What Documents To Translate To Buy a Mercedes in Germany

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So you have decided to finally purchase a Mercedes in Germany? There are many things that you should know before you transfer your funds and finally become a happy German vehicle owner.

Photo by Håkon Sataøen on Unsplash

 As a way to make your experience less stressful and much faster, it is also necessary to translate specific documents. It will help to avoid legal problems as you cross the German border or deal with registration issues. As the Germans are usually quite demanding, it is recommended to never ignore the set of rules. Taking an easy way out will only make things dangerous and will require even more unexpected payments. 

Since there are many models to choose from and a list of special discounts, do not forget that the language problem (unless you know German well) will always remain a serious issue to consider. While you may talk to a dealer who knows English well, it won’t work with the documents that will have to be translated. Regardless of whether you are planning to buy your Mercedes straight from the manufacturer or deal with a car from a fellow English speaker that has already been in use, the same set of important documents must be translated. 

Document Translation Matters For Mercedes Purchase in Germany

– Proof of Insurance.

Also known as the Versicherungsnachweis, it is one of the documents that must be translated when you are a foreigner. The best translation agencies can do it the same day for you, yet there may be some waiting as the German representatives of the dealer usually take 2-3 days to complete all the registering and analysis of your insurance. If you have a residence permit document, you may already have the necessary documents, yet make sure that they are valid for at least three months after your arrival date. 

– Proof of Car Ownership.

Also known as the Kfz Brief, it is one of the important documents that will be in German as you have to provide proof of your ownership. It is recommended to translate this document into English or any other language as well, depending on your future plans. This document is not proof of registration but only a paper that speaks of your ownership with the data regarding your purchase and your rights for a particular vehicle. 

– Motor Vehicle Department Approval Letter.

Visiting the Kfz Zulassungstelle is obligatory for a person to receive a registered license plate. This process usually goes faster than the rest, especially if you are a foreigner purchasing a new car in Germany. Make sure that you provide all your translated documents that confirm your identity and add information about the lack of any criminal records both in the EU or beyond if you are coming from the United States (for example). Make sure that you avoid the common mistakes when dealing with the technical documentation regarding your license plate as Germans love to add various information that is valid only for German citizens. Most official Mercedes dealers will happily explain the peculiarities if you ask even before you complete the purchase. 

– Valid ID Card Translation.

This document should be translated and become your top priority as the German officials will ask for it at most stages. If something is unclear, it may be necessary to provide several photocopies and attach files by filling in various online forms. As a foreigner, you should provide your driver’s license as well and translate information about your medical issues (if there are any!) before you proceed with a purchase in Germany. 

– Taxation Proof Document.

They call it a “steuerlicher Nachweis“, which may sound a bit frightening! German officials will always ask you for the taxation document in German and English before they proceed with a special document that proves that you have enough funds to purchase a car. It is necessary for the officials and the banks to start the purchasing process. You may also have to translate several financial documents from your bank or even open an account locally. While the latter is not always necessary, it can be a helpful option where even more translation work might be required. Do not let it frighten you and always talk to the dealers about additional document specifics. 

Note: if the Mercedes you are planning to buy comes with a technical manual (usually in German), it is always good to translate it as well, so you do not have to browse through the German forums looking for semi-professional help. When you have a guide in your native language, it helps to save time and money as the important terms and the onboard computer messages will be translated by skilled professionals! 

Other Important Aspects to Consider 

When you are planning to travel to Germany to purchase your precious Mercedes, there are many other things to consider as well. Evaluate the pros and cons of purchasing a totally new model or a vehicle that is in excellent condition. It will always come with a price tag as the Mercedes brand is not a cheap option to consider. Still, always take time to see what discounts may be available and what older models come with a good discount. It is recommended to spend at least two weeks in Germany to study the options and talk to the dealers because some hot offers may appear several days after your arrival. The practice shows that it is worth waiting. 

The other concerns that must be addressed prior to your purchase include asking yourself about how much you would like to spend and what exactly you are planning to achieve with your purchase. Are you aiming to drive through the city or live in the countryside where the roads are not that good? Are you planning to drive to your office from home or use the car for long-distance travel? These questions are essential as you have to share this information with the dealers who may come up with several suggestions based on their experience and the purpose of the cars. After all, buying your Mercedes Neuwagen (this is what they call a Mercedes when it’s new!) or looking for “etwas Gebrauchtwagen” (something from used vehicles term in German, it’s always a great responsibility that always takes time! 


Diane always had a soft spot for German quality and the Mercedes brand in particular. As an educator and a professional linguist, she seeks the best solutions to help people use education and foreign languages to make things easier. Follow Diane to learn how to discover the world and achieve success with your endeavors.