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Old 04.01.2011, 09:15
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Importing a new car from Germany

Hello,

Due to the weakness of the Euro, I've been thinking to buy a new car in Germany and importing it to Switzerland, however after reading all the related information online, I still have a few questions that I couldn't find them answer.

1. Do I need any special formularies in order to request the VAT refund in the German boarder?
2. Do I receive the full 19% VAT reimbursement from Germany?
3. Should I ask the German dealer for special plates in order to drive the car to the Swiss boarder or I need to process the Swiss plates for the new car and prior to the purchase and take them with me?

Thanks in advance for your help and I will appreciate any additional information from your personal experience.
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Old 04.01.2011, 09:35
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Re: Importing a new car from Germany

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2. Do I receive the full 19% VAT reimbursement from Germany?
Only if the dealer agrees to reimburse you upon receiving the proper paperwork. Remember, you are not entitled to such reimbursement. Given that you are looking at a few thousand Euro here I'd get this in writing up front - some car dealers tend to have a short term memory.
Some manufacturers explicitly prohibit its non-CH dealers from selling to CH customers in order to maintain the higher profit margins they achieve here in Switzerland. I believe that BMW is notorious for that. Having said that there may be dealers who will happily sell to you if you wave a nice wad of cash in front of them.

Last edited by xkcd; 04.01.2011 at 09:35. Reason: typo
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Old 04.01.2011, 10:42
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Re: Importing a new car from Germany

It's more complicated than you think.

You do not pay German VAT at all, and you need to pass through the commercial customs, not the normal one. You will need an expediter, and you may need to pay the Swiss VAT in cash.

You will probably need to transport, and not drive the vehicle. It needs to be inspected before it can be registered in CH, and you may need a homolgation certificate from the Swiss importer.

At least, this how it worked when I imported a new motorcycle from Italy 4 years ago.

Tom
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Old 05.01.2011, 22:18
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Re: Importing a new car from Germany

When you look for a car, say in mobile.de or on audi.de, look for "MwSt. ausweisbar" (VAT reclaimable). If you don't see it, high chances that you cannot get the VAT back.

You get 19% off, but you need to pay 8% Swiss MwSt plus 4% tax.

Consider using the services of autociel.ch who specialize in importing cars from Germany; they will do everything for you. However, that comes at a cost - the total price they will quote you will be about 6% higher than the sticker price.
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