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Old 20.01.2011, 14:48
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Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

I have searched the forum, and Google, but can't find answers to these question.

When you buy a car in Switzerland (new or used), do you pay tax on the sale? I'm not talking about vehicle registration, but sales tax.

We are considering buying a used BMW in the U.S. to bring over (I know the caveats ... 6 months ownership, inspection costs, etc.). We do not have to pay the transport costs ourselves. When we look at the price of a similar car in CHF, it's definitely more expensive, but we are trying to get a handle on how much we would really save by importing. The state we live in charges 6% sales tax on vehicles, raising the price multiple thousands of dollars.

Second question ... do you need winter tires for all-wheel drive vehicles? We have heard "through the grapevine" that you don't, but I would appreciate it if someone knows the actual rules.

Thanks!
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Old 20.01.2011, 15:13
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

Prices here include VAT.

Tom
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Old 20.01.2011, 15:37
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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I have searched the forum, and Google, but can't find answers to these question.

When you buy a car in Switzerland (new or used), do you pay tax on the sale? I'm not talking about vehicle registration, but sales tax.

We are considering buying a used BMW in the U.S. to bring over (I know the caveats ... 6 months ownership, inspection costs, etc.). We do not have to pay the transport costs ourselves. When we look at the price of a similar car in CHF, it's definitely more expensive, but we are trying to get a handle on how much we would really save by importing. The state we live in charges 6% sales tax on vehicles, raising the price multiple thousands of dollars.

Second question ... do you need winter tires for all-wheel drive vehicles? We have heard "through the grapevine" that you don't, but I would appreciate it if someone knows the actual rules.

Thanks!
As it's a US vehicle it will be worth considerably less than an identical model sold from Switzerland, don't ask me why, it's just this way. Even if you buy a Merc or a BMW from Germany where they're manufactured, their worth less than and equivalent and identical model sold from Switzerland.

You do not need Winter tyres at all, there is currently no law in Switzerland that states you need winter tyres. However saying this, if you do have an accident on seummer tyres in Winter you can be considered faultif. You won't be able to drive anywhere as sunmmer tyres are useless in the snow, you'll be a regular pain in the but on the roads as you can't drive properly.

Is your family really only worth the price of snow tyres ?

Don't forget, if you use snow tyres for 6 months of the year you are not using nor wearing out summer tyres so they last twice as long as they do eleswhere. Ditto for winter tyres so really the cost is minimal, maybe Chf 200-300 for a set of steel rims.
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Old 20.01.2011, 16:08
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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Prices here include VAT.
That's new. Second hand has no VAT...
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Old 20.01.2011, 16:23
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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That's new. Second hand has no VAT...
I meant on new, second hand has no VAT (unlike the US).

Tom
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Old 20.01.2011, 20:57
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

Thanks for the tax info. Very helpful in deciding.

Regarding snow tires ... I've spent all of my life in snowy states and never had snow tires. I don't know anyone who does, although I can see that it would help in the mountains. 4-wheel drive does make a huge difference in the snow, though.
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Old 20.01.2011, 21:14
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

Everyone I know with 4WD here has snow tires, and I keep chains in my car year round.

I don't know anyone who uses summer tires year round (in fact, in northern Italy snow tires are now obligatory, thank god, November-March), but I know many people who use snow tires year round!

Tom
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Old 20.01.2011, 22:19
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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Thanks for the tax info. Very helpful in deciding.

Regarding snow tires ... I've spent all of my life in snowy states and never had snow tires. I don't know anyone who does, although I can see that it would help in the mountains. 4-wheel drive does make a huge difference in the snow, though.
There are occasions when even 4WDs are required to use chains over mountain passes.

European and especially Swiss driving is tight, busy and moves. Winter tyres make a substantial difference to stopping and starting times and cornering - there is often little room for error. I would much rather drive a modern front-wheel drive vehicle with winter tyres - and preferably traction control - in snow (as I did today) than a 4WD on summer tyres...
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Old 20.01.2011, 22:40
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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There are occasions when even 4WDs are required to use chains over mountain passes.
Totally agree, and that goes for snow tyres too .. we just live at a moderate level in the Jura but to get up to our village there is a 25% gradient hill .. even with our 4WD AND snow tyres, we have occasionally not been able to make it up the hill. Luckily the buses put on chains and make it up until the snow plough comes through .. so really even if you are only driving in and around a town (and even then ) I would say snow tyres are a must....
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Old 20.01.2011, 23:08
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

Wonder if there is a difference, then, between summer tires and the all-season tires that we use? The last time I heard about snow tires here was in the 70's or early 80's. Maybe because I have always lived in flat wintery states.
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Old 20.01.2011, 23:17
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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Wonder if there is a difference, then, between summer tires and the all-season tires that we use? The last time I heard about snow tires here was in the 70's or early 80's. Maybe because I have always lived in flat wintery states.
I have just googled "All Season Tyres vs Snow Tyres" and there is lots of information plus a couple of interesting (?) looking videos ... I do think the key to it though is flat vs hilly .. and here it is never very flat for very long .... even when you are miles away from the proper mountains.
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Old 20.01.2011, 23:31
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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Everyone I know with 4WD here has snow tires, and I keep chains in my car year round.

I don't know anyone who uses summer tires year round (in fact, in northern Italy snow tires are now obligatory, thank god, November-March), but I know many people who use snow tires year round!

Tom
Most people I know with 4 wheel drives use "all season" tires.

The problem with using snow tires all year round is that in warm/hot weather the rubber gets soft & wears quickly so the tires do not last very long.
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Old 20.01.2011, 23:35
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

Don't most people change from winter to summer tyres and vice versa or have I been (yet again) duped by the garage who sold me the car??? yeh, probably ...
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Old 20.01.2011, 23:35
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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There are occasions when even 4WDs are required to use chains over mountain passes.

European and especially Swiss driving is tight, busy and moves. Winter tyres make a substantial difference to stopping and starting times and cornering - there is often little room for error. I would much rather drive a modern front-wheel drive vehicle with winter tyres - and preferably traction control - in snow as I did today than a 4WD on summer tyres...
Me too, I mean "drive a modern front-wheel drive vehicle with winter tyres and traction control in snow as I did today"
In fact my traction control did not work at first; I tried re-booting the car computer by disconnecting the battery for 5 minutes & that fixed the traction control.
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Old 21.01.2011, 00:34
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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I've spent all of my life in snowy states and never had snow tires.
You probably had all-season tires. They're quite popular in the US AFAIK. Problem with with all-seasons is that they're generally inferior to summer tires in summer and inferior to snow tires in winter.

EDIT: just saw you confirmed the all-season tires in a later post.
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Wonder if there is a difference, then, between summer tires and the all-season tires that we use?
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Old 21.01.2011, 00:46
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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Don't most people change from winter to summer tyres and vice versa or have I been (yet again) duped by the garage who sold me the car??? yeh, probably ...
No worries, most people I know change between summer and winter tires. It's very common and it's the best solution regarding safety and performance. At least as long as you don't buy crappy, ultra-cheap tires.
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Old 21.01.2011, 12:10
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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to get up to our village there is a 25% gradient hill
Care to send the road so we can check your claim on a map. 25% is about as steep as your average red-run ski slope.
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Old 21.01.2011, 13:50
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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Care to send the road so we can check your claim on a map. 25% is about as steep as your average red-run ski slope.
We have a 16% hill nearby and I have to say I haven't seen steeper on public roads...
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Old 21.01.2011, 13:55
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

Thanks for all of the replies. Guess we will be bringing snow tires with us.
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Old 21.01.2011, 14:03
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Re: Sales tax when buying car ... and winter tires

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We have a 16% hill nearby and I have to say I haven't seen steeper on public roads...
We've got a 25% road in my town as well.

Tom
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