Cover Image

How to successfully end your stay in Germany

December 9, 2019
Reading time: 5 minutes

Recently he spoke with a colleague from England, who works here as an expat. His contract had expired and now it was time to break off the tents in Germany. However, this is not so easy, because at least some assets accumulate here, too. So here are some tips on how to leave the country as an expat without experiencing financial losses. The tips also apply to all those who have decided to emigrate.

Sell or keep?

If you move to Germany with your family and even have children with you, then the question naturally arises as to how your residence can be moved back to your old home when time runs out. After all, a lot of things have accumulated over the years: a car, toys, bicycles, electrical appliances, clothes, cupboards and possibly a kitchen - there are many things that have to be taken away.

In order not to experience any financial disadvantages, everyone has to consider how best to use these things. The bottom line is whether selling or taking is the better alternative.

The most important calculation when leaving the country

Before you think seriously about details, the most important of all questions should be clarified beforehand. This systematic approach is then applied to every further decision.

The most important cost factor when moving is always logistics. For example, if you really want to take everything with you, you may need one or more trucks. In addition, there may be costs for removal helpers and the like.

Then someone has to drive the truck(s) to their new place of residence. If this is nearby, the effort is negligible. For expats or emigrants who move to a distant country, however, it may be necessary to drive for several days. The costs are high:

  • Working time for packing and stowage
  • Rent and insurances for transporters
  • own travel expenses
  • Travel costs of truck drivers - if available
  • Motorway tolls and vignettes
  • propellant
  • Lost working time for the trip, partly over several days

Depending on the daily rate that someone receives for his work, the amounts add up. The result is days off work. These costs are quickly overlooked. Because somehow it is so anchored in people's genes that they prefer not to give away what they once possessed.

Those who calculate hard-core and purely rationally will find that it could sometimes be cheaper to give things away or simply take them to the scrap yard than to take them with them. Sometimes you even pay for it.

What to do with the car?

For example, if you have bought a car especially for your stay in Germany, you have several problems to solve:

The car is needed until the last day to drive around with it. Shortly before departure, for example by plane, it has to be sold quickly. Sometimes it makes sense to go to a professional dealer to do this. One enters for example in Google: "Autoankauf Düsseldorf" - and then you'll quickly find the right offers. There is usually also an online price calculator with which you can see exactly how much money the vehicle is worth.

The other question is whether selling is the right thing to do at all. In this case you just have to think about how new the vehicle is. If it was an expensive brand, which is only 1-2 years old, then it will suffer a high loss of value. Here it could make sense to take the car with you to your new place of residence. With an older model the loss is rather less serious.

This question is important, because some emigrants for example drive then over 3-4 days with the vehicle, for example to Spain or Bulgaria. Also here several working days are omitted and travel costs result. So it is sometimes actually cheaper and more comfortable to hit a car and get a new one on the spot.

Furniture, toys and interiors

Here it's always the same calculation: Do I have to take it with me? Can't I buy it on the spot? What does the transport cost in terms of time and money?

For children's clothing, for example, it is very easy to sell used clothing. You can buy new clothes very cheaply on the spot. Nowadays it is also easy to send boxes by DHL and UPS, etc., which is no longer so expensive. A few boxes of clothes can therefore be shipped without the need for a transporter.

It's a bit different when it comes to electronics and household appliances. A giant television set cannot be packed so easily. On the other hand, many of them have now become so cheap that it is sometimes worth selling the old one and taking a new one on the spot.


Those who give up their place of residence in Germany sometimes live much more stress-free when they leave their homes in Germany.