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Old 28.04.2015, 20:05
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Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

Hi - I've had a look round the forum and on Google and couldn't find a definitive answer to this (my apologies if I've missed it somehow). I have a Swiss car (geneva) that was bought here and is insured with Swiss car insurance. All very straightforward, but the thing is that I'm leaving the country to return home (UK). I will be giving up my flat as soon as I can find a new tenant to replace me and then wanted to travel for a couple of months in my car - I'll come back to Geneva to sell the car to a friend and then fly back to UK as car is LH drive.

But it seems that as soon as I don't have a Swiss address, the car insurance becomes invalid. So effectively without paying for the flat for longer (and health insurance) I can't travel with my car as planned for that interim period. Is this right? And if yes, how do people drive back to their home countries with their car before they register it in their own countries? Are they driving uninsured effectively? I've called a few UK insurance companies and they won't insure the car until it is either on UK soil or has been registered over in UK at a test centre.
Many thanks for your help.
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Old 28.04.2015, 20:13
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

Take a look at this thread.

Leaving Switzerland but not really leaving Switzerland
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Old 28.04.2015, 20:19
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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it seems that as soon as I don't have a Swiss address, the car insurance becomes invalid.
Insurance only becomes invalid when you hand in the plates.

Even if you don't pay.

Tom
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Old 28.04.2015, 20:53
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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Hi - I've had a look round the forum and on Google and couldn't find a definitive answer to this (my apologies if I've missed it somehow). I have a Swiss car (geneva) that was bought here and is insured with Swiss car insurance. All very straightforward, but the thing is that I'm leaving the country to return home (UK). I will be giving up my flat as soon as I can find a new tenant to replace me and then wanted to travel for a couple of months in my car - I'll come back to Geneva to sell the car to a friend and then fly back to UK as car is LH drive.

But it seems that as soon as I don't have a Swiss address, the car insurance becomes invalid. So effectively without paying for the flat for longer (and health insurance) I can't travel with my car as planned for that interim period. Is this right? And if yes, how do people drive back to their home countries with their car before they register it in their own countries? Are they driving uninsured effectively? I've called a few UK insurance companies and they won't insure the car until it is either on UK soil or has been registered over in UK at a test centre.
Many thanks for your help.
You can legally keep Swiss plates for 1 year, I know a forum member who has passed the 1 year point & the Swiss start to get agitated
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Old 28.04.2015, 21:11
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

Hi there everyone - thank you so much for your replies. I'd read the forum discussion on the link belgianmum posted but wasn't sure on his eventual position i.e. his insurance seemed to be happy to insure him but I didn't know whether he had kept a mailing address in CH, had deregistered etc.

The reason I'm confused is that when I asked my contact for my car insurance, he said that once I deregister and no longer have a B permit, then the address on "your title is no longer valid and it is illegal to drive". He did say something about giving another address but I didn't follow that as I would by then be deregistered and non resident/normal EU citizen.

So if I can keep my swiss plates for a further year, does that mean I should still be able to keep my car insurance without an address here? So sorry if I'm missing something obvious, asking a stupid question or just missing the point.....please be gentle with me!! Thanks
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Old 28.04.2015, 21:28
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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Hi there everyone - thank you so much for your replies. I'd read the forum discussion on the link belgianmum posted but wasn't sure on his eventual position i.e. his insurance seemed to be happy to insure him but I didn't know whether he had kept a mailing address in CH, had deregistered etc.

The reason I'm confused is that when I asked my contact for my car insurance, he said that once I deregister and no longer have a B permit, then the address on "your title is no longer valid and it is illegal to drive". He did say something about giving another address but I didn't follow that as I would by then be deregistered and non resident/normal EU citizen.

So if I can keep my swiss plates for a further year, does that mean I should still be able to keep my car insurance without an address here? So sorry if I'm missing something obvious, asking a stupid question or just missing the point.....please be gentle with me!! Thanks
The insurance guy is talking out of his bottom, until you return the plates the car is insured regardless of ANYTHING else.
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Old 28.04.2015, 23:14
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

Thanks fatmanfilms - that sounds promising news! Do you know if the Service cantonal des véhicules (I'm in Geneva) or someone else is able to confirm that, just for knowing for sure as I've got young family in the car and just in case the worst should happen. After my message back from my insurance guy (who'd I'd have thought should have known his stuff) , I'd been thinking we would have to hire a car for some of the time and sell this one early. So it would be superb if we could just use our own car for all that time instead. Many thanks.
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Old 28.04.2015, 23:57
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

Give any address you want (in CH), friends, relatives, etc.

My daughter left over a year ago and still has vehicles in her name.

Alas, she has no license so couldn't use them when she came to visit this month.

Tom
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Old 29.04.2015, 00:19
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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Hi there everyone - thank you so much for your replies. I'd read the forum discussion on the link belgianmum posted but wasn't sure on his eventual position i.e. his insurance seemed to be happy to insure him but I didn't know whether he had kept a mailing address in CH, had deregistered etc.

The reason I'm confused is that when I asked my contact for my car insurance, he said that once I deregister and no longer have a B permit, then the address on "your title is no longer valid and it is illegal to drive". He did say something about giving another address but I didn't follow that as I would by then be deregistered and non resident/normal EU citizen.

So if I can keep my swiss plates for a further year, does that mean I should still be able to keep my car insurance without an address here? So sorry if I'm missing something obvious, asking a stupid question or just missing the point.....please be gentle with me!! Thanks
I set up mail forwarding to my address in the UK
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Old 29.04.2015, 10:08
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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Thanks fatmanfilms - that sounds promising news! Do you know if the Service cantonal des véhicules (I'm in Geneva) or someone else is able to confirm that, just for knowing for sure as I've got young family in the car and just in case the worst should happen. After my message back from my insurance guy (who'd I'd have thought should have known his stuff) , I'd been thinking we would have to hire a car for some of the time and sell this one early. So it would be superb if we could just use our own car for all that time instead. Many thanks.
Why not go & ask yourself?
That's how I got the info I am passing on.
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Old 29.04.2015, 10:12
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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I set up mail forwarding to my address in the UK
But you deregistered from here right?
So they are aware that you are no longer a Swiss resident and both the insurance and vehicle registration people were fine with it.

When I enquired on behalf of a friend they told me a maximum if three months because that was when her current insurance contract expired and she couldn't renew it (with them) if she was not resident in Switzerland. As long as the OP's insurance is valid for the duration of his travels I don't see why he would have any problems but it is always best to be 100% certain on these things.
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Old 29.04.2015, 11:34
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

Register the car under your name c/o a trusted friends address. Simple.
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Old 29.04.2015, 12:00
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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But you deregistered from here right?
So they are aware that you are no longer a Swiss resident and both the insurance and vehicle registration people were fine with it.

When I enquired on behalf of a friend they told me a maximum if three months because that was when her current insurance contract expired and she couldn't renew it (with them) if she was not resident in Switzerland. As long as the OP's insurance is valid for the duration of his travels I don't see why he would have any problems but it is always best to be 100% certain on these things.
The insurance won't be aware of reregistration unless you tell them, I doubt the registration people will even know!

I paid my following years premium in advance so that I would have cover for a full 12 months after leaving, I subsequently sold the car & once the plates were returned I got the balance of the car tax & insurance refunded.

Of course the Swiss will always write to you at your last known Swiss address even through you send a reregistration form & new address, they don't want to pay the extra postage
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Old 29.04.2015, 12:09
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

Thanks all. I'll give Service cantonal des véhicules a try and and see what they say (hopefully my french is up to it). And yup, my car insurance is valid into 2016 for the car. Thing is that my contents insurance is with the same insurance company so I need to give them my de-registration documents to cancel that policy (or continue paying for contents cover while I need the car but without the address). So they will know that I've de-registered if I say to them about contents insurance at the date I leave to travel. I'll maybe also try speaking to someone else at the insurance company
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Old 29.04.2015, 12:17
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

I know this subject well. Be aware of the potential minefield of; if you are an EU citizen you can only drive an EU tax paid car in the EU, unless you have a domicile / citizenship outside EU too (i.e Switzerland).
Since you are revoking your Swiss domicile you are according to EU customs not allowed to drive a non EU tax paid car in the EU.
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Old 29.04.2015, 12:56
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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The insurance won't be aware of reregistration unless you tell them, I doubt the registration people will even know!


Of course the Swiss will always write to you at your last known Swiss address even through you send a reregistration form & new address, they don't want to pay the extra postage
I wouldn't be too sure of that. Another friend received a letter at her UK address from the strassenverkehrsamt in Zurich. It said that she had been out of Switzerland fir more than a year and she had to either register the car in her new place of residence or bring the car back into Switzerland. She also had to pay the car tax for the following year ( as the date for payment had elapsed even though the current tax was still valid) or risk her car being impounded at the border.
The only way they could have obtained her UK address was from the de registration and if the car registration people know the insurers probably do too.

She also received the letter for the tax refund at her UK address with the possibility of having it paid into a foreign bank account.
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Old 29.04.2015, 13:16
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

The simplest and safest answer is to write to your insurance company innit?
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Old 29.04.2015, 15:22
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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I know this subject well. Be aware of the potential minefield of; if you are an EU citizen you can only drive an EU tax paid car in the EU, unless you have a domicile / citizenship outside EU too (i.e Switzerland).
Since you are revoking your Swiss domicile you are according to EU customs not allowed to drive a non EU tax paid car in the EU.
Generally correct: a UK vehicle stored in Switzerland may be driven by a non-Swiss resident for a limited number of days a year. But if the UK road tax has expired it can't be driven through France (except if towed, on a trailer or under a special transit regime: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affich...tegorieLien=id )

On the other hand, if the owner makes an appointment with a UK inspection station it can be driven from the Channel port to that station, even across the country, and the road tax must then be paid forthwith. The legal problem is getting it across France to Folkestone or Dover, etc.

A car cannot be subject to a SORN while abroad, only an export notice which would then have to be revoked to re-tax it when it returns to the UK.

I'm not sure that citizenship or domicile (and anyway the definition of "domicile" varies by country and in the UK and Ireland has no meaning relevant to this subject) matters. I think you mean residence. Of which somebody can have more than one, but that's another story. Or maybe habitual residence. In either case it's a bugbear in Switzerland: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=fr (Not as generous I think as the EU rule: "You may, however, lend your car to visiting friends or family - provided they are not resident in your new country." http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens...s/index_en.htm
Another page on car taxation: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs...r/index_en.htm )

I think most countries have some sort of trade (transporter, dealer, Customs) license plates and many or most have arrangements for uninsured vehicles to be temporarily insured at the border. Of course if the border is unmanned that's not so easy, but that's what customs brokers are for.

My friend who does this for a living read this off to me, and I probably got some of it wrong, but that's the gist.

The other point is this: under EU law, even if the car has fraudulent, stolen or fake license plates, the Insurance Bureau of the purported country of issuance has to pay any third-party claims. (Lots of luck getting paid, my friend said, but that's the law. Also the insurers can come back and sue the driver.) It was on that basis that green cards were abolished. And why "uninsured motorist cover" that every smart motorist buys in the USA is redundant in Europe. Also medical cover common in the US is replaced by travel insurance and national health schemes in Europe, he says.

There are other special regimes: diplomats, tourists. And NATO plates: I remember, many years ago, driving into Switzerland a car with US Forces plates and having the car very thoroughly searched by Swiss Customs.

Then there are the Arab cars of the type my friend transports (Ferraris, Lamborghinis, antique cars) but flown in from the Gulf and, when the driver fails to insure it and be able to prove that he did, towed away by the London police. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-looks-on.html

I hope I didn't make too many mistakes. My friend says there are infinite traps for the unwary. As they say, the above is for entertainment only and not intended as a statement of law.
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Old 29.04.2015, 15:30
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

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The simplest and safest answer is to write to your insurance company innit?
Hi there - yes, I did do this first of all but the chap who is my contact is not the most helpful with full information and what he said seemed to conflict with other information here and other places. I'd popped in one of my messages there but he'd said that once I deregister and no longer have a B permit, then the address on "your title is no longer valid and it is illegal to drive" other than giving another address but I would still have no valid permit by then (just normal EU citizen / UK). Anyway, it's all looking like it's a bit of a minefield. Maybe I'm just better hiring a car for the month and knowing all is totally 100% sorted.
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Old 29.04.2015, 15:34
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Re: Swiss Car, Swiss Insurance - driving after given up flat/left Switzerland

All true. But think about if it was allowed. A dutchman who wants a ferrari is subject to high taxes, bvg etc. if you were allowed to drive a non eu tax paid car in eu then he could buy car here and pay 12% taxes escaping all local taxes...

It is simple tax evasion.
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