Many shops that work on BMW's here in the US will have really cool sounding German words like autohaus or werkstatt in their name. I never really gave much thought to what those words mean, they just sounded cool to me. Recently for some reason, I wondered, what do they mean? Why do some shops call themselves an Autohaus and others Werkstatt. And what are they really called over in Germany? So down the rabbit hole I went.
Autohaus is German for "car dealer". A place to buy cars. This led to way bigger words like Gebrauchtwagen which means "used cars", and Kfz-Zulassungsbescheinigung which means "vehicle registration certificate". And if buying a gebrauchtwagen from an autohaus make sure to see if it comes with a Scheckheftgepflegt, which is the cars maintenance record book.
So if you were looking to buy a BMW, you'd go to a BMW Autohaus.
Werkstatt is German for "workshop". This is where you'd take your BMW to get serviced and repaired. Like getting a suspension problem fixed or spark plugs replaced. Simple enough, but what I found fascinating is that in Germany there are several hundred of what are called mietwerkstatt. These are shops where you can rent a lift and tools, including special tools to work on your own car. How cool is that!
So to get your BMW serviced or repaired, go to a BMW Werkstatt.
Now we know. We hope you found this article to be informative. Don't forget to check out some of our other BMW articles like "Why Using the Right Engine Oil Matters for Your BMW" and “Where Can I Get BMW Suspension Repair in San Diego?”.