Are German cars cheaper in Germany?
It may seem like German cars sold in Germany are cheaper than German cars sold in the US.
But this is because of the types of German cars we get in America. For one, engines in America tend to be bigger than those in Europe.
Automakers in European countries like Germany are forced into tight emission controls that limit the size of the engine allowed in the cars sold within the borders of Europe.
This is one of the reasons why diesel-powered cars are far more common in Europe than they are here in the US.
As such the average engine size in Europe is anywhere between 1.3 and 1.9-liters.
Contrast that with the average American engine size of 3.0 liters.
Since America isn’t under the same emissions yoke, engines are allowed to have bigger displacements.
This of course is reflected in the final price of the car.
How Much Do German Cars Cost in Germany?
The average price of a new car in Germany is 36,000 euros (currently 36,093 US dollars).
Comparatively, the average price of a new car in the United States is around $47,000 according to data released by Kelley Blue Book.
This varies, of course, depending on the car’s make, model and configuration for both countries.
But as we have seen, this has a lot to do with what a car has to offer in European countries like Germany versus what a car can offer in the United States which we will see in more detail.
Car Ownership in Germany
But there’s more to owning a car in any country than just the cost of acquisition – there’s ownerships costs to consider.
The cost of owning a car includes insurance, gas and maintenance.
If you’re thinking about buying a car in Germany, according to German statistics the cost of ownership will run you 520 EUR and 788 EUR a month if your car is electric.
In America, the current cost of buying a car has been affected substantially by supply chain issues.
That along with other factors like inflation has forced consumers into used cars where the average cost is $28,012 compared to $48,043 for a new car according to Kelley Blue Book reports.
And according to a study conducted by AAA, the total cost of owning a new vehicle in 2021 was $894 per month in addition to the purchase price of the car.
What this tells us so far is that both car acquisition and ownership are more expensive in the US. But why?
4 of the Cheapest Cars to Buy in Germany
Dacia Sandero is one of the cheapest new cars you can buy in Germany.
It’s a Romanian car with a starting price of just 6,990 EUR in Germany. It comes with a 1.0-liter, 73 horsepower engine.
But you can splurge for a turbo version which will increase the horsepower up to 90bhp.
As long as you can live without modern creature comforts like air conditioning and a radio, the Sandero represents a fantastic value.
Mitsubishi Space Star is a Japanese car more familiarly known as the Mitsubishi Mirage in the US.
With a base price of 9,000 EUR, the Space Star comes with an economical three-cylinder engine in Europe.
What makes this car popular in Germany is the features it offers like rain sensing wipers and electronically adjustable wing mirrors, features that the Dacia Sandero eschews.
While horsepower numbers aren’t different at only 71bhp, you have the option of choosing between a sedan and five door model.
Hyundai i10 is a budget South Korean car that you can get as a five-door hatchback in Germany.
It’s an attractive package with somewhat sporty dynamics. You also get some decent equipment for a starting price of 9,196 EUR.
You can choose from three gasoline engines: a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder banger making 66 horsepower.
And either an 83bhp or 99bhp engine with increased tech.
But no matter what displacement you choose, you get a standard five speed manual gear box.
Toyota Yaris is a nameplate we’re familiar with here in the states.
But it’s one of the most expensive new cheap cars you can buy in Germain.
With a sticker price starting at 10,000 EUR, what you’re getting is a car from a brand synonymous with reliability and durability.
It comes with a 1.3-liter engine making 84 horsepower.
Are German Cars Cheaper to Buy in Europe?
Actually, European cars tend to be cheaper to buy in the US.
As you can see from the example of cheapest cars you can buy in Germany, those cheap prices are based on base models.
So, for example, a new Toyota Yaris in Germany can be had for 10,000 EUR which is roughly 10,000 dollars US as of the time of this writing.
But that’s for a completely stripped-down model, which in addition to windows you have to crank down by hand may not include a radio let alone A/C, which are amenities we take for granted here in America.
So, by the time you add in all the creature comforts you want, you end up with a car that costs you more than it would in the United States.
And that’s not a phenomenon that’s exclusive to Germany.
That’s all of Europe.
That means anytime you see a German car listing that seems considerably less than what you can get it for in the U.S.
You should consider that the advertised car is a stripped-down version of what you get in America, which includes a smaller displacement engine.
And if you’re thinking of importing to cut costs. You should know that importing a car yourself is rarely a good option if you’re aim is a cheaper car.