Note the opening times, plan the day, find the papers, get the signs, take your number – wait. Vehicle registration or re-registration can take a long time. Service providers can do this.
The joy of a new car can quickly take a hit – when it comes to being registered. Going to the office requires a lot of patience, as it often involves long waiting times. The inconvenience is especially great when something is missing at the end. It is definitely more convenient to commission a vehicle registration service – the promise of vehicle registration services.
These service providers are often authorized by car dealerships, rental companies, or other fleet providers such as rental car companies. According to Malte Dringendberg of the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD), they usually allow a whole range of vehicles for this. Especially when buying a new car, registration is also a welcome bonus feature that car dealers give to their customers as a “wonderful gift over the top”.
Corona guarantees more customers
However, more and more private clients are now also dependent on the service – and for very different reasons. “For many, going to the registry office takes too long or simply can’t be planned enough. Not everyone wants to sacrifice an entire day off,” says Holger Ebben of the Otto Zeitung.
Since the Corona pandemic, more registry offices have fixed dates, but here too the lead times are sometimes very long, according to the editor.
According to Philip Kroschke of the car service provider Kroschke, the Corona epidemic has also caused an increase in demand from individuals: “There are many new customers who did not want to expose themselves to contacts at the registry office during the pandemic and then look for the registry service how we decided.”
The company from Ahrensburg near Hamburg, with about 500 branches, is the industry leader in Germany in the field of vehicle registration and, according to its own information, records about one million registrations annually. The competition is great. According to Kroschke, there are 700 good providers in Berlin alone.
Hand over the papers and wait
The offer is based on a classic service: The registration service receives the paperwork for the new vehicle, including a copy of the identification and insurance confirmation number, Eben explains: “The customer then takes back the final number plates with seals, which they just have to attach to their vehicle.”
Depending on the service chosen by the customer, communications and documents are delivered by mail or in person. “Many of our customers now book the service online,” says Philip Kruschke. “Then you can also follow the progress of the approval process online.”
According to Kroschke, the digitization of registration is currently one of the main issues and challenges. Kroschke has already developed a platform for its commercial clients that includes other services in addition to registration services.
The private customer benefits indirectly, says Kroschke, because the auto dealer, for example, has a better overview. For example about the status of registration and change of registration as well as about the required documents and the expected duration.
Big digital recording hurdles
However, anyone who wants to register their car online on their own will still hit their limits in many places. “Theoretically, registration, de-registration and re-registration have been done from the couch since October 2019,” says Gerrit Reichel of the Automobile Club Verkehr (ACV). “But in practice, the online vehicle registration i-Kfz initiated by the federal government is still not possible in many departments.”
And even where possible, the obstacles are great. The vehicle registration document must contain the necessary security code. In addition, an ID card with online ID function and a smartphone with ID application is required.
For now, there is still enough to do for vehicle registration services. However, Holger Ippen believes that the number of providers will drop significantly. “Right now, the offer is so big and almost confusing — even traffic clubs and insurance companies are offering it now,” he says.
Customers should take a closer look, because not every provider does what they promise. “Sometimes deadlines are not met, and you also have to question the pricing,” Eben says.
All inclusive price for individual items
Most registration services operate at all inclusive rates and charge between €100 and €140 for a normal vehicle registration. The price then includes both administration and license plate fees, and full handling and shipping. A clean service usually costs 30-40 euros.
There is a certain profit margin, for example, in the cost of signage, according to Eben: “Many online service providers offer officially recognized license plates around ten euros, and the registration service charges about 30 euros for them.”
If you do not apply for Express Admission, you may have to wait longer to get your papers. The average approval time is one week, according to Eben. “But there were already service providers who only went to the registry with their clients’ requests when they collected so many requests.” Here the waiting times were several weeks.
So customers must have an appointment confirmation or read lowercase.
Registration services benefit from faster processing
Although requests from registry services at registry offices are not processed preferentially, commercial service providers usually have a time advantage. Simply because there are no excursions and trails on site. “Many offices have special time windows in which only applications from the registration services are accepted and processed,” says Michael Tejic of Kroschke. Of course, there may be waiting times here, just as with private clients.
“But the big advantage of course is that the documents are usually always complete because they are pre-screened by our approval experts and so the staff can process applications very quickly,” Tejek says.
(This article was first published on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.)