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Hi, everyone!

Sorry in advance for the long one but I have a few questions I'd love some help (as I'm so excited about the idea of getting my first GTI).

I think I'm finally going to buckle and get myself a Golf GTI. Since moving to (central) Berlin 6 years ago I haven't had a car because of how good the public transport is but having a car opens a lot of opportunities. Anyway, I won't be buying just yet as I have a few trips planned in the coming months but I imagine I'll be ready from May onwards (in case you think that might make a difference with 2015 prices).

My girlfriend and I really fancy having a car so we can visit places around here and take trips across Europe (down to the Alps, into Czech Republic, into Italy, etc.). I have a few questions:
  • Does anyone here have an expensive car like a GTI in a big city? All pictures I see on here seem to be of cars in massive garages. I live in a great area but the car will have to live on the street and likely won't be right next to my place as it depends on spaces, etc. Back in the UK I had a house so always had a drive and place to park (and I was obsessed with looking after my cars). Here, though, I'm worried about damage from other car doors, etc. but I'm not sure what I can do about that other than cross my fingers and realise that if I want a car here there's not much I can do.
  • I don't want to buy on finance so (based on current prices) the newest I can afford is a 2015 (they're around 18.500€). I'd love CarPlay but the 2016 models jump up to about 23.000€ so it's out of the question. Other than that, are there any other differences?
  • Seeing as these cars are ~30.000€ new, has the steep new car depreciation started to settle with 2015 models?
  • I'm guessing dealers here in Germany will be the same as everywhere in that they're more expensive than private. How flexible do you think the typical dealer will be? If one is listed at 18.500€ do you think I can get it for a better price? The last car I bought was a Leon Cupra R and it was back in 2005 so I'm well out car buying practice.
    We'll likely live outside the city in a few years and that'd be a great time to get a new one but for now I'm trying to strike the balance and a 2015 is just about affordable (and will have warranty, right?)

Thanks in advance. I hope you're all having a great weekend.
 

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Hello there.

To address your concerns, there are plenty of members on there that own and park their cars in large cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston, etc. You're in Europe so a lot of the options on the Golf GTI are very different than they are here. Also I don't know how dealers work over there vs. here, as well as I'm sure warranty terms/conditions are different as well. Sorry I really couldn't shed any light other than city ownership.



Good luck with your hunt and purchase.
 

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I lived in Germany for 7yrs when I was stationed at Ramstein. Bought a brand new 2001 Golf V6 4Motion from the dealer with a free trip to Wolfsburg to pick it up. Sure wish I could have brought it back.

Anyhow on the GTI, a few things I can tell you when buying a car over there.
If you have your mind set one particular car, as in this case a GTI then do your best to negotiate with them.
Is it a German spec, or US spec model?

Also parts are dirt cheap over there compared to here. Many auto part stores will have all the replacement parts you need to do any repairs at a fraction of the dealers cost. One of the biggest chain stores there is http://www.atu.de/home. They are like the advance auto parts of the states.
If your buying new, shop around to various dealers and remember you can custom order your Golf. There are a hundred different configurations when you order it from the dealer

A few things:
VAT (Value Added Tax) is like 19% now. Factor that in to anything you buy!!!
Getting it inspected at the TUV is not cheap either.
Get insurance quotes
Also they salt the roads over there big time in the winter so get ready to have a dirty car for 6 months. (A garage is a must in that dismal weather).


Bottom line if lived in Germany again I would have a German car no doubt. Living in the big city of Berlin, most likely not. Car will get abused.
 

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After living in Hamburg, I understand your concerns for a car (or not) in a large German city.

I think a car is absolutely a treat in Europe, but nonetheless can be costly. I drove a S60 in Hamburg that became beat up and abused. People would run into the side of it, scrape it, scratch it, and hit the bumpers which went up to around 3000 euros in costs to me. However, if your goal is to travel around without Deutsche Bahn or any other trains, then I say get a GTI!

My S60 was parked on the street 100% of the time and subsequently earned most of its battle marks there. Was it worth it having a car? Yes, even though I spent quite a bit to fix it. Once you use one, you'll never want to walk to REWE again (Ok, when it's sunny yes, but in Hamburg? Sun?).

I'm not aware of the differences in 2016 versus 2015 for the German market (besides Carplay and Android Auto), but keep in mind, many of the users on here are from N. America and we were introduced to the Mk7 as a 2015 model year. I believe the German market could buy Mk7's as 2013's?

As far as buying from a dealer, I think you could definitely get a better deal than advertised. I bought the Volvo private, but my neighbor bought his C class new on about a 4% discount from the dealer. Used cars will likely be the same (I would hope).

As Ajart said, if I were back in Germany, driving a german car would be my first priority. Many good memories.
 
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