According to research, more than 80% of Germans own a bike because cycling is Germany’s fastest and best mode of movement. It’s pretty exciting to buy a new cycle in Germany, but if you are on a limited budget, it would be wise to consider purchasing a used bicycle.
However, buying a second-hand bike in Germany might have some pitfalls, where getting a stolen bicycle is the most common issue. Unfortunately, bike theft followed by immediate sale is widespread.
To buy a bike in Germany, decide on the kind of bike you want depending on your needs, and come up with a budget. After this, search for the bike that meets your wants, request proof of purchase and pay. You can buy your bike at eBay Kleinanzeigen, Facebook groups, or bicycle or flea markets.
This article goes through everything you need to know regarding buying a bicycle in Germany. We look into places where you can buy a bike, the process of buying one, and the price range of bicycles in Germany. We conclude by highlighting the bicycle registration process in the country.
To prevent your bike from theft, we recommend bike insurance, which costs only 2,90 EUR per month.
Where can you buy a used bicycle in Germany?
There are numerous places where you can buy a used bicycle in Germany. They include:
1. Fahrradmarkt (Bicycle market)
There are numerous bicycle markets (Fahrradmarkt) around the country where you can consider buying your two-wheeler. Simply search for Fahrradmarkt and your city.
Buying a bicycle from these markets is pretty straightforward; look up bike market dates and visit; there, you’ll find hundreds of bicycles awaiting a new owner.
At the bicycle markets in Germany, the marketplace sellers set the buying price independently from the fleamarket management. Therefore, the amount you pay for your bike is totally up to your negotiation skills.
The largest market is the Berliner Fahrradmarkt. Visiting Berlin’s marker is an entire cultural activity, so you might consider traveling to Germany’s capital if you aren’t living there.
2. Flea markets
Another place where you can get a used bicycle is at the flea market. With this, you need to find out the date and location of the next flea market and visit to find your perfect one among the hundreds available.
If you are unsure which bike to buy, you can test drive a few cycles around before deciding; also, you can consider getting advice from the specialist you’ll find there.
3. eBay Kleinanzeigen
If you want to buy your used bike online, eBay Kleinanzeigen would be a perfect place to find it. Buying a used bicycle from this site is pretty simple; filter out your requirements and needs using the self-explanatory interface and find yourself the perfect deal.
Book an appointment with the seller after checking and ensuring that the bike meets your needs. Check the ratings and reviews based on the seller’s records to ensure they are legit and sell quality bikes. Before going away with the cycle, double-check it on the spot to ensure everything is working perfectly.
After picking up your bike, remember to leave the seller a review if the bike doesn’t turn out to be in excellent condition as promised in the ad. Your experience, positive or negative, may help others in the future.
4. Facebook groups and marketplace
There are numerous Facebook groups where you can find your next used cycle, for example, “Bike Flohmarkt” or simply search for “Fahrrad gebraucht kaufen + your city”.
Additionally, Facebook has a large marketplace with multiple used bikes that you can buy. To find a bike from either platform, search and choose one that meets your needs.
The only downside of this method is that you may be unable to check the seller’s reputation based on past recorded experience on the website.
To be safe when buying a used bike from a Facebook group, take your bike expert friend to the physical appointment. Let them check if the cycle is safe and sound before buying it.
How to buy a bike in Germany
Buying a second-hand bike in Germany is pretty easy; you can find the perfect bike without too much effort by following the steps below:
1. Decide on the type of bike you want
There are many different types of bikes available in Germany, but the main categories are;
If you like riding high speed over long distances and on paved paths, this bike is for you. To make riding these bikes at high speed possible, they are equipped with lightweight frames of high-quality composite materials- carbon or aluminum.
Though it’s exciting to ride racing bikes, you may find them quite uncomfortable due to their lightweight design. If you have a back problem, consult a physician before buying a racing bike, as it could worsen the situation. Besides, racing bikes are the most expensive ones.
If you want a second-hand bike that will make it easy to dash through the terrain and conquer the woods, consider purchasing a mountain bike! It has stable frames, wide tires, and quality handlebars, offering excellent driving stability and safety on rough roads.
A city bike is perfect for you if you plan to ride just around the city. It has a solid frame and is very comfortable, ensuring relaxed progress within the city center. This bike has a step-through frame that makes it easy to get off, so even if you are older, you can enjoy cycling this bike.
2. Come up with a budget
Once you have decided on the kind of bike to purchase, set a price limit and purpose to stick to it. A high price doesn’t mean excellent quality; therefore, check the bike’s features and strictly adhere to your budget.
To find a quality bike that meets your budget, consider checking out numerous buying options(both online and offline) and settle on the one that meets your financial limit. Additionally, you can consider buying options that allow you to bargain but be keen to ensure that you don’t compromise on quality.
3. Search for a bike that meets your needs
Once you have decided on the kind of bike you want and have a budget, you can now search for a bike that meets your requirements. To do this, compare prices and quality on various physical markets and online sites.
4. Request proof of purchase
To make a safe purchase, request proof of purchase of the bicycle from the seller. If they don’t have it, they should provide repair receipts if the frame number is present. This will prevent you from buying a stolen bike, which is a huge problem in Germany.
If there are no receipts, ask the seller essential questions like:
- “Where and when did you buy the bike?”
- “How often do you drive it?”
- “Why are you selling the bike?”
The answer to these questions should help you determine if the seller is the legal owner of the bicycle.
5. Make the purchase
The last step is to pay for the bike, which you can do through a bank transfer, a credit card, or cash, depending on your agreement with the seller.
Things to check before buying a used bike in Germany
There are many used bicycles on the German bike market, making it challenging to choose the right one for you. Below are the essential things you ought to check before buying a used bicycle in Germany:
When buying a used bike, it’s crucial to check the frame number, usually under the button bracket or on the frame bar. If the frame number is not there, it indicates that the bike may have been stolen, and you better not buy it; otherwise, you’ll be guilty of buying stolen goods.
Check the two-wheeler tires before purchasing; they can be aged, mainly if the bike hasn’t been used for a long time.
To test the rubber, release some air from the tires, knead the casing and pump them up to the maximum. If there are cracks on the rubber, you may have to replace the tires, which costs around €60.
Ensure that the brake pads are in good working condition by doing a test ride before buying the bike. If you notice any challenges breaking, it would be advisable to go with another option, especially if you don’t intend to pay extra for their replacement.
Price of the bicycle in Germany
The price of a bicycle in Germany varies depending on its quality, type, and age. A new professional bike might cost you about €5,000 and a cheap new one about €150 from a supermarket.
A used bike that’s good enough to get you around town can range anywhere from €40 to €500, depending on the type. Racing branded bicycles are the most expensive.
If you are on a small budget, you can pick a bike at less than €50 from an auction section of unclaimed lost & found items or flea markets. However, in these places, you risk purchasing a stolen bike which is pretty bad.
When buying a bicycle, you also have to consider the maintenance cost. In Germany, it costs about €100 – €200 per year to maintain a non-fancy bike.
Read our guide on bike prices in Germany.
According to research, about 30,000 bicycles are stolen each year in Germany; this is one bike every minute. To protect your bike from theft, you can lock it up away from theft hotspots.
However, the best and most effective way to protect your bicycle is to register your bike with the police database for free and acquire a license sticker. This registration not only keeps away thieves but also helps the police in finding your bicycle in case it’s stolen.
To register your bike, visit the official website of the police in your municipality and follow the required steps. Moreover, you can see the currently stolen bicycles in this database.
Bike theft insurance
If you noticed, bike theft is a painful problem in Germany and can happen to everyone. To prevent your bicycle from this fate, get bicycle insurance. There are plenty of insurance companies offering this coverage at affordable prices. For English speakers, we recommend Getsafe and Feather. Insurance from Getsafe starts at 3,75 EUR per month.