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Old 10.02.2011, 09:09
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complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

Hi Guys

Can anyone offer some advice?

We would like to buy a second had car but would need to arrange some sort of finance deal as we don't have the available funds and need a car asap.

Do I contact a finance company first to arrange a deal or go to the garage, choose a car then sort out payment options at the garage? Is this something that most garages can arrange? Ir should I do it independently?

Also does anyone know of any companies offering this service in English?

Thanks so much for your advice!

Finkle
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Old 10.02.2011, 09:31
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

How much deposit do you have? most people lease cars here, so pay a deposit, around 5-20% pay a monthly fee and and the end of the term give the car back or pay a final payment and keep it.

you can also lease 2nd hand cars

eg on a new suzuki swift 4x4 we paid around 4k deposit and 300 chf per month.

benefit of leasing is the apr is usually quite low, I saw recently fiat where offering 0% on 500.

a lot depends on your permit, no one would give us the time of day when we only had an L permit, no issues at all when we got the B permit.

ETA most garages we visited had someone who could speak english, but don't expect any of the paperwork to be in english, I can give you the details for the suzuki garage and honda garage we used, they speak excellent english (its just outside zurich, in Otelfingen) there is also a local garage there that sells cheap cars (cheap for switzerland) who also speak english
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Old 10.02.2011, 09:41
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

Thanks for your helpful reply.

Where can I find out about lease options? This sounds like a good idea and do you think its a problem that we dont speak German?

F
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Old 10.02.2011, 09:50
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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Thanks for your helpful reply.

Where can I find out about lease options? This sounds like a good idea and do you think its a problem that we dont speak German?

F

just walk into any dealer, the lease options are usually in huge ad's not speaking german shouldn't be an issue, especially in the bigger dealers.
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Old 10.02.2011, 09:53
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

Thanks.

Can you recommend any garages near Zurich? We are not looking for a high end car, just something reasonable, reliable and economic.
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Old 10.02.2011, 09:56
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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Thanks.

Can you recommend any garages near Zurich? We are not looking for a high end car, just something reasonable, reliable and economic.

how longs a piece of string? what you looking to spend, what kind of car do you want etc etc

these guys are just outside zurich, on the s6 train line

http://www.garagezoellig.ch/

owner can come across as a bit arrogant but his staff are nice and know there stuff and all speak english.

you also have a huge dealership in Oerlikon inc jeep, landrover, dodge, jaguar, ford etc etc
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Old 10.02.2011, 09:58
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

Thanks a lot. I saw from other threads that Emil Frey has a good rep and can also sort out insurance. That would be a big help if we could get someone who spoke English to also take care of insurance.
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Old 10.02.2011, 10:58
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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Thanks a lot. I saw from other threads that Emil Frey has a good rep and can also sort out insurance. That would be a big help if we could get someone who spoke English to also take care of insurance.

usually they work together with an insurance agent. but that might mean they are not the cheapest. I used this guy to get me the cheapest (you dont have to pay them as they get commision from the insurance)
Toni Bachmann
Agentur für i&f GmbH
Bahnhofstrasse 10
Postfach 89
CH-3800 Interlaken
T +41 33 336 9394, F +41 32 511 7208
M +41 79 652 6619
t.bachmann@agif.ch

you can also compare insurances on comparis.ch

also just have a look on autoscout for something that you might like
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Old 11.02.2011, 10:18
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

Can I also ask how have people coped with no German? Have you managed to find dealers who will speak in English and go through documents with you? Or have you had to take someone along/pay a translator?

I am having a problem finding anyone who will speak in English to me!
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Old 11.02.2011, 10:52
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

My german is quite limited but I found a good car dealer in Wil (9500) on the way to St Gallen.

http://www.autostelz.ch/

The owner was very helpful and he spoke english with me. I ended up leasing a 3 year old car from him which I have the option to buy at an agreed price at the end of the leasing term.

He explained everything to me, I put down 10% deposit and he arranged the finance with the leasing company. He also went to the Kanton Zürich Strasseverkehrsamt in Winterthur registered the car in my name. All I had to do was call my insurance company in ask them to fax him the necessary documents.
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Old 11.02.2011, 10:54
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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Can I also ask how have people coped with no German? Have you managed to find dealers who will speak in English and go through documents with you? Or have you had to take someone along/pay a translator?

I am having a problem finding anyone who will speak in English to me!

what dealers you going too?? every dealer we went to (and that was lots) had at least 1 person who could speak english
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Old 11.02.2011, 11:03
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

I am just phoning ahead at the moment, will go in person tomorrow. Really want to go to Emil Frey Spreitenbach as there is a car there that we are interested in and when I asked if there was somebody I could talk to in English he said "jemand had keine Englisch" or something along those lines. Maybe I was unlucky with the person on the phone and I should just go anyway.

I have also phoned a number of smaller garages outside Zurich.

I have searched the forum for a list of dealers but there doesnt seem to be a comprehensive list of main/biggest dealers, can anybody recommend?

It would be great if there were a couple of really big garages we could go to then maybe the chances of getting someone who speaks English would be greater.
I have already looked at the big one in Uster but there wasn't the right car.

Thanks again
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Old 11.02.2011, 11:07
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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I am just phoning ahead at the moment, will go in person tomorrow. Really want to go to Emil Frey Spreitenbach as there is a car there that we are interested in and when I asked if there was somebody I could talk to in English he said "jemand had keine Englisch" or something along those lines. Maybe I was unlucky with the person on the phone and I should just go anyway.

I have also phoned a number of smaller garages outside Zurich.

I have searched the forum for a list of dealers but there doesnt seem to be a comprehensive list of main/biggest dealers, can anybody recommend?

It would be great if there were a couple of really big garages we could go to then maybe the chances of getting someone who speaks English would be greater.
I have already looked at the big one in Uster but there wasn't the right car.

Thanks again
Emil Frey certainly have people who can speak english, spoken to salesmen and the parts desk there before several times with no issues. Just make sure you check the opening times before you set off, this being switzerland garages are normally closed when the bulk of people are free to visit them.


the 2 garages I posted before also def speak english as they are the 2 we use

eta just personal experience here, but if they even have a hint your not serious and or don't have the funds then garages here won't give you the time of day, getting a test drive is like getting blood out of a stone here. dealers seem to think they are doing you a favour by allowing you to buy there cars, how dare you ask questions or actually want to test drive good luck
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Old 11.02.2011, 11:19
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

As aready mentioned by bigblue, Emil Frey has Enghish-speaking people. I went there a few months ago, the guy spoke fluent English.

Also, the Renault garage in Zurich nord has English speaking sales people

I purchased a car without speaking German, did not encounter any problems. Just be aware that the paperwork will be all in German.
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Old 11.02.2011, 11:48
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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As aready mentioned by bigblue, Emil Frey has Enghish-speaking people. I went there a few months ago, the guy spoke fluent English.

Also, the Renault garage in Zurich nord has English speaking sales people

I purchased a car without speaking German, did not encounter any problems. Just be aware that the paperwork will be all in German.


This is my worry, even if we manage to find a sales person who is willing to speak in English, what are the chances they will sit down and explain the important bits of any paper work in German that we dont understand?

How have people dealt with this? Do we just have to trust the sales person if they agree to explain it in English then sign the document?

Thanks for the info bout Emil Frey, I think we will go and be a bit more pushy!
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Old 11.02.2011, 12:29
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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eta just personal experience here, but if they even have a hint your not serious and or don't have the funds then garages here won't give you the time of day, getting a test drive is like getting blood out of a stone here. dealers seem to think they are doing you a favour by allowing you to buy there cars, how dare you ask questions or actually want to test drive good luck
Couldnt agree more.

Apparently, according to a twat of a salesman of a rather big garage here in Zürich, when we showed up and wanted to test drive 2 cars, he said to make an appointment to do so. Didnt realise that it worked that way here, but I was more irritated with his snotty attitude. Needless to say, he didnt get our business. I went straight to BMW Binelli instead.

My best advice for you is to go onto autoscout.ch, and call up those second hand garages to schedule a test drive of the cars that you are interested in first before showing up.

That is of course if you have a B permit. Dont bother ringing if you dont.

On the other hand, if you want to consider a lease option, I've nothing but praise for the service I've received at BMW Binelli. The person we dealt with spoke excellent English, and provided great service.
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Old 11.02.2011, 12:37
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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This is my worry, even if we manage to find a sales person who is willing to speak in English, what are the chances they will sit down and explain the important bits of any paper work in German that we dont understand?

the suzuki garage we used did this
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Old 11.02.2011, 12:41
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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the suzuki garage we used did this
My Nissan dealer too.
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Old 11.02.2011, 15:50
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Re: complete newbie to buying a car in Switzerland

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eta just personal experience here, but if they even have a hint your not serious and or don't have the funds then garages here won't give you the time of day, getting a test drive is like getting blood out of a stone here. dealers seem to think they are doing you a favour by allowing you to buy there cars, how dare you ask questions or actually want to test drive good luck
You must be doing something wrong (or I inadvertently tick all the qualification boxes). I've had the polar opposite experience tbh. I had the keys of a Boxster thrown at me and told to come back in an hour. He refused to join me as he had other customers to deal with. Likewise I've had solo test-drives of Z4s (a customers car waiting for delivery no less), RS Meganes, 911 turbos etc. No one has ever asked to see a permit, only a driving licence and a UK one was fine. I also have a test drive in a Ferrari F430 lined up whenever I want to take it.

Eta and you don't necessarily need a deposit on a lease either.

BMW Titan and Renault on Badenerstrasse definitely have English speaking staff. Interestingly the guy at the Ferrari garage didn't speak any!
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