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Old 16.05.2015, 21:05
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License plates on rental/hire cars

Every time I've rented a car in the past the license plates have been from Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI). After crossing the border from France today I first noticed that they gave me a car with Vaud (VD) plates. And that I was probably lucky (in terms of time saved) that Customs didn't stop me and search the car, as they seemed to be doing to every Nth car, judging from the queue to get across the border. My impression is that it's assumed that a car with AI plates contains foreign tourists.

We're off on a day trip to Italy next week. I will put on my tourist face going through he tunnel.

Can I assume that registering cars in Appenzell Innerrhoden (where I've never been, AFAIK) is a tax-saving measure?

I remember once, years ago, I dropped the key for a rental car down the sewer. I later asked the rental agent what would have happened if the fire department hadn't been able to open up the sewer hatch and (wearing their hip-height rubber boots) retrieve the key.

They said it would have cost CHF 300 and involved a wait for the key to come from Zurich. Or maybe they said Appenzell Innerrhoden, it was a long time ago.

My constant fear with this car (a VW Polo with 6800 km on it) is that I might lock the keys inside. The car seems to have automatic locking, I'm not sure and really don't want to find out the wrong way. My mother had one of those. A very dangerous feature.
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Old 16.05.2015, 21:28
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Re: License plates on rental/hire cars

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Every time I've rented a car in the past the license plates have been from Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI). After crossing the border from France today I first noticed that they gave me a car with Vaud (VD) plates. And that I was probably lucky (in terms of time saved) that Customs didn't stop me and search the car, as they seemed to be doing to every Nth car, judging from the queue to get across the border. My impression is that it's assumed that a car with AI plates contains foreign tourists.

We're off on a day trip to Italy next week. I will put on my tourist face going through he tunnel.

Can I assume that registering cars in Appenzell Innerrhoden (where I've never been, AFAIK) is a tax-saving measure?

I remember once, years ago, I dropped the key for a rental car down the sewer. I later asked the rental agent what would have happened if the fire department hadn't been able to open up the sewer hatch and (wearing their hip-height rubber boots) retrieve the key.

They said it would have cost CHF 300 and involved a wait for the key to come from Zurich. Or maybe they said Appenzell Innerrhoden, it was a long time ago.

My constant fear with this car (a VW Polo with 6800 km on it) is that I might lock the keys inside. The car seems to have automatic locking, I'm not sure and really don't want to find out the wrong way. My mother had one of those. A very dangerous feature.
Maybe best you take train ?
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Old 16.05.2015, 22:11
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Re: License plates on rental/hire cars

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Maybe best you take train ?
Last time I took the train (I had some business in, of all places, San Marino and took the train from Rimini to Milano and then to Switzerland where I had some business in Lausanne) I was disappointed.

Well, my connection in Milano was too late to get me a couchette or similar so I spread myself out alone in a 2nd class compartment (this was 1999 or thereabouts, do they still have compartments?) and fell asleep.

We got to the border and first an Italian border guard came in and asked for my papers. I gave him my ID card which (like, some 15 years later, a Romanian airport inspector) looked at with obvious suspicion, running his fingernails along its ridges, etc. etc. Then the Swiss guard came in, only he had a dog. The ID card posed no problem for him, after all he had one himself I suppose. But he wanted to see inside my suitcase, which he was welcome to do even though the suitcase was far too small to hide an asylum seeker. And then he had the dog sniff inside it. (It wasn't even a suitcase: just an overnight bag.)

I now understand why the Milano night express is subject to "special treatment". It's a favorite of asylum seekers I read somewhere, but doing a search engine query on <asylum seekers Domodossola Switzerland> doesn't yield very much.

Fortunately nobody asked me to speak Italian because I would have answered in Spanish and then, for sure, they would have taken me for an illegal, whatever papers I had.

Anyway, have you ever tried to get from Lausanne to Aosta by train? Milano yes, Aosta no. Even Campione d'Italia is easier. Domodossola has always only been a word on a map for me, but that's where I had to change trains. To get to a place (Campione) that turned out to be quite a disappointment, surely a haven for tax avoiders and gamblers; not an ideal destination for ramblers. And nobody could tell me what I wanted most to know: what went on there during WW II.
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Old 16.05.2015, 22:50
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Re: License plates on rental/hire cars

I have never hired a car here but was told most cars with VD plates that you see outside of Vaud are hire cars, tax reasons I believe. Friends of mine have hired cars in Zurich and they had VD plates.
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Old 16.05.2015, 22:55
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Re: License plates on rental/hire cars

I believe it's a case of most officials not wishing to come in direct contact with VD.
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Old 16.05.2015, 23:21
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Re: License plates on rental/hire cars

is this thread about license plates or keys?
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Old 16.05.2015, 23:32
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Re: License plates on rental/hire cars

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is this thread about license plates or keys?
Neither.

Trolls.

Tom
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Old 17.05.2015, 11:07
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Re: License plates on rental/hire cars

I've probably hired cars 80-100 times during my time here. Registration has probably been 60% VD, 40% AI (at one time, they all seemed to be VD, recently more seem to be AI - taxes, eh?).

I have to say, it's never made any difference at border control.

I (and every other hire car I've seen) always get stopped at the border for a full search and interrogation (oddly, strip searches are less likely with a VD car).

My solution is to temporarily buy a car with SZ plates, because no tourist has ever visited Schwiez, and it also confuses the guards, because they assume it stands for "Schweitzer"; they're selected for their loyalty to SVP, rather than any signs of intelligence.

You can sell the car afterward on Englishforum for a tidy profit (rule of thumb is "Autoscout plus 30%").

HTH

P.S. A local youth can get you into a locked car in less than 2 minutes.
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