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Old 10.07.2020, 20:35
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Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

Dear all,
My family and I are moving to Switzerland mid-August. We currently have 2 cars. The large one is on finance and cannot be taken out of the country. The smaller one is too small for us to use to drive ourselves to Switzerland when we move.
So we are thinking of selling them both and using any money we make to buy a large 4x4 secondhand which we can use to drive when we move to Switzerland. We will be in Vaud fairly high in the Alps.
However I have read a lot that cars must be owned for over 6 months in order to be able to do this. I cannot find any information about whether you can take a car that you have owned less than that time. If it means that you have to pay more, how much is it? If it's simply not allowed then we will have to fly instead.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 10.07.2020, 20:51
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

You are allowed to bring a car that you have owned for less than six months, there is absolutely no problem in doing that but you will have to pay import duties on it.
How much that is will depend on the age and value of the car.
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Old 10.07.2020, 20:53
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

You will have to pay full import duties/taxes, depending on the value of the car and the Co2 emission this can be a lot.

This will give you an idea.

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...es--cars-.html

Tbh given the costs and the hassle, I'd take the plane and use the money from the two cars to buy something nice here, you'll find that prices of cars in Switzerland are very often very friendly.
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Old 10.07.2020, 20:53
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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You are allowed to bring a car that you have owned for less than six months, there is absolutely no problem in doing that but you will have to pay import duties on it.
How much that is will depend on the age and value of the car.
Thanks for the information. Several people have made comments to me that suggest it wouldn't be worth it due to the cost. Would the import duties be a percentage of the value? Is there any information online anyone can point me in the direction of?
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Old 10.07.2020, 20:54
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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You will have to pay full import duties/taxes, depending on the value of the car and the Co2 emission this can be a lot.

This will give you an idea.

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...es--cars-.html

Tbh given the costs and the hassle, I'd take the plane and use the money from the two cars to buy something nice here, you'll find that prices of cars in Switzerland are very often very friendly.
Thanks, good advice. I'll have a look at that link.
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Old 10.07.2020, 20:57
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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Thanks, good advice. I'll have a look at that link.
Mind also that if you buy a car in the UK that unless you make extra agreements your warranty also will be with the garage/dealer in the UK. Meaning you're sort of completely ed if the car stops running.
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Old 10.07.2020, 21:11
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

And your car will be left hand drive which is not the most comfortable thing to have if you're here to stay.
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Old 10.07.2020, 21:31
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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And your car will be left hand drive which is not the most comfortable thing to have if you're here to stay.
LOL, never thought of that. Not to mention what that will do to its value here, and depending on the car adjusting the lights for the check might be costly
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Old 10.07.2020, 21:38
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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And your car will be left hand drive which is not the most comfortable thing to have if you're here to stay.
He means Right Hand Drive.

You definitely don't want to be getting yourself a new car in the UK that is RHD!! That's crazy! Buy here and get a LHD.
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Old 10.07.2020, 21:40
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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Mind also that if you buy a car in the UK that unless you make extra agreements your warranty also will be with the garage/dealer in the UK. Meaning you're sort of completely ed if the car stops running.
Not to mention that the choice of LHD cars in UK is pretty poor. You don't want to bring a UK RHD car here.

Just sell both your cars and move, and then use the money to buy a car locally, they have cars here too you know :-). This way you avoid tax issues, and it will give you time to choose a car that will be suitable to your new situation

Last edited by dandi; 10.07.2020 at 21:41. Reason: correct LHD RHD
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Old 10.07.2020, 22:14
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

If you anyhow want to buy second hand, I find there is hardly a better market than CH for this. Buyer's market and great offers for reasonably new cars that come out of leasing after 3 years. Usually very well maintained and stuffed with all the extras I would find hard to justify ordering in a brand new one.
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Old 10.07.2020, 22:27
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

The car can be used for up to 1 year & then sent back to the UK. I did this my first year in CH. It needs to be declared at the customs to get permission to use the car cost about 25CHF.

My wife has just imported her UK car to France, changed the headlights yesterday & passed the French Control Technique. It's only car parks that are a pain, it makes very little difference RHDvLHD, we will import a second UK car before the end of the year as UK prices are hugely cheaper for used cars. The Swiss Post use many RHD cars as it's safer for getting out of the car / van many times a day away from moving traffic.
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Old 11.07.2020, 08:06
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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The car can be used for up to 1 year & then sent back to the UK. I did this my first year in CH. It needs to be declared at the customs to get permission to use the car cost about 25CHF.

My wife has just imported her UK car to France, changed the headlights yesterday & passed the French Control Technique. It's only car parks that are a pain, it makes very little difference RHDvLHD, we will import a second UK car before the end of the year as UK prices are hugely cheaper for used cars. The Swiss Post use many RHD cars as it's safer for getting out of the car / van many times a day away from moving traffic.
It's not actually. Sometimes overtaking isn't as easy since you can't see round the vehicle so well.

And getting in and out of car parks where you need a parking ticket isn't fun either. Unless you have a passenger with you, you have to get out of the car, go round it to get the ticket and then go round the car again to get back into it. Really fun when it's raining/snowing.
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Old 11.07.2020, 09:18
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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It's not actually. Sometimes overtaking isn't as easy since you can't see round the vehicle so well.

And getting in and out of car parks where you need a parking ticket isn't fun either. Unless you have a passenger with you, you have to get out of the car, go round it to get the ticket and then go round the car again to get back into it. Really fun when it's raining/snowing.
Overtaking? In Switzerland?, driven 5,000km in the last 3 months half on mountain roads never an issue.
If you are tailgating then I could see your point

We currently also have a hire car from Geneva Airport, yesterday we drove the UK car for 4 hours & left the hire car at home, if it was actually an issue we would have gone in the hire car.
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Old 11.07.2020, 09:34
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

Pay someone to transport your stuff over and fly the family. You'll save a lot of hassle.



You won't have any trouble finding a reasonably priced family car over here... and you might want to look at what is common locally - the cars do tend to be smaller/compact as the roads and parking are also often smaller... unless you have more than three kids, you don't really need a huge car.
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Old 11.07.2020, 09:38
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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Overtaking? In Switzerland?, driven 5,000km in the last 3 months half on mountain roads never an issue.
If you are tailgating then I could see your point

We currently also have a hire car from Geneva Airport, yesterday we drove the UK car for 4 hours & left the hire car at home, if it was actually an issue we would have gone in the hire car.
Twisty, turny mountain roads overtaking a RHD can sometimes be an advantage. Straight road, not always the case, even if you don't tailgate. I've occasionally had to tell my husband if it's okay to overtake when we're driving our LHD car in the UK because he simply can't see if anything's coming.
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Old 11.07.2020, 09:48
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

When we moved back, we hired a van in the UK, drove from North England to Wallis, un-packed, then drove the van back to Gatwick and flew back to Switzerland. Bloody nightmare, but it was the cheapest way we could find of doing it.
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Old 11.07.2020, 09:57
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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Pay someone to transport your stuff over and fly the family. You'll save a lot of hassle.



You won't have any trouble finding a reasonably priced family car over here... and you might want to look at what is common locally - the cars do tend to be smaller/compact as the roads and parking are also often smaller... unless you have more than three kids, you don't really need a huge car.
They are in the UK, not the USA. Roads, parking are pretty much the same size there.
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Old 11.07.2020, 11:02
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Re: Can we drive a car that we have owned LESS than 6 months into Switzerland?

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You will have to pay full import duties/taxes, depending on the value of the car and the Co2 emission this can be a lot.
Wrong. Tax and duty has to be paid only on the cars future value. AFAIK there will be no CO2 tax as the car will have been in use for more than 6 month when it finally clears custom.

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The car can be used for up to 1 year & then sent back to the UK.
Even up to 2 years. But after one year the car will need Swiss plates which is for many a deal breaker as it might need costly head light modifications to pass inspection.

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If the requirements for assessment as household effects are not met, you can apply for a customs permit form 15.30 under certain conditions. With this, you may continue to use the vehicle duty unpaid for a maximum of two years after your relocation. You must apply for Swiss number plates at the cantonal vehicle licensing office after one year at the latest.
https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...ts--etc--.html

Important is to get form 15.30 when you initially cross the border with your vehicle. Otherwise you will do a tax and duty violation a.k.a. smuggling. As fatmanfilms said, this will cost you around CHF 20 but can prevent you from a very heavy fine.
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