Advice: Sell a car the right way or give it away


Selling or giving away a car properly

Advice: Sell a car the right way or give it away-give

End of the line car recyclers: Only recognized companies are allowed to dispose of old vehicles that are ready for scrap. The previous owner receives a receipt upon handover

Source: dpa-tmn / cw

Anyone wanting to get rid of their car has to do some paperwork. Regardless of whether a car is sold or given away – there are always pitfalls. Car owners have to pay attention to this.

Vbuy, give away, scrap: There are several ways to get rid of a car. The age and condition of the car, for example, as well as its potential to become a classic, are decisive for the owner. In any case, there is paperwork to be done.

The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in Flensburg does not keep statistics on why vehicles change hands. At least one number gives an impression: According to KBA, cars in Germany changed hands 6.88 million times in 2012. "The private share of ownership transfers, when a car was transferred to a private person, was 94.8 percent," says spokeswoman Anna Lena Wismar.

Whenever a car changes hands, written agreements should be made. "A donation should also be clearly documented," advises Thomas Achelis from the Automobile Club Kraftfahrer-Schutz (KS) in Munich. Because the last owner is responsible for the later environmentally friendly disposal. "In case of doubt, you have to be able to make credible that you gave the car away and that the recipient accepted it," explains ADAC legal expert Klaus Heimgartner.

A written agreement is especially important if an owner surrenders his car to someone else’s hobbyist to be cannibalized free of charge. After the work is done, he can theoretically park the vehicle anywhere on the roadside at any time. Then the last owner in accordance with the Recycling and Waste Management Act could face charges of environmentally hazardous waste disposal, warns KS spokesman Achelis. "Normally, however, relatives are given presents, and everything runs smoothly," says Heimgartner.

Limited liability

In contrast, a car is usually sold to strangers – if it is not traded in at the trusted dealer. "The best way for the parties to use a written sales contract in the form of a model contract," advises Heimgartner. The standard forms should contain a passage that excludes liability for material defects for the seller.

He is then only liable for defects known to him that he has not reported and for the agreed condition of the vehicle, explains Heimgartner. When the vehicle is handed over, the vehicle registration document and letter (registration certificates Part I and Part II) are also passed on.

Regardless of whether it is a private sale or a gift – owners should always inform the vehicle registration authorities themselves. Some registration authorities offer suitable sample forms with headings such as “Notification of the change of vehicle owner” on the Internet.

If in doubt, remove license plates

The notification must comply with the Vehicle Registration Ordinance (FZV) and, in addition to information on the vehicle’s license plate, include the address of the new owner and their confirmation that they have received the registration certificates. Insurance too the sales contract with the date and time of handover should be sent immediately.

If you do not want to leave the de-registration in your own name to the new owner, it is best to go to the registration authority yourself with the license plates under your arm. "In any case, removing the inspection sticker is a sovereign activity that has to be done on site," says ADAC lawyer Heimgartner. In this way, the seller avoids complications with the insurance company if the buyer has an accident before the car is registered.

Because then you still have to have the existing motor vehicle liability insurance of the seller – even if this automatically passes to the new owner after the sale, together with the possible comprehensive insurance, explains Katrin Ruter from the Association of the German Insurance Industry (GdV) in Berlin. However, as long as the car is not otherwise insured, the seller and buyer are jointly and severally liable for the premium for the current insurance year. "Until then, the insurer can choose who to charge the premium to."

Manufacturer obliged to take back

If a car is really just a case for the scrap press, according to ADAC, the end-of-life vehicle ordinance applies: It stipulates that end-of-life vehicles may only be handed over to recognized companies for disposal. “These confirm the takeover,” says Heimgartner.

Thomas Achelis recommends that owners contact the manufacturer to take back the old car – for example through an authorized dealer or an authorized workshop. Since January 2007, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), car manufacturers have been obliged to take back old cars for disposal, regardless of their age. With slight restrictions: "The manufacturer does not have to accept a car that has been cannibalized," says Heimgartner.

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