Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 13.03.2011, 16:59
jmf's Avatar
jmf jmf is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cham, ZG
Posts: 1,017
Groaned at 9 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 887 Times in 444 Posts
jmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond repute
Importing a somewhat modified car

1 year of stay in CH is coming up for me in the summer (yay!) and I've begun thinking about what I can do with my car. Before you ask, I've searched and read threads around, but I still have some unclear points, on which I appreciate any input

So, my car is a Skoda Octavia RS mk1 which I bought 2nd hand from Germany and registered to Romania. The car has quite a lot of mods, most of which I'd say are not easily visible/detectable at an inspection, but the most obvious one is an upgraded turbo and downpipe which can be seen with the naked eye by someone knowlegeable, plus some grooved brake discs, same size as the original ones but not same model. Considering what I read about here about the inspection, mods are not a good thing to have . The car otherwise should be in perfect condition, as I'm somewhat of a maniac about it.

And now the questions:
1. Should I even bother to try registering it in CH? Or am I doomed?
2. Is it possible to go to a garage here before the actual STVA test and have them assess if I'm going to pass the test or not (generally, of course, the STVA could still nitpick)?
3. Is it cheaper/preferable to do 2 or should I try the STVA directly?
4. What happens if my year of driving is not up, I go to the STVA, they fail me and give me 30 days to fix the problems? Can I just say I changed my mind and drive until the year is up or actually now it's less than a year?
5. What's this headlight change stuff I keep reading about? Is there some problem with US/UK headlights? Would my car (originally from Germany) have any problems?
6. When going to the STVA do I have to declare the mods on the car? Even if it's simple stuff like a different hose (silicon) or inline high-pressure fuel pump?
note: for some mods I have the invoices, but for others which were DIY (e.g. fuel pump, uprated hoses etc) not.

Supposing that I shouldn't even try to register the car here OR it would take a heap of money to do so, I'm trying to think about what other options I have, so yay for more questions
1. Is there even a remote chance of me selling my RO registered car in CH? (I mean, the car is pretty cool and maybe a swiss dude would find it easier to go through the registration hassle)
2. If I sell my car (not in CH) and buy another one which is not registered in CH, can I drive THAT one for another year?
3. What about if I sell my car to someone else but I still drive it, would that buy me another year? (i have read on another thread here that it wouldn't, but there were conflicting posts back and forth so I thought maybe I'd double-check )
4. If I want to buy a new car (well, not new, used), would I go through the same hassles with registration if I bought it from Germany? The cars seem to be quite a bit cheaper there and maybe I can also the VAT back (oh yea, can I? on an L-permit? )

Finally, supposing I pass the dreaded test, i have the problem (?) that I haven't declared the car at the border when I came in. Actually I tried a few weeks after, but the border guard gave up on finding some document and told me to "come another day" when his colleague is in as "he knows better". But I never went back. Does this mean I have to pay some import tax now? Or something like that? I actually asked the guy, when he told me to come back later, what do I do if the police stop me and ask, but he said they don't care (which seems true, as I was stopped once and they didn't ask ).

Sorry for this post coming dangerously close to a FAQ, it's just that it all seems terribly complicated to me at this point, I just find it lame that I can't just easily register a car which was deemed road-worthy in two separate EU countries.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13.03.2011, 18:48
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Zürich
Posts: 520
Groaned at 4 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 450 Times in 254 Posts
ThomasSSS has a reputation beyond reputeThomasSSS has a reputation beyond reputeThomasSSS has a reputation beyond reputeThomasSSS has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Original German spec headlamps are almost certainly fine. US headlamps have trouble because the US makes up different rules than the EU, and Switzerland more or less follows the EU on these things. UK headlamps are designed for driving on the left hand side of the rules.

As for the rest, I can say that you are right to be worried, but I don't know how bad it is. In Germany, tires, motorcycle windshields, exhaust parts and so on all require paperwork certifying compatibility with the particular model of vehicle.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank ThomasSSS for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 14.03.2011, 19:42
jmf's Avatar
jmf jmf is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cham, ZG
Posts: 1,017
Groaned at 9 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 887 Times in 444 Posts
jmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Made an appointment with a local garage so they give me their opinion if I stand a chance to pass. Will be 80chf which I found acceptable
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 14.03.2011, 19:47
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Well they are VERY picky. We imported a Discovery which had never been 'tampered' with. Got lights etc done to local standard. However we had a nightmare, several visits- as the Model we have does not exist in CH - the ONLY difference being the upholstery- they just wouldn't accept it. In the end the guy from the LandRover garage said 'leave it with me, I'll take it and sort it out'. As he had a mate there and knew everybody, it was done in 2 seconds- but we would have been in 'stuck' on our own.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 14.03.2011, 23:01
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kt. Zürich
Posts: 11,602
Groaned at 569 Times in 483 Posts
Thanked 20,835 Times in 10,946 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
Well they are VERY picky. We imported a Discovery which had never been 'tampered' with. Got lights etc done to local standard. However we had a nightmare, several visits- as the Model we have does not exist in CH - the ONLY difference being the upholstery- they just wouldn't accept it. In the end the guy from the LandRover garage said 'leave it with me, I'll take it and sort it out'. As he had a mate there and knew everybody, it was done in 2 seconds- but we would have been in 'stuck' on our own.
Years ago I had a friend who imported a jeep. It had catalytic convertors. In those days cats were not available on jeeps here. So they made him take them off! It ran terribly with just a straight exhaust pipe because the usual sensors were not there for the computer to use & it would never have passed the exhaust gas test. Anyway it was accepted & he went home to put the cats back on........
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 15.03.2011, 15:44
Adi86's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 82
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 68 Times in 40 Posts
Adi86 has earned some respectAdi86 has earned some respect
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

@jmf - PM sent!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Adi86 for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 15.03.2011, 15:56
vwild1
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
View Post
Considering what I read about here about the inspection, mods are not a good thing to have
I beg your pardon...?!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15.03.2011, 15:58
grumpygit's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: geneva
Posts: 1,476
Groaned at 29 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,508 Times in 695 Posts
grumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Have you thought about what insurance you will pay on a modified car?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 15.03.2011, 16:22
jmf's Avatar
jmf jmf is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cham, ZG
Posts: 1,017
Groaned at 9 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 887 Times in 444 Posts
jmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
View Post
I beg your pardon...?!
What I mean is if your car is modified the MFK will not go smoothly. Far as I read around, even for swiss people with paperwork for upgraded parts, it's still a rough ride...

Quote:
View Post
Have you thought about what insurance you will pay on a modified car?

Not really. In fact, I didn't know insurance cares about mods (in RO it doesn't, unless you want to specifically insure some mods, like bigger wheels, but for mechanical parts like another turbo there is neither care nor coverage from the insurance). Do you have any info (links?) to more details about this? And how exactly does the insurance know what mods you have? Note: I won't be doing a full casco insurance, i'll only be looking for the normal insurance, I don't know what it's called here, which will repair the other guy's car in case I'm at fault.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 19.03.2011, 12:14
jmf's Avatar
jmf jmf is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cham, ZG
Posts: 1,017
Groaned at 9 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 887 Times in 444 Posts
jmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Had the mechanic visit today. Short story there's no way to import the car, because:

1. You can only make changes that add 25% more power to the car. More than that, you fail.
2. For any change you make, you must have papers from the company that made the change, that's it's compliant with blabla...
3. I could go to some swiss company and produce the papers for everything but it would likely cost me 4-5000 chf.

His recommendation was to sell the car outside CH and buy another one here.

I also asked about buying a car in Germany and importing and was a bit surprised to find out that it's supposedly more expensive than buying it here directly. I'm not totally convinced about that, as prices in Germany are quite a bit less than here and if one buys a totally standard car it should be the same as here, but I'll have to look into it more.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 19.03.2011, 12:31
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

OP, I think it would be more expensive to buy a new car in Germany and import it, as you'll get hammered on Import tax. Any car that is more than 6 months old however, is not liable for import tax - so i'd start my search there.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 19.03.2011, 13:44
jmf's Avatar
jmf jmf is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cham, ZG
Posts: 1,017
Groaned at 9 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 887 Times in 444 Posts
jmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond reputejmf has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

I'm aiming to buy a car from 2006-2007, can't nearly afford a new one
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 19.03.2011, 14:49
Village Idiot's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 3,700
Groaned at 35 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 6,966 Times in 2,251 Posts
Village Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
OP, I think it would be more expensive to buy a new car in Germany and import it, as you'll get hammered on Import tax. Any car that is more than 6 months old however, is not liable for import tax - so i'd start my search there.
That's not correct. You have to pay import tax on any vehicle, regardless of age.

I think you're getting confused with the exemption that says you pay no tax on a car you import as personal effects when you first arrive in Switzerland, provided you've owned it for six months or more.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 19.03.2011, 15:14
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kt. Zürich
Posts: 11,602
Groaned at 569 Times in 483 Posts
Thanked 20,835 Times in 10,946 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
View Post
Had the mechanic visit today. Short story there's no way to import the car, because:

1. You can only make changes that add 25% more power to the car. More than that, you fail.
2. For any change you make, you must have papers from the company that made the change, that's it's compliant with blabla...
3. I could go to some swiss company and produce the papers for everything but it would likely cost me 4-5000 chf.

His recommendation was to sell the car outside CH and buy another one here.

I also asked about buying a car in Germany and importing and was a bit surprised to find out that it's supposedly more expensive than buying it here directly. I'm not totally convinced about that, as prices in Germany are quite a bit less than here and if one buys a totally standard car it should be the same as here, but I'll have to look into it more.

Does not sound like a mechanic to be trusted; even the Swiss Government person responsible for Prices Control in Switzerland announced some months ago that Swiss people should buy new cars in surrounding countries due to the high Swiss prices. He also said he would prosecute Swiss garages that refused to honour new car guarantees.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 20.03.2011, 00:23
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
View Post
That's not correct. You have to pay import tax on any vehicle, regardless of age.

I think you're getting confused with the exemption that says you pay no tax on a car you import as personal effects when you first arrive in Switzerland, provided you've owned it for six months or more.
Hi VI,

I imported my car about 6 months after i arrived here. It is now on Swiss plates and had no charge.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 20.03.2011, 08:27
Village Idiot's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 3,700
Groaned at 35 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 6,966 Times in 2,251 Posts
Village Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
I imported my car about 6 months after i arrived here. It is now on Swiss plates and had no charge.
How long had you owned the car before you moved to Switzerland?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 20.03.2011, 22:37
swissbob
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
OP, I think it would be more expensive to buy a new car in Germany and import it, as you'll get hammered on Import tax.

Nope. It's considerably cheaper inc the duties. Several firms in Switzerland specialise in offering this as service too.

Quote:
Any car that is more than 6 months old however, is not liable for import tax - so i'd start my search there.
Nope. No idea where you could have got this idea.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 20.03.2011, 22:49
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,218
Groaned at 2,454 Times in 1,776 Posts
Thanked 39,303 Times in 18,525 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quote:
OP, I think it would be more expensive to buy a new car in Germany and import it, as you'll get hammered on Import tax.
Umm, no.

Swiss VAT is 8%. German VAT is 19%. So, if you import into CH you pay 8%, and don't pay the 19%, so it costs less than a German would pay!

This is why it ALWAYS pays to declare when bringing anything into CH (wine, car parts, food, etc.) It pays (literally) to be honest!

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 20.03.2011, 23:43
Ittigen
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Agreed: if you buy a car from a German company with a proper invoice, you can claim the 19% MWSt sales tax back immediately from the company or garage. The garage has to supply you with an exact invoice showing all the cars details, and you the exporting driver's name and address.

You as the driver would then have to declare it at the Swiss border and eventually pay the 8% Swiss sales tax. It is a lot cheaper!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 21.03.2011, 07:12
Village Idiot's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 3,700
Groaned at 35 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 6,966 Times in 2,251 Posts
Village Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Importing a somewhat modified car

Quite a lot of misleading / incorrect info on this thread, so here's a more definitive source:

TCS Guide to Importing a Car (in French)

On taxes:

Quote:

Douane et tarifs
La direction des douanes publie dans internet
sur «www.douane.admin.ch» les derniers
tarifs douaniers en vigueur. Ceux indiqués
plus loin sont tirés de la publication 18.56
«Importation de véhicules à moteur routiers
par des particuliers» du 23.10.2007 de l’Administration
fédérale des douanes AFD et
ont été soumis à de légères modifi cations.
Papiers importants
Avant de passer la frontière avec votre
nouvelle voiture, assurez-vous que tous les
papiers nécessaires sont en votre pos session
(éventuellement le document EUR.-1
comme certifi cat d’origine, le permis de
circulation, la facture avec/sans TVA). Pour
le dédoua ne ment depuis l’UE, une déclaration
d’exporta tion est nécessaire. Le vendeur
doit veiller à ce que ce document soit
au préalable muni du sceau de l’instance de
douane compétente (celle du lieu du siège
de son entreprise). Pour le dédouanement
en Suisse, il faut en outre présenter une
décla ration d’importation (à demander à la
douane suisse).
La voiture doit être dédouanée immédiatement
au moment de son importation en
Suis se. La douane d’exportation de l’UE
appo sera d’abord sur le verso de la déclaration
d’exportation le tampon «exportation
défi ni tive». A la douane suisse, on remettra
la déclaration d’importation, le document
EUR.-1 (si dis po ni ble), la facture et
le permis de circulation. La douane suisse
établira ensuite un rapport d’expertise (formu
laire 13.20 A; 15 francs) et apposera son
sceau sur le recto. Ce document vous sera
nécessaire pour présenter votre véhicule au
Service des au to mo bi les compétent et pour
retirer votre attestation d’assurance.
Dédouanement
Depuis janvier 1997, l’impôt sur les véhicules
se monte à 4 % de la valeur pour les voitures
qui présentent un certifi cat de circulation
EUR.-1 (comme certifi cat d’origine). Ce
docu ment EUR.-1 est délivré par le vendeur.
Un tel certifi cat peut être demandé auprès
d’un bureau de douane pour un véhicule
en prove nance de l’UE (Belgique, Danemark,
Alle ma gne, France, Italie, Luxembourg,
Espagne, etc.), de l’AELE (Islande,
Norvège), des nouveaux Etats membres de
l’UE (comme la Pologne, Slovaquie, République

tchèque) et d’autres pays d’Europe de
l’Est. Ce certifi cat permet l’importation en
franchise du véhicule. Il doit porter le sceau
du bureau de douane qui a établi la déclaration
d’exportation. Ainsi, pour un véhicule
acheté en Allemagne, il doit être demandé
au bureau de douane compétent, c’est-àdire
où la maison du vendeur a son siège
social (p. ex. un vendeur à Stutt gart doit aller
au bureau de douane de Stutt gart). Si on ne
peut se procurer un tel certifi cat EUR.-1, il
faudra payer des droits de douane de 12 à
15 francs par 100 kg de poids à vide.
Cette même «redevance sur le poids» est
aussi applicable pour les véhicules en provenance
des Etats-Unis, du Japon et de la
Corée. Dans tous les cas, il faut également
payer la TVA suisse de 7,6 %. Cette dernière
est calculée sur le to tal de la valeur de la voiture,
y compris l’impôt sur le véhicule et la
taxe d’importation.
Exemple pour une voiture d’Allemagne
Valeur du véhicule CHF 40’000.–
Impôt sur le véhicule (4 %) CHF 1’600.–
Total intermédiaire CHF 41’600.–
TVA (dès 2011 8 %) CHF 3’328.–

Total taxes CHF 4’928.–
Basically, in addition to the VAT, you'll need to pay duty on the car. This varies depending on where & when the car was manufactured, with either a flat rate of tax (4%) or one based on the weight of the car (12-15 CHF per 100kg).

The guide explains all of the technical requirements for getting your car registered in Switzerland, too.

Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
importing a car juice99 Transportation/driving 0 08.10.2009 11:17
Importing Car from US Paly Transportation/driving 25 05.10.2009 10:21
Importing a modified Jeep MoabMan Transportation/driving 23 11.08.2009 11:56
Importing car from UK pg2007 Transportation/driving 19 23.03.2009 12:49


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:45.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0