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South Africans in Germany

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You cannot register your vehicle without having insurance. There are basically three options for vehicle insurance – third-party, partial or comprehensive.
Third-party liability insurance is compulsory, but you can choose whether you would also like to have partial coverage or fully comprehensive coverage insurance for your vehicle.
The cost of your car insurance depends on various factors,  like your age and your no-claims discount bonus (Schadenfreiheitsklasse). The longer you drive without any accidents, the cheaper your car insurance will be. Another factor in the price is the main purpose of the vehicle and the distances you will travel in general, for example, short city trips or long-distance trips on the highways. You can also insure your vehicle for only certain months, for example, if you only drive your cabrio in summer.  

No claim bonus

  • Most companies do not give you credit for your no-claim history in South Africa.
  • One of our FB members reported that Debeka did acknowledge his no-claim record and assigned him to level 7.
  • Another member also had joy with HUK Coburg but only after some convincing.
    Someone also posted “HUK24 will accept a no claims bonus letter from SA, it must state for how many years no claims for motor own damage and also no claims for liability. I am sure some other companies also accept it if you email them and ask what Schadenfreiheitsklasse they will grant you, namely claim free group in years for motor own damage and for liability- as here in Germany they are treated separately.”

Renewal and changing providers

Please be aware that “Your car insurance is renewed automatically every year on January 1.”
If you want to change to another provider, you are allowed to do it until November 30. 
If you don’t make any changes it will automatically renew.

Comparing products

Use Verivox or Tarifcheck to compare car insurance prices.

We also have companies/people listed on our website who can assist in getting quotes for vehicle insurance.

Chad Joubert – Wealth Advisor

DIE GUTE WAHL – THE GOOD CHOICE – Agency for Allfinanz Deutsche Vermögensberatung. We are here for you, we provide you with professional support in

Information on the web


  • You can get insurance that allows you one accident per year without losing your no-claim status if you have an accident
  • Read the small print! Always
  • Be careful of hidden fees when a dealership organises your insurance for you



  German English Information
KFZ Kraftfahrzeug Vehicle Als Kraftfahrzeuge im Sinne dieses Gesetzes gelten Landfahrzeuge, die durch Maschinenkraft bewegt werden, ohne an Bahngleise gebunden zu sein.
PKW Personenkraftwagen  Passenger car  
LKW Lastkraftwagen  Trucks  
NFZ Nutzfahrzeug  Commercial or Utility vehicle ein Kraftfahrzeug, das nach seiner Bauart und Einrichtung zum Transport von Personen oder Gütern bestimmt ist, oder zum Ziehen von Anhängern, aber kein Personenkraftwagen oder Kraftrad ist, sondern beispielsweise ein Omnibus, ein Lastkraftwagen, eine Zugmaschine oder ein Kranwagen.
  Kfz-Versicherung Vehicle Insurance  
  Zulassung Registration  


Related content

Winter Tyres

The winter conditions in Germany can make the roads dangerous and slippery to drive on.Winter conditions are for example black ice, slippery snow, slush, slippery

Road Rules

  Driving on German roads is very well regulated and if you don’t adhere to the rules you will get penalty points against your name

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The traffic law in Germany stipulates that all drivers must carry a first aid kit (Verbandkasten) in their vehicle. The contents of your first aid kit must comply with the DIN 13164 standard. Motorcycles and tractors are exempt. Quad bikes are not.
The current (2022) fine for not carrying a first aid kit is €10.

The following items should be included as from 2014

  • 1 adhesive plaster, DIN 13019-A, 5 m x 2.5 cm
  • 4 adhesive bandages, DIN 13019-E, 10 cm x 6 cm
  • 2 first aid packs, DIN 13151-M
  • 1 bandage pack, DIN 13151-G
  • 1 bandage cloth, DIN 13152-BR, 40 cm x 60 cm
  • 1 bandage cloth, DIN 13152-A, 60 cm x 80 cm
  • 6 compresses, 10cm x 10cm
  • 2 fixation bandages, DIN 61634-FB-6
  • 3 fixation bandages, DIN 61634-FB-8
  • 2 triangular towels, DIN 13 168-D
  • 1 rescue blanket, 210 x 160 cm
  • 1 first aid scissors, DIN 58279-A 145
  • 4 disposable gloves, DIN EN 455
  • 1 first aid booklet
  • 2 wet wipes for skin cleansing
  • 1 14-piece ready-made plaster set
  • 1 bandage packet K

If you shop for a First aid kit, make sure you search for DIN 13164 with the 2014 specifications. New changes are coming in 2022 (two mouth and nose covers must be included in your kit), but you can just add the additional items, and don’t have to buy a new kit.
If any of the items have passed their best-before date, they must be replaced

Resources on the web

The following information was shared to us by someone who went through this process.

What documents do you need

  • Proof of ownership – Proof of purchase / Hire purchase agreement
  • Dealers Invoice
  • Original Vehicle registration documents –  Proof of registration in your name
  • Current vehicle insurance documentation
  • EU Certificate of conformity (Konformitäts-bescheinigung or EWG – Übereinstimmungsbescheinigung)
  • Certificate of exhaust emissions (AU-Bescheinigung) – vehicles older than 3 years
  • Tax clearance certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung). This is to confirm that the vehicle has not previously been registered in Germany
  • Drainage certificate for the shipping agent (you will need several copies)
  • Packing list
  • Documents from the shipping agents for customs. The customs agents will open your container and check your declaration

What else do you need

  • A Shipping agent
  • You will need a conform container

The process

  • Get all the necessary documents together
  • Arrange a shipping agent
  • Have your vehicle VeriDotted –  
  • Prepare the vehicle (no fuel, fuel line and battery disconnected etc)
  • Deregister the vehicle in SA
  • Ship the vehicle
  • Collect your vehicle at customs / arrange vehicle delivery to TUV. You will not be allowed to drive your vehicle before all the paperwork is done and you have a TUV certificate
  • Customs in Germany will issue you with a Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung to enable you to get your vehicle licensed, registered and insured here in Germany.
  • Vehicle is modified to German standards e.g changes to the headlights
  •  Register your vehicle in Germany – Licensing 

Registering your vehicle

You will need the following documentation

  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of your registration in Germany (home address)
  • Original registration documents
  • Tax clearance certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung)
  • Proof of duties paid or exemption (Zollrechtliche Bescheinigung)
  • Original Certificate of Conformity
  • Proof of insurance
  • Road tax form
  • TUV (Technischer Überwachungsverein) certificate – Testcentre for Roadworthiness
  • Proof of the original purchase contract


  • As a rule, you have to pay the following:
  • Duty Fees – 10% import duty
  • Import VAT – 19%

You can get an exemption from the duty and VAT if you are establishing a new residence in Germany and have given up your residence in a non-EU country. The vehicle must be registered in your personal name (sole owner) for at least 6 months and be used by you personally. You will have to declare the vehicle as Übersiedlungsgut

  • Shipping Fees
  • Customs fees


  • In Germany, you drive on the right lane and the driver sits on the left
  • Your vehicle will have to go through TUV, there are some adjustments that need to be done for example the angle of the headlights

Information on the internet

  • Your Europe – Car registration documents and formalities
  • Zoll (Customs) Transferring residence
  • KBA (Kraffahrt-Bundesampt) Central Vehicle Register

Related content

Moving to Germany

Moving to a new country can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. The thought of starting a new chapter in your life

Road Rules

  Driving on German roads is very well regulated and if you don’t adhere to the rules you will get penalty points against your name

The winter conditions in Germany can make the roads dangerous and slippery to drive on.
Winter conditions are for example black ice, slippery snow, slush, slippery ice or frost. (Glatteis, Schneeglätte, Schneematsch, Eis- und Reifglätte).

According to German law (November 2010), you are not allowed to drive without Winter tyres on your vehicle in winter conditions. This makes it a situational requirement (Situative Winterreifenpflicht). – Section 2, Paragraph 3a of the Road Traffic Regulations / § 2 Absatz 3a StVO

When to change to winter tyres

It is hard to say when there will be winter road conditions so most follow the old rule of thumb from October until Östern (O bis O Regel)

How do I identify a winter tyre?

As of January 2018, all new winter tyres can be identified by the Alpine symbol, a mountain pictogram with a snowflake.
In addition, tires with M + S, which stands for mud and snow marking are considered suitable for winter until September 30, 2024, if they have been manufactured by December 31, 2017.
When buying new tyres, make sure they carry the Alpine symbol.



Motorcycles are excluded from this rule, as well as commercial vehicles for agriculture and forestry.
Rental cars are not excluded, always make sure the car has the correct tyres fitted.
If you have a flat tyre, you may replace it with a summer tyre but it must be changed to a winter tyre as soon as possible


Replace tyres after six years at the latest because the rubber will lose its grip in low temperatures after a while.
On the tyres, a minimum residual profile of 1.6 mm is required although 4mm is recommended

All season tyres

If an all-season tyre has the Alpine symbol on it, it can be used in winter and summer. If they don’t they are not allowed to be used in winter. According to many people, it seems that all-season tyres are not optimal for mountainous or hilly areas, see the tips section below.


Anyone who does not use the prescribed tires in winter conditions can be fined at least 60 euros and one point in Flensburg.
Flensburg is a central register of all traffic violations in Germany. Driving offences are assigned a certain number of points.
If you have more than 4 points against your name, various penalties come into effect.
If you have 8 points, you will lose your licence to drive a vehicle


Please refer to your insurance contracts, although driving without winter tyres in Winter conditions, will most likely impact you negatively.

More information

From Busgeldkatalog:

“Die Winterreifenpflicht in der StVO (Straßenverkehrsordnung)

Seit 2010 hält die StVO präzisere Informationen zur Winterreifenpflicht in Deutschland bereit. Das Gesetz schreibt vor: Winterreifen, oder auch Reifen die der Richtlinie 92/23/EWG entsprechen, müssen genutzt werden, wenn „Glatteis, Schneeglätte, Schneematsch, Eis- oder Reifglätte“ vorherrscht (§ 2 Absatz 3a StVO). Dabei war es bis Ende 2017 noch ausreichend, dass Winterreifen mit M+S gekennzeichnet waren.

Seit Januar 2018 gilt: Die Winterreifenpflicht erfüllen neue Winterreifen nur noch, wenn diese das sogenannte Alpine-Symbol aufweisen können. Dieses zeigt sich als dreigezacktes Bergpiktogram mit einer Schneeflocke in der Mitte. Das zuvor ausreichende M+S-Zeichen erfüllt bei neu zum Verkauf stehenden Reifen nicht mehr die gesetzlichen Anforderungen. Es gibt jedoch eine Übergangsregelung bis zum 30. September 2024. Vor 2018 gekaufte Winterreifen mit M+S-Kennzeichnung erfüllen ebenfalls die Winterreifenpflicht, bis zu diesem Tag. Das soll die Verbraucher entlasten, die so nicht sofort Geld in neue Winterreifen stecken müssen.

Mit Bezug auf die Winterreifenpflicht gab es zum Thema Mindestprofiltiefe lange Zeit viele Diskussionen. Fordert der Gesetzgeber auch bei Winterreifen eine Reifenprofiltiefe von 1,6 Millimetern, so geben sich Automobilclubs wie der ADAC erst ab einer Tiefe von vier Millimetern zufrieden. Das Hauptargument dabei: Unter dieser Profiltiefe lassen die Wintereigenschaften der Bereifung stark nach. Der Gesetzgeber hat sich aber gegen eine Verschärfung der Gesetze entschieden, auch da die meisten Verkehrsteilnehmer selbst verantwortungsvoll mit abnehmender Profiltiefe umgehen.”

Tips form our FB members

*All-season tyres*
While all-season tyres may be an option if you live in a relatively flat environment with hardly any snow, one must bare in mind that the road-holding in both seasons is not as good as season-specific tyres. In addition, the all-season tyres will not get me the last 100m home where I have about a 28% incline with only 5cm of snow. It also barely gets the car up a 200m 13% incline with 5cm snow. They also have a higher noise level than summer tyres, so you have that as well during O2O (Ostern bis Oktober).
The all-season tyres also get wobbly at high ambient temperatures when doing high speeds, so look at the max tyre speed as well.
Suggestion: When your winter tyres do not qualify to be driven during another winter, you can use them for the summer and just buy another winter set next winter.
For the winter tyres, buy a standard set of cheap steel rims – those black things that you need to put a hubcap on if you want it to look pretty. Normal aluminium rims get heavily corroded by the salt and will most likely need to be re-sealed after about 6-8 years. This is not expensive, they simply use paint to paint the inside of the rim. Alternatively, you could buy tyres that take a tube.
*Storage/Changing tyres*
Your local Werkstatt will most likely have a service to do this. They will store your tyres (about €17/change cycle) and might even send you a letter informing you that you need new tyres for the coming season and give you 2 alternative choices that they get a bulk discount on (ours does this).
If you choose to only keep 1 set of rims, they will most likely charge you extra to change tyres because then it’s more work for them as it’s no longer just a case of taking 4 wheels off and putting 4 wheels on.

Related content

Car Insurance

You cannot register your vehicle without having insurance. There are basically three options for vehicle insurance – third-party, partial or comprehensive.Third-party liability insurance is compulsory,

Read More »

First aid kit

The traffic law in Germany stipulates that all drivers must carry a first aid kit (Verbandkasten) in their vehicle. The contents of your first aid

Read More »

Road Rules

  Driving on German roads is very well regulated and if you don’t adhere to the rules you will get penalty points against your name

Read More »