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Old 24.06.2019, 17:10
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Don Molina Don Molina is offline
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Re: Buying a second hand car in Switzerland

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I guess you will have established from on line research that car ownership in CH is a lot more expensive than UK. Insurance for example will typically be x3 what you would pay in uk. Similarly maintenance and garage bills are very high, you wont be getting the 150 fixed price minor services you get in UK, assume every time you go to a garage you will get a bill for chf1000 (labour rates about chf200/hour). Therefore even though your budget is modest choose the newest car you can find with the longest service intervals, ideally one without a cam belt (this will definitely be chf1000 to replace about every 4 years, or make sure its done before you buy it). The MFK tends to be thorough on brakes/tyres so if it has just done a test then you can assume they are good for the next 2 years, conversely if they are even slightly marginal it will fail and will need replacing. ....and make sure the buyer includes both summer and winter wheels, they almost certainly have both so get them to throw them in!

Wow, that was wrong on so many levels:

1. Insurance in the UK is freaking notorious. I would be very hard pressed to find an instance where UK insurance is cheaper than here...

2. Rates are not 200/h and not all visits to the garage are 1,000 CHF. I just did an off-schedule service with BMW (because their schedule is 30k Km and I like my car too much to wait that long), and paid 370 including the most expensive oil they have.

3. Cam belts every 4 year is talking out of your ass. If someone does 30-40k Km/year maybe, but it's more dependent on Km than time. I would only change belts due to time for a lot more than 4 years.

4. People need to understand that MFK takes death traps off the road, with some pointless Swiss cherries on top. Said cherries are: car is not dirty or does not appear leaking at the time of inspection. That is all. I imported a car, and the first MFK which is supposedly "tougher" missed a major bushing that started making noises literally as I was driving the car to Switzerland. I changed it later, without any notice or mention from the MFK people. Some three years later they failed the car because they wanted me to buy a new headlight as they didn't like its pattern despite all of it being below the required lines. There was also minor seeping in a gasket, that resulted in dried oil stains on the engine block, that never reached the ground or even lower parts of the engine block. Getting a car through MFK may be worth it, but it's mostly about convenience.
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