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Car Insurance in Germany [How To Pick the Best Vehicle Insurance in 2023?]

Updated: 6 days ago

Struggling to find good auto insurance? Are you new to Germany and don't know what a car insurance policy should cover? This English guide explains everything you need to know about vehicle insurance in Germany.

A insured car parked on the street of Germany
Car Insurance in Germany

Key takeaways

  • Use comparison portals like Verivox* and Check24* to get an overview of car insurance in Germany.

  • Your vehicle insurance coverage sum should be at least 50 million euros.

  • There are several ways to save on car insurance in Germany.

  • Change your auto insurance every year.

  • Switch to an annual plan to save money.

  • Car insurance cost depends on factors like your age, driving experience, SF-Class, car type, etc.

  • Every vehicle in Germany should have at least third-party liability insurance.


This is how you do it

  • We recommend calculating the cheapest car insurance on portals like Verivox* or Check24*. Then do the counter-check on insurers' websites.

  • Based on the result, choose the vehicle insurance policy that offers the desired protection at the best price.


Table of contents

  1. Where can you find the cheapest car insurance?

  2. Which German car insurance do you need for your car?

  3. How can you save on car insurance?

  4. Eight tips to reduce vehicle insurance premium for a novice driver

  5. Why use comparison portals and direct insurers to find the best car insurance policy?

  6. What damage does a good car insurance policy cover?

  7. What is less important in car insurance?

  8. What should I do in the event of a car accident?

  9. How to cancel car insurance in Germany?

  10. How to file a complaint against a car insurance company in Germany?

  11. The most important questions about car insurance in Germany

We recommend looking for new car insurance policies yearly as you may find a better and cheaper tariff.

Most car insurance companies have a deadline of November 30th to cancel the contract. So, look for a new one before this date.


 

Where can you find the cheapest vehicle insurance in Germany?

It's a three-step process.

  • Go through the comparison portals Verivox* or Check24* to find and compare different car insurance offers.

  • Then, get an offer directly from the individual insurance companies you found on the portals.

  • Finally, compare the offers and pick the best one for you.

The most important thing to find the best and cheapest car insurance is to compare the offers thoroughly.

But the problem is the price of good auto insurance varies greatly. And no car insurance comparison portal displays all the insurance companies' tariffs.

That's why we recommend comparing the contracts on multiple portals, i.e., Verivox* and Check24*.

The portals will give you a good overview of car insurance prices and conditions. Once you have that information, you can head to the insurers' website whose terms you like.

This way, you will find the best and cheapest car insurance in Germany.


 

Find Cheap Car Insurance In Germany

  • Compare offers and prices.

  • Comparison calculator to find suitable insurance policies.

  • User-friendly and consistent data protection guidelines.

 

 

Which German car insurance do you need?

German car insurance companies offer three types of insurance policies.

  • Third-party liability insurance (haftpflicht): Under it, the insurance provider covers the damage to third parties and other vehicles in the event of an accident. But the insurer doesn't cover repair costs or damage to your car if you are responsible for the accident.

  • Partial comprehensive car insurance (teilkasko): It covers third-party liability plus damages to your vehicle in some instances—for example, theft attempts, fire, storm damage, etc. The coverage benefits may vary depending on the car insurance.

  • Full comprehensive car insurance (vollkasko): As the name suggests, it covers everything, including damage to your vehicle. In full coverage, it doesn't matter if the accident is your fault. The insurer covers all the costs.

You need to decide which type of auto insurance fits your needs.

Types of vehicle insurance in Germany
Types of car insurance in Germany

As per German law, you must have at least third-party liability insurance if you own a car. But you can take additional coverage to protect yourself against damages.

However, partial and full-comprehensive car insurance costs significantly more than third-party liability insurance. So think carefully about whether you need this additional protection or not.


Here is how you can decide which German car insurance policy to pick.

  • For new cars, take out full comprehensive coverage (Vollkasko)

  • For high-quality older cars, partial insurance coverage (Teilkasko) is sufficient.

  • For old rust buckets, third-party liability insurance (haftpflicht) is adequate.

Of course, it's a quick and dirty trick to judge which auto insurance you need. You will learn more about car insurance in Germany and how to pick one later in this guide.


Check car insurance every year

You should check your vehicle insurance every year, as your driving experience increases with time, which can help you get cheaper insurance.

Moreover, a new vehicle does not remain new. Thus, switching from full-comprehensive car insurance to partial car insurance to save money after a few years is advisable.


 

How can you save on vehicle insurance in Germany?

How much your car insurance costs depends on how high the car insurance company assesses the risk that you will file a claim.

To do so, the car insurance company creates a risk profile based on your information.

Thus, you can influence some of these points to a certain extent. But, of course, without giving false information.

In the event of intentional misrepresentation, you may be subject to penalties.

Here are the seven tips to save on car insurance costs.

Tips to reduce car insurance cost in Germany
Tips to reduce vehicle insurance cost in Germany

#1 Opt for a "Deductible" to reduce the premium by 28%.

An auto insurance deductible (selbsbeteiligung in German) is the amount you pay "out of pocket" on a claim. Your insurance then covers the rest.

If you opt for comprehensive car insurance, regardless of whether it is partial or full, you can take a deductible (selbstbeteiligung).

The higher the deductible, the cheaper the car insurance premiums.

As per the analysis of Finanztip, you can save up to 28 percent with a deductible of just 300 euros. Thus, we recommend you deducting around 300 euros to reduce the insurance premium.


#2 Switch to an annual payment plan to save up to 10%

You can save money by paying car insurance premiums annually instead of monthly.

Here is how much you can save based on your payment plan.

  • You save 4% if you switch from six months to an annual payment plan.

  • You save 8% if you switch from quarterly payments to annual.

  • Finally, you save 10% if you switch from monthly payments to annual.

Moreover, some insurance companies do not offer tariffs with monthly payments at all.

Thus, you will have fewer insurance providers if you narrow your search to a monthly payment plan.


#3 Limit the number of drivers

The car insurance cost increases with the number of drivers you insure.

But the good news is German insurance companies do not charge extra to cover your spouse as a driver.

So keep the drivers to the minimum and don't add friends or relatives who'll drive your car rarely.


#4 Estimate annual mileage defensively

Mileage is the number of kilometers you'll drive in a year. We recommend you calculate it defensively because the more kilometers you state, the more expensive your car insurance premium will be.

Moreover, you can always add extra kilometers later.

Here is a study from Finanztip that shows the increase in vehicle insurance cost against the number of kilometers.

  • 5,000 kilometers cost an average of 8 percent more than 2,000 kilometers a year

  • 10,000 kilometers cost 15 percent more than 5,000 kilometers

  • 15,000 kilometers cost 9 percent more than 10,000 kilometers

  • 20,000 kilometers cost 15 percent more than 15,000 kilometers

  • 25,000 kilometers cost 15 percent more than 20,000 kilometers


#5 Let go of the freedom of picking a car workshop to reduce the vehicle insurance premium by 11%

You can save up to 11% if you uncheck the option of picking an auto workshop of your choice.

In this case, you must have your car repaired in a workshop prescribed by the car insurer in the event of damage.

But check the nearest partner workshop of your car insurance company before you opt for this option. Sometimes savings from the car insurance premium is not worth the effort to travel too far to get your car repaired.

Note for new vehicle owners: You may lose the manufacturer's guarantee if the workshop does not use original spare parts for the repair.

Thus, you should have the option of picking the workshop for new cars.

Moreover, binding to a workshop is usually not an option if you leased or financed your vehicle.

Leasing or financing agreements stipulate that you can only do the repairs in the manufacturer-authorized workshops.


#6 Insurance for seasonal plates is cheaper

With a seasonal license plate, you insure vehicles like convertibles, caravans, and motorcycles that you drive during certain months. For example, you won't drive a motorcycle in winter.

The good part is insurance and taxes only apply for the months you can drive your vehicle. Hence, making the insurance cheaper.

A special case of seasonal registration is the variable number plate. Under variable number place, you get one license plate for two vehicles.

So, you pay for one insurance to cover two cars.

NOTE: You must store your vehicles with seasonal plates during the months you can't drive. You cannot leave them in public spaces and have to buy a private parking area.

#7 Bring no claim bonus from your home country.

Some insurers in Germany consider your driving record from your home country. As a result, you don't start from the lowest SF level and save some money.

Thus, asking your insurer to consider accident-free years from your home country is a good idea.

 

Find The Best Car Insurance In Germany

  • Compare offers and prices.

  • Comparison calculator to find suitable insurance policies.

  • User-friendly and consistent data protection guidelines.

 

 

Eight tips to reduce vehicle insurance premium for a novice driver

Car insurance in Germany is often expensive for young drivers. But there are many ways you can save money as a young driver.

Here are eight tips to reduce your vehicle insurance premium as a novice driver.


#1 Your parents can insure the car as a second car and add you as a driver.

In this scenario, your parents' driving record precedes yours. Hence, bringing the insurance cost down.

It is the easiest and cheapest way to get car insurance in Germany for a novice driver.


#2 Take the insurance from your family's car insurance company.

Many insurers offer special discounts if you opt for more than one insurance from them. Thus, taking insurance from your family's insurer can save you money.


#3 Gain driving experience with an accompanying driver.

You can get a driving license at the age of 17 in Germany. The prerequisite is that an experienced driver should always accompany you in the first year - so that you are not alone on the road.

Statistically, novice drivers who take part in accompanied driving cause fewer accidents. Hence, insurance companies offer better tariffs to these drivers than drivers with no accompanying experience.


#4 Take SF classes from your parents' second car insurance contract with you.

As you know, your parents can insure the car as a second car and add you as a driver. In this case, you can take accident-free driving years from your parents' contract to your new contract.


#5 Use the SF classes of scooters and motorcycles.

You can transfer the SF classes from motorcycles and scooters to a car. However, it must be at least a 50 cubic centimeters scooter.


#6 Use car sharing.

Suppose you use car sharing to drive a car you don't own. Later you decide to have your own.

In this case, you can transfer the accident-free years from car sharing to your new vehicle and save money.


#7 Use telematics tariffs.

Car insurers offer discounts of up to 30% for telematic tariffs.

Under this tariff, insurance companies get your driving data, like acceleration, braking behavior, speed, etc., via an app and a sensor fitted to your car.

Car insurance companies use this data to determine the risk factor and calculate the insurance premium.

Good driving style fetches you better discounts.


#8 No need to take full or partial comprehensive car insurance for cars older than six years.

Cars' value depreciates a lot faster with time. So, paying extra for comprehensive vehicle insurance is not worth it for cars older than six years.

Thus, we recommend checking your car's current value before taking partial or full-comprehensive car insurance.

 

Find Cheap Car Insurance In Germany

  • Compare offers and prices.

  • Comparison calculator to find suitable insurance policies.

  • User-friendly and consistent data protection guidelines.

 

 

Why compare car insurance prices on multiple portals and directly with different insurers?

We recommend you compare car insurance prices on more than one comparison portal and insurers as it is how you find the cheapest car insurance in Germany.

Here are the two reasons why that is the case.


Hard to judge a tariff without comparing it with others

Each insurer offers a different tariff, and it's difficult to judge an offer without comparing it to others. Thus, you must get quotes from several car insurers to better understand the market.

The motor insurance market is very competitive. So, the insurers always have something new and cheaper.

Moreover, special offers or new tariffs are not the only reasons for cheaper plans. But the change in your situation also contributes to it.

For example, you're getting older, had no car accidents, the car moved into a new type-class, etc. These changes can cause an insurer to charge you more or less.

In short, check several insurers annually to find the cheapest car insurance in Germany.


No single comparison portal shows offers from all car insurance companies in Germany.

The comparison portals give you a quick overview of the market. But a single comparison portal often only shows offers from some of the car insurance companies in Germany.

The reason is some insurance companies have a contract with only one of the many portals.

Thus, you should check multiple portals like Verivox* and Check24* to get the best offer.


 

What damage does good car insurance in Germany cover?

Your car insurance policy should fulfill the below five criteria. Otherwise, you'll fall into the risk of poor coverage and financial ruin.

Damages good vehicle insurance covers
Damages good car insurance covers

At least 50 million insured sum

The maximum amount the car insurer will cover is very important while taking car insurance in Germany. If your insured sum is less than 50 million, you may run into financial trouble in case of serious accidents.

Hence, we recommend you buy tariffs that offer at least 50 or 100 million euros as the insured sum.


Mallorca policy

This option is vital if you rent a car in other European countries. Under Mallorca policy, the insured sum for the rental car in European countries automatically increases to your German level.

Hence, you are well insured for liability when on holiday.

And the best part is it doesn't cost extra.

 

If you decide to take comprehensive insurance, you should ensure the following features in an insurance policy.


No plea of ​​gross negligence (Keine Einrede der groben Fahrlässigkeit in German)

Ensure that your auto insurance contains the "no plea of gross negligence" clause.

As per this clause, the insurer waives its right to plead gross negligence. In other words, the insurer covers the damages caused by you under gross negligence.

Scenarios like you drove at the red light, were too fast, or were typing a message on your cell phone when you met with the accident come under gross negligence.

And statistically, these are the reasons for most car accidents.

Hence, ensure your comprehensive insurance policy has this option.

NOTE: The insurance does not cover cases of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or car theft because of gross negligence.

Marten bites and their consequential damage

Martens are perhaps cute. But they also like to nibble on hoses and cables, which can lead to expensive damage.

So, you should find car insurance that covers not only damage to hoses, brake lines, and wiring but also consequential damages.


Extended damage coverage from wild animals

It's good to have insurance protection for the damage caused by accidents with a wild animal. This coverage is standard, and everyone in the insurance industry offers it at no extra charge.

However, sometimes insurance companies do not cover accidents involving domestic animals like cows, dogs, horses, etc.

Hence, ensure that your vehicle insurance covers accidents involving all types of animals and is not limited to wild animals like deer or wild boar.

 

Find The Best Car Insurance In Germany

  • Compare offers and prices.

  • Comparison calculator to find suitable insurance policies.

  • User-friendly and consistent data protection guidelines.

 

 

What is less important in car insurance?

Passenger accident insurance (Insassen-Unfallversicherung in German)

Under this tariff, insurance pays the costs arising from the injury or death of the passengers in your car.

But the car liability insurance of the person who caused the accident covers these costs.

So the passenger accident insurance jumps in if the car liability insurance of the person who caused the accident does not cover the damage—for example, a hit-and-run situation.

However, traffic victim assistance (Verkehrsopferhilfe in German) helps in such cases. Hence, making passenger accident insurance useless.


Breakdown insurance (Shutzbriefversicherung)

The breakdown insurance covers the costs when your car breaks down.

The insurer bears the towing costs, may provide a rental car, and pay for your accommodation when your vehicle is in the workshop.

Some insurers also offer services like medical evacuation, supply of medicines abroad, and payment of funeral or transport costs in the event of death.

If you own a new or well-maintained car, the probability of it breaking down in the middle of nowhere is low. Even if it does, you can pay for the repairs and the towing assistance in most cases.

However, if you still want to protect yourself, you can choose between motor vehicle breakdown insurance or membership in an automobile club like ADAC.

You don't need breakdown insurance or an automobile club membership for new cars because the manufacturer's mobility guarantee applies.


 

What should I do in the event of a car accident?

If you get in a car accident in Germany, you should ensure that everyone is safe and that medical help (Ambulance phone number 112) is on the way.

Next, you should call the police (phone 110) and report the accident. If you don't speak German, you can request an English-speaking police officer. But there's no guarantee that you'll get one.

Then collect the following information.

  • Personal details like the name and address of the other party involved in the accident.

  • The license plate number of the vehicle.

  • The third party's insurer details.

  • The exact location of the accident.

  • Take a lot of photographs of the accident scene, your car, and the third party's car.

  • Fill out the European accident report (Europäischer Unfallbericht) if another vehicle or person is involved.

You can always contact your car insurance company when in doubt.


Zentralruf der Autoversicherer (central service center for car insurers)

There might be situations where you have the number plate of the third party and need their insurance details. For example, the other party refuses to provide their insurance details or a hit-and-run scenario.

In such cases, you can contact Zentralruf der Autoversicherer (central service center for car insurers) to get the third party's insurance details.

You can call them or file an inquiry online.

Zentralruf der Autoversicherer maintains the database of every car registered within the EU and Schengen area. So, even if you meet with an accident outside Germany, they can help you with all the relevant information.

Their contact details are 0800 250 260 0 (within Germany) and +49 40 300 330 300 (outside Germany). You can reach them 24x7 within Germany, however, during working days from outside Germany.

As they cover the whole EU, they also speak English. And on top of it, their service is free.


 

How to cancel car insurance in Germany?

You can do it in three ways.

  1. Ask your new insurance provider to cancel the contract with the old insurance company.

  2. Canceling the insurance contract yourself by sending an email to your insurer.

  3. Use comparison portals like Verivox* or Check24* to cancel or switch your vehicle insurance.

NOTE: You can terminate your motor vehicle insurance immediately after selling your car. The insurance company automatically refunds the premium for the rest of the year to your registered bank account.


 

Filing a complaint against a car insurance company in Germany

German auto insurance companies must accept car insurance applications under the Compulsory Insurance Act (Section 5/2).

However, the insurance company can refuse to offer a policy under certain situations. For example, the applicant violated the terms of the contract with them in the past.

Besides, you can file an official complaint if you feel a car insurance company in Germany mistreated you or you are unhappy with their services.

The procedure for doing this is the following.

  • First, write to the complaints department of your insurer.

  • If you receive no reply from the insurer or are unhappy with the outcome, you can file a complaint to BaFin. BaFin is the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany and ensures companies do not exploit the consumers.

  • You can also try to resolve the conflict with the help of an Insurance Ombudsman. They are independent entities that help consumers settle disputes with companies outside of court.

  • You are still not happy with out-of-court outcomes. The last resort is to take matters to court. However, in this case, you have to cover the legal fees. And if you don't have legal insurance (Rechschutzverschierung in German), legal fees could take a toll on your finances. So, think carefully before taking the matter to court.


 

FAQ

What is Schadensfreiheitsklasse (SF-Klasse)?

English translation of "Schadensfreiheitsklasse" is "class without claims."

It's an accredit rating system that the car insurers in Germany use while calculating the car insurance premium.

The insurer gives the rating based on the number of accident-free years. The rating ranges from SF0 to SF50, with the digit next to "SF" representing the number of accident-free years.

The cost of the vehicle insurance in Germany decreases with the increase in the number of accident-free years.
Graph representing vehicle's SF class and car Insurance cost relationship

The higher the rating, the lower the vehicle insurance premium. You can also consider it a no-claim-bonus the insurer gives you for not filing the insurance claim.


Types of vehicle insurance in Germany.

Every vehicle owner in Germany must have third-party liability insurance (Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung) – otherwise, the vehicle registry office will not register the car.

However, motor vehicle liability insurance doesn't cover damages to your car. That is why taking out voluntary partial or full-comprehensive insurance is advisable.

Partial comprehensive insurance (Teilkasko) covers the following.

  • Theft

  • Fire and explosion

  • Storm and lightning

  • Hail

  • Flood

  • Collisions with wild animals (e.g., deer or wild boar)

  • Marten bites on cables, hoses, and lines.

  • Glass breakage

  • Cable damage due to short circuits.

Full comprehensive insurance (Vollkasko) offers the protection of partial comprehensive insurance and also covers damage to your vehicle.

 

Find Cheap Car Insurance In Germany

  • Compare offers and prices.

  • Comparison calculator to find suitable insurance policies.

  • User-friendly and consistent data protection guidelines.

 

What should car insurance cover?

We recommend buying vehicle insurance that has the following features.

  • Coverage of at least 50 million euros

  • Mallorca-Policy

  • No plea of ​​gross negligence

  • Marten bites and their consequential damages

  • Extended wild animal damage coverage


When should you change your vehicle insurance?

Typically, you should change your car insurance every year.

The reason is you can find cheap car insurance policies every year. Hence change it before the termination date of November 30th.

Also, use the tips you learned in this guide to save further.


Do I need insurance to drive a car in Germany?

Yes, every vehicle in Germany must have at least third-party liability car insurance. You cannot drive a car in Germany if it's not insured.


Do you insure the car or driver in Germany?

You can take insurance for both the car and the driver. But, the third-party liability insurance doesn't cover you (the driver) if you caused the accident.

Thus, to cover personal injury, you should take full-comprehensive insurance (vollkasko).


How to get cheap car insurance in Germany?

To get cheap car insurance, compare the tariffs of different insurance providers on comparison portals like Verivox* and Check24*.

There are many tricks to finding cheaper insurance in Germany. You can learn them in our guide on car insurance in Germany.


How much is car insurance in Germany per year?

The cost of car insurance depends on several factors:

  • Car model

  • Your previous driving record

  • Insurance type

  • Driver's age and number of drivers

  • Vehicle's value

  • Deductible

  • How will you use your car? Private or business purpose?

  • The number of kilometers you will drive, etc.

Thus, it's impossible to give a generic answer to this question. But the insurance cost can range anywhere between 100 € to 1000 €.


Are foreign cars more expensive to insure?

Yes, as the spare parts of imported cars are expensive, insurance companies increase the premium to compensate for it.


How do you choose car insurance in Germany?

  • For new cars, take out Full comprehensive coverage (Vollkasko)

  • For high-quality older cars, partial insurance coverage (Teilkasko) is sufficient.

  • For old rust buckets, Third-party liability insurance (haftpflicht) is adequate.

You can learn more about how to find a cheap insurance policy in our guide on car insurance in Germany.


Should I take car insurance via an insurance broker?

You don't need an insurance broker to find good and cheap motor vehicle insurance in Germany. Instead, compare the tariffs on comparison portals like Verivox* and Check24* to find the right insurance cover.

Moreover, you can buy insurance for your car online within a few minutes.

You can learn how to find the best car insurance in Germany here.



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Disclaimer

The information provided in this post is based on our own experience and in-depth research. The content of this post might be inaccurate. It should not be considered financial, tax, legal, or any kind of advice.

We are not certified brokers or consultants. Always do your own research and contact certified professionals before making any decision.

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