When you are considering buying a used car abroad, review the car’s paperwork with great care.
The principal documents are:
- repair log
- deed of transfer (if any)
Also ask to see:
- the vehicle inspection certificate (in Germany: TüV-Bericht)
- the exhaust emission test certificate (in Germany: ASU-Bescheinigung)
Make particularly sure that:
- the vendor is the owner of the car entered on the registration or
- the vendor has the right to sell the car (e.g. by power of attorney or a sales agreement)
- the vendor has the original registration of the car in his possession
Germany: the Kfz-Brief is important
Germany has no national vehicle register in which the vendor right of ownership might be verified. Car ownership is certified by a document known as the Kfz-Brief(also referred to as the Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil II). The Fahrzeugschein (also referred to as the Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil I) certifies that the car’s inspection, tax and insurance details are in order. Never buy a car from someone who cannot provide you with the aforementioned documents during the course of the transaction.
Sweden: consult the national vehicle register
In Sweden, a vendor’s right of ownership can be verified in the national vehicle register. Pay close attention to whether the documents look authentic. You can contact the previous owner if necessary.
Evaluate the entries in the repair log:
- do the details seem correct?
- do the entries correspond to what you have been told about the previous owners?
- is the condition of the car consistent with the entries in the repair log?