- Money - How to pay a German car -
German car sales are quick sales. A buyer hand the money to the seller and get the car and the title document. Cash count. That is for older used cars with low price.
For a newer or an high value car a buyer will have to arrange a transfer to the sellers bank. Because of Money Laudry Law most sellers don't accept no cash payment anymore. No one will accept a cheque or payment by credit card, no PayPal. Be careful If a seller ask you for payment by Western Union or Monegram! Please read my fraud warning. Many sellers know about de-registration and temporary plates - ask them. Some sellers even help you to transport the car to the port or know about exporting.
Our currency is the Euro. Nobody here will accept other currencies for a car sale.
Convert your money to Euro here: http://www.xe.com/
No payments by Letter of Credit (LC):
This is normally a perfect methode of payment in international trade transactions, however, not for used cars!
It is a practicable transaction method for purchasing new vehicles or very expensive machinery or equipement. No dealerships or private sellers of used cars will accept this payment method because: An LC takes time to clear and the banking fees are very high. Most sellers have no experience with exports and don’t know how an LC works. LCs are not commonly used to it in the second hand auto trade. Maybe people are also afraid of the excessive amount of beaurocracy LCs require. The used car trade is a business requiring fast turnarauound, and an LC simply takes too much time. Therefore: Only cash - everything else is trash!
Some cultural advice:
In Germany it is considered not very polite to ask a seller (especially when he is not a dealer but just a private person) right at the beginning of the conversation for the best price or the last price. Many feel taken aback if a conversation starts like this. It is better to talk to him about the car, ask questions about the condition and the possibilities of transport and when you have discussed all these facts you may start negotiating the price. Ask for a discount or better price, but don’t expect too much. German sellers are not used to much bargaining over the price. Dealership prices are mostly well calculated and the cars usually sell for the amount shown on the price tag. Or with only little discounts, if any at all...