In the past 12 years, I bought and sold 6 cars in Germany. I was able to find most of those cars in Germany online. To help you find the best sources where to find a car in Germany on the internet, I put together this comprehensive guide for you.

Topics in this article

Best car websites in Germany >>
Marketplaces for cars in Germany >>
Read a car ad in German >>
Search for a car on mobile.de >>

Best car websites in Germany

An easy way to find a car in Germany, new or used, from private persons or dealerships is by having a look at the best car websites in Germany first. You can search for your new car not only within specific local proximity but also Germany-wide.

As mentioned previously in my article about how to buy a car in Germany as a foreigner, buying from dealerships can be a bit more expensive but also safer. Dealerships usually offer the option to finance a car. In the end, you will have a proper contract and you’ll know where the car is coming from.

Find a car in Germany with mobile.de

mobile.de is the most popular marketplace in Germany for new and used cars. This platform makes it relatively easy for you to find, buy or finance a car online. I prefer using mobile.de as they offer a better user experience from my perspective.

You will find many offers from dealerships, including financing and buying options. To help you get along on mobile.de I also put together a detailed example of how to search for a car on mobile.de.

find a car in germany with mobile.de

Find a car in Germany with autoscout24.de

autoscout24.de is another popular website in Germany that some of my colleagues used for example to buy their used and new cars in Germany. You will see similar, sometimes even the same offers on autoscout24.de compared to mobile.de.

The most offers you will find on this platform are again from dealerships with according financing and buying options.

find a car in Germany with autoscout24.de

Most popular marketplaces for cars in Germany

If you are trying to find a car in Germany from private persons, I recommend using one of the following popular marketplaces for cars in Germany. Besides the two websites I provide below, you may of course always have a look at the websites of your local newspapers.

Private persons still advertise their used cars in local newspapers. And many of those do have an online platform where print ads are published as well. Since mobile.de, autoscout24.de, ebay.de, and ebay-kleinanzeigen.de became so popular over the years, the offers in local newspapers are quite scarce.

Is ebay.de a good place to find a car in Germany?

For sure you know about ebay. Ebay is not only good for electronics, cloth or other goods but also for used cars. You will have to take a look at the main menu and find the spot where it says “Motors”.

Within the submenu, please make sure to click on “Automobile” (automobiles) below “Mehr Kategorien” (more categories).

The offers in this category are more limited. Moreover, you can’t really filter based on your location. This makes it kind of hard to find a car that’s located near your home. For example if you are not willing to travel too long to see it in person.

ebay-kleinanzeigen.de

Ebay Kleinanzeigen is a good source to sell and buy almost anything. It is similar to craigslist and run by ebay.de for all offers that are not auction-based.

To find a car in Germany, I recommend clicking on the dropdown next to the search bar where it says “Was suchst Du”. Then choose the category “Autos” for searching for cars.

Graphical user interface, text, application, website

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How to read a car ad in German?

Having to read a car ad in German can be quite challenging. Not only are there a lot of abbreviations used (especially in print ads). But there are also a few things that you might specifically watch out for. I put together the most important aspects here to help you understand a car ad in German.

Essential information about the car

The most essential information about the car you most likely would like to watch out for except for the price are the following:

  • Kilometerstand = milage in Germany measured in kilometers (km)
  • Getriebe = gearbox, either manual shift (“manuell” or alternatively “Handschaltung”), or automatic usually named “Automatik”
  • Erstzulassung (EZ) or Erstzulassungsjahr = month and year of first registration of the car
  • Kraftstoff = fuel type. Common fuel types in Germany are “Diesel” (diesel), “Benzin” or “Super” which means regular gasoline, “Hybrid” (they use a combination of electricity and regular gasoline) as well as cars that are purely driven by electricity
  • Leistung = engine power measured in kW and “PS” (horsepower)
  • Verkäufer = seller (either “Händler” dealership, or „Privat“ meaning private person)

Basic information about the car

It’s good to take a look at some additional information if one of the offered cars caught your attention. Those are:

  • Zustand = condition in either used “Gebraucht” or new “Neu” or “Neuwagen” 
  • Antriebsart = type of drive, meaning either “Frontantrieb” (front-wheel drive), “Heckantrieb” (rear-wheel drive), or Allrad (all-wheel drive)
  • Sitzplätze = the number of available seats in a car
  • Türen = the number of doors
  • Fahrzeughalter = vehicle owner. This does not mean who is currently owning the vehicle but how many previous vehicle owners have owned the car
  • Hubraum = cubic capacity measured in cm3 (cubic centimeters). This is one of the important factors when calculating your car tax in Germany
  • Zylinder = number of cylinders
  • Krafstoffverbrauch = fuel consumption provided by the car manufacturer. They are provided for a combined usage “kombiniert (komb.)”, driving in an urban environment “innerorts”, and driving on highways and country roads “außerorts”
  • CO2 Emissionen = CO2 emissions are also relevant and help you calculate your car tax liabilities
  • Schadstoffklasse = the pollutant class is important when you are living in a city or go to a city with so called “Umweltzonen” (environmental zones)

Some of this information is relevant to be able to estimate the car tax you will have to pay in Germany.

See my article about car tax in Germany.

Additional information that might be relevant

Since the listings on mobile.de and autoscout24.de are very detailed, you might also want to take a look at the additional information regarding “Ausstattung” (equipment), “Farbe und Innenausstattung” (color and interior), as well as the “Preisbewertung” (price rating). The price rating is a good indicator if an offer is fair, good, or more on the bad side.

How to search for a car on mobile.de?

I’d like to explain to you the easiest approach to find a car on mobile.de, my favorite platform when it comes to buying (and selling) cars online. When you open up the website, you will find a quick search area, most likely right below some commercial on the top of the screen.

find a car in germany on mobile and select

Within this initial search bar, you can already define some of the most important search criteria when you would like to find your new car. Here is a brief description of the first steps you need to take to see a smaller selection of cars.

Explanation of main search filters on how to find a car in Germany

By the way, it would be best if you had already a specific brand or “Marke” on your mind so that the search results are more limited.

At that point in time when I took those screenshots, there were over 1 million cars advertised on mobile.de.

1) Click on the dropdown below “Marke” to filter for your favorite car brand.

automarke car brand in german

2) If you already have a specific model on your mind, you can then choose within the dropdown below where it says “Modell” (model) and find your desired car model.

modell car model in german

3) The “Erstzulassung” is the date when the car was first registered (if you are looking for a newer car it makes sense to either select the current year 2022 or the previous one).

erstzulassung first car registration in German

4) “Kilometer bis” means how much mileage (based on kilometers) the car has already been driven. In case you are searching for a used car, choose a higher number.

Kilometer bis car milage in German

5) “Zahlungsart” means payment method. “In bar” stands for cash, “In Raten” means in installments.

zahlungsart payment method in German

6) Below “Preis bis” (price up to) you can set the maximum price that you are willing to pay for your car.

preis bis maximum price in German

7) By clicking on the orange button where it says “# (number) Angebote”, you can proceed to the results page.

Angebote go to the car offers

8) Choose this option if you would like to buy a car, sports car, SUV, or anything similar.

option for cars SUVs sportscars on mobile

9) Choose option 9 if you would like to buy a motorbike of any sort.

icon when looking for motorbikes on mobile de

10) This option is for RVs and motorhomes.

icon when looking for RVs motoromes on mobile de

11) If you are into buying a truck called “LKW” or something similar, you have to choose that option.

icon when looking for trucks on mobile de

On the results page, there are a few more filters that help narrow down the search results even further.

The first thing I usually do is change the “Standort” (location) of the search results.

select type of car on mobile

More search filters on mobile.de

I also tend to set some additional filters based on the requirements that I have for this car. In this case, I chose a distance around my location of 50 kilometers, changed the fuel type to “Hybrid” (hybrid) which is a mix between regular gasoline and electricity, and set the gearbox to automatic.

Suddenly the search results are limited from almost 1,700 results down to 23 offers. This is a small enough number to take a look at manually. If there are still too many search results, you could set even more filters if you’d like to narrow down the search results even further.

read car advertising when find a car in Germany

Looking at one of the results, I get some additional information besides the final price for this car. At 1) it tells me that the pricing if pretty fair “Fairer Preis”, which means, that the pricing is reasonable.

At 2) I can see that it’s sold by an official car dealer. Above that, I find some basic information already like when the car was first registered (EZ), that it did not have any previous accidents “unfallfrei” and the approximate gasoline consumption when you drive on highways as well in cities of 3,1 liter per 100 kilometers.

How to contact the seller

If you are happy with the result, you can choose to either get in touch with the seller by email or phone at 3) or choose to save this result into your personal favorites where it says “Parken” at 4). The favorites are only available if you have an account with mobile.de.

As soon as you click on the search result, you can gather more detailed information about the car, alongside bigger pictures. More information but also with more information about the specific features of the car can be found below that.

how to read a car ad in Germany

If you would like to finance your car, make sure to click on 1) “Finanzierung berechnen” (calculate financing).

Conclusion

I hope this quick introduction on how to use mobile.de as your preferred platform to find your new used or brand new car was helpful. I was able to find most of my cars in Germany thanks to it.


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About the Author

Alex Z.

Alex works in product management and has been living in Germany for more than 12 years. He has been speaking German for more than 22 years. His passion is to help people, who want to live a good life in a German speaking country, to learn German super fast. Want to connect with him? Send him an email and he'll get in touch with you.

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