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Old 07.06.2008, 23:16
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Bringing 2 Toyota vehicles from US (Maryland) to Geneva: insurance w/US plates?

My wife and I will be relocating to Geneva in the next 2 months and plan to bring our 2 cars with us: 2004 Toyota 4Runner and 2004 RAV4. Both cars have US Maryland plates.

This is all new to us. Many thanks for the advice (and apologies if this has been discussed in many other threads).

I see potentially 2 options: keep US plates or return US plates before moving both cars.

Option 1 - Keep US plates:
- It's good to know that we can use our US plates for 12 months while in Geneva ... but:
- Maryland law requires US insurance to be in effect at all times; which means our US insurance policy has to be paid although both vehicles are in Geneva. This policy would not be valid and we would have to pay for 2 policies: US and Swiss.
- What insurance company (hopefully with a cheer) can insure US spec 2004 4Runner and RAV4 immediately upon arrival?
- Comparis.ch doesn't seem to have an exact model for our vehicles. RAV4 in the US has a bigger 4 cylinder engine: 2.4L. 4Runner is basically Land Crusier Prado with a different body and 3.4L V6 engine.
-I would like obtain Swiss car insurance and plates as soon as possible, and return Maryland plates via mail.

Option 2 - Return US plates prior to moving both cars
- I think this option may not practical because we would not be able to drive our cars immediately

Can someone comment on the following approach?

- Move both cards with US plates
- Get Swiss insurance as soon as possible while both cars have US plates
- Begin the process to get Swiss plates, emission tests (both cars are in perfect condition), and lights modification
- Get Swiss plates
- Return Maryland plates
- Cancel US insurance (Progressive)

Also - does anyone know a good garage in Geneva area with experience servicing US spec Toyota vehicles?

Again, many thanks!

Leon
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Old 07.06.2008, 23:32
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Re: Bringing 2 Toyota vehicles from US (Maryland) to Geneva: insurance w/US plates?

You are correct, it has all been done to death.

Buying new car from US? (now that $=Franc)
Car Import
[Import] Bring car to Switzerland?
import of a new car
Car import - still confused...

...and so on.
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Old 08.06.2008, 07:48
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Re: Bringing 2 Toyota vehicles from US (Maryland) to Geneva: insurance w/US plates?

I don't think you return US plates, you just cancel the registration (or it just times out when you don't pay the tabs for registration/taxes for the new year). In the US the plates go with the car, here in Switzerland, they go with the owner. I know people that have 50 year old plates.
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Old 08.06.2008, 08:14
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Re: Bringing 2 Toyota vehicles from US (Maryland) to Geneva: insurance w/US plates?

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I don't think you return US plates, you just cancel the registration (or it just times out when you don't pay the tabs for registration/taxes for the new year). In the US the plates go with the car, here in Switzerland, they go with the owner. I know people that have 50 year old plates.
Gregv,

Thanks for the advice.

Maryland has very strict rules about keeping insurance in effect. In fact, you have to confirm that the State of Maryland received plates before insurance can be cancelled. I would have to return the plates when the journey to get Swiss plates comes to an end.

By the way, I searched all forums trying to learn if someone imported the same cars, 2004 4Runner and 2004 RAV4. No hits ...
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Old 08.06.2008, 08:29
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Re: Bringing 2 Toyota vehicles from US (Maryland) to Geneva: insurance w/US plates?

rejoice that these threads exist and use them please. In theory, import will work but be painful as the cars do exist in Europe/Switzerland; it may be painful and expensive, though.
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Old 08.06.2008, 13:38
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Re: Bringing 2 Toyota vehicles from US (Maryland) to Geneva: insurance w/US plates?

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By the way, I searched all forums trying to learn if someone imported the same cars, 2004 4Runner and 2004 RAV4. No hits ...
Probably because bringing in two 4 year old Toyota's, as Lob suggested, would be too "painful and expensive".

If insurance is really your only concern then definitely import the two cars, but if money is something you think about (homolagation, maintenance, gas, insurance, parking)... perhaps you might want to reconsider.

(just my 2's)
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