be declared invalid. Once the car is repaired, you must have it retested to make the license plate valid again.

No import duty to pay for damaged car from Germany

BPM is due for every car in the Netherlands, the older the car and the lower the value and theCO2 emission, the lower the BPM amount is. You pay the BPM when you get your car registered. Don’t forget that you also have to pay the recycling fee. Next, you have to insure your car or immediately suspend the license plate. All in all, the additional costs can still add up quite a bit. Fortunately, however, you do not have to pay any import duty to import a damaged car from Germany. After all, within the European Union there is free movement of goods.

Reselling a refurbished used car from Germany

Eventually you will want to sell your refurbished damaged car; maybe that was your intention beforehand. You can’t then disguise the fact that your car was a damaged car. In the Netherlands – on numerous commercial sites – it is easy to find out the history of a car and the BPM amount that has been paid. If that amount is particularly low, the potential buyer can assume that he is dealing with a damaged car (whether or not expertly repaired). The buyer can also have the car undergo an independent purchase inspection. The inspector can determine in great detail if the car has had any damage and if it has been repaired properly. However, a repaired damage can be an objection for the potential buyer – and for those who want to sell their refurbished damaged car from Germany.