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Old 04.11.2019, 09:43
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Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Hi All,


We imported our car to Basel thinking we would register our RHD BMW X1 Car as a Swiss car (we had recently purchased it prior to this unexpected move to Switzerland hence the decision to import it).

We had looked in to changing out headlights as per Swiss regulations but this is requiring us to buy new headlights which is costing around 3000CHF therefore we have decided to abandon the Swiss registration process.

We are now in a position where our UK insurance policy which stipulates 3 months abroad is coming to an end. Also we have discussed with Swiss car insurance who state they cannot insure a UK car with UK plates...

does anyone have experience of any Swiss insurer who can insure a UK car? Or would a UK insurer be happy to extend our policy knowing we are abroad...? All a bit of a mess and would be grateful for any advice!

THANKS!
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Old 04.11.2019, 09:45
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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Hi All,


We imported our car to Basel thinking we would register our RHD BMW X1 Car as a Swiss car (we had recently purchased it prior to this unexpected move to Switzerland hence the decision to import it).

We had looked in to changing out headlights as per Swiss regulations but this is requiring us to buy new headlights which is costing around 3000CHF therefore we have decided to abandon the Swiss registration process.

We are now in a position where our UK insurance policy which stipulates 3 months abroad is coming to an end. Also we have discussed with Swiss car insurance who state they cannot insure a UK car with UK plates...

does anyone have experience of any Swiss insurer who can insure a UK car? Or would a UK insurer be happy to extend our policy knowing we are abroad...? All a bit of a mess and would be grateful for any advice!

THANKS!
Speak to Stewart Collins, one of 2 brokers who can get you cover.
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Old 04.11.2019, 09:52
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Thanks for your reply. Do you have his contact details or signpost me in the right direction to speak with him?
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Old 04.11.2019, 09:55
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Ah I think this is it - https://www.stuartcollins.com/
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Old 04.11.2019, 11:04
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Are you now resident in Switzerland? In which case, you have so many months to change it to Swiss plates and registration, (can't remember exact number, 12 months I think). Can anyone remind us of the exact rules. You have to be UK resident for UK insurance. A broker cannot break the Law anymore than you can. Once car is registered in Switzerland, it will have to pass the equivalent of MOT in a year- and won't pass if lights are not correct.

How old was the car when you imported? Did you did it officially as part of your move?

Last edited by Odile; 04.11.2019 at 11:40.
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Old 04.11.2019, 12:04
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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Are you now resident in Switzerland? In which case, you have so many months to change it to Swiss plates and registration, (can't remember exact number, 12 months I think). Can anyone remind us of the exact rules. You have to be UK resident for UK insurance. A broker cannot break the Law anymore than you can. Once car is registered in Switzerland, it will have to pass the equivalent of MOT in a year- and won't pass if lights are not correct.

How old was the car when you imported? Did you did it officially as part of your move?
12 Months.

Not for Collins Stewart, no requirement to be UK resident, which is why I recommended it to the OP
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Old 04.11.2019, 12:30
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Ouch!! Have you already paid the import tax? If you’re not going to complete the import process, you’ll have to return it to the UK within the next 9 months and leave it there!
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Old 04.11.2019, 12:38
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Thanks everyone for the replies.

To answer your questions:

1. Yes we are resident in Switzerland (moved in July)
2. Car was imported as part of relocation package so no tax was paid
3. Stupidly thought swiss registration would go smoothly..so stupidly sent back my V5C document and filled in the export section not realising car would be immediately de-registered (in hindsight why I didnt realise this I don't know)

So, now:

I have a RHD BMW X1 Car that either needs
a) 3000CHF spending on it to change lights from RH to LH (note we will probably only be in Switzerland for 2-3 years max) so absolutely pointless to do this

b) having to pay to import the car back to UK because of my stupidity...(cannot drive it back myself as have valid UK insurance but car now deregistered!)

Also UK car insurance has come to end of 3 months grace period anyway, and cannot get car insured with Swiss insurer, and Stuart Collins need car registered in UK obviously!

What I mess I have made...

any suggestions for how I can get myself out of this mess would be welcomed, but i have resigned myself to fact have to pay company to import car back to UK and then reregister it....
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Old 04.11.2019, 12:44
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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(cannot drive it back myself as have valid UK insurance but car now deregistered!)
I'd be surprised if the insurance is valid if your car is no longer registered in the UK (or anywhere in fact).

Will it be less expensive to have it taken back to the UK and re-imported there, than to have the lights changed??

I don't know, but it might be cheaper to have the lights changed than have it sent back to the UK, then have it sat in UK paying insurance whilst not using it (or lose money selling it), plus the cost of buying or leasing a car here for the next 3 years. Might be better just to pay the 3K annoying as it is!
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Old 04.11.2019, 12:57
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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I'd be surprised if the insurance is valid if your car is no longer registered in the UK (or anywhere in fact).

Will it be less expensive to have it taken back to the UK and re-imported there, than to have the lights changed??

I don't know, but it might be cheaper to have the lights changed than have it sent back to the UK, then have it sat in UK paying insurance whilst not using it (or lose money selling it), plus the cost of buying or leasing a car here for the next 3 years. Might be better just to pay the 3K annoying as it is!
I guess the car needs to be trailered back to the UK. Possibly getting a set of German export plates is an alternative.
A Polish dealer bought my Swiss registered car, fitted German export plated & drove to Poland.
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:07
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Yes I guess I could look into german export plates - but wouldn't really know where to start with that? Also what would happen with car insurance - who would insure? And then at UK customs would I need to declare it - all a bit complicated and definitely over my head! Don't want to make the same mistakes again...


I am waiting for a few quotes for getting the car transported back - does anyone have any contacts? the problem with getting the lights changed is when it comes to us selling in 2-3 years time... who is going to want a RHD steering with LH lights?! Surely it makes more sense to import it back (family member could use it and they would take insurance tax costs) ??
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:12
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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the problem with getting the lights changed is when it comes to us selling in 2-3 years time... who is going to want a RHD steering with LH lights?!
Well, I was thinking you would keep the current lights, then when you return to UK you could have them put back in.... which would not cost 3K, just the labour. However, if you have family who want it, and that's a cheaper option
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:27
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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Ouch!! Have you already paid the import tax?
If you relocate and the vehicle you bring along is not tax and duty exempt because you had it for less than 6 months before the move you can delay the payment of tax and duty up to two years. You will need customs Form 15.30. After that you can either remove it from the country, or you have to pay tax and duty based on the future/deprecated value.

After the car has cleared customs and is officially imported you will get Form 13.20

The car will need Swiss plates after 12 months if zou intend to use it on public roads. The need for a Swiss license plate is totally separate from import tax and duty. If tax and duty have not yet been paid (for ex. if not exempt) the car will get a so called Z-plate. As long as the vehicle has a foreign plates and is used on public roads it needs a valid green card insurance, be road worthy, and must be registered in the foreign country.

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2. Car was imported as part of relocation package so no tax was paid
So you have already a Form 13.20? I think in theory, if one wishes to re-export the car back to the EU, EU VAT and duty might actually be due (if not tax exempt as part of a household move to the EU). At least this is something you should keep in mind. If you get caught smuggling the car a hefty fine is likely and the car might possibly be impounded.
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:42
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Can't you just put in a bunch of 2nd handed headlights from a Swiss or German dump?
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:43
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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Yes I guess I could look into german export plates - but wouldn't really know where to start with that? Also what would happen with car insurance - who would insure? And then at UK customs would I need to declare it - all a bit complicated and definitely over my head! Don't want to make the same mistakes again...


I am waiting for a few quotes for getting the car transported back - does anyone have any contacts? the problem with getting the lights changed is when it comes to us selling in 2-3 years time... who is going to want a RHD steering with LH lights?! Surely it makes more sense to import it back (family member could use it and they would take insurance tax costs) ??
German export plates come with 3rd Party insurance.
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:54
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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German export plates come with 3rd Party insurance.
Does it matter that the car is safe but lacks road allowance in the country it is initially registered?
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:56
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Thanks - definitely an option to consider in keeping the UK lights and having refitted for labour cost only if we need to sell.

I'll see what the costs stack up for transporting back...the customs paperwork may alone be enough to put me off and just go ahead with the swiss regsitration.

kicking myself for such a silly and expensive mistake in prematurely sending back that bloomin V5C export slip..!
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:57
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

Yes we already have a 13.20A - so youre saying if we have the 13.20A then taxes may apply if we take it back to UK?
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Old 04.11.2019, 13:58
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

sadly, no. they are LED lights so entire unit needs changing!
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Old 04.11.2019, 14:03
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Re: Car Insurance for UK Car in Ch

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Yes we already have a 13.20A - so youre saying if we have the 13.20A then taxes may apply if we take it back to UK?
Taxes are always due unless there is an exception like bringing it as your own car when moving. You don't live in the UK, nor would anyone else qualify for exemptions since they never have owned the car. It simply is a Swiss car at the moment.

So likely you'll have to pay the maximum costs.
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