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Old 01.05.2011, 00:20
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Options for Paying for a Used Car

We are moving to the Bern area in July and plan to buy a cheap used car from a local garage. Does anyone know if garages accept credit cards as a form of payment. I will be moving from the US and I have a Charles Schwab account who doesn't have foreign transaction or exchange fees. I would rather pay with a card than either come in with a wad of Francs or spend a few days withdrawing my max from an ATM.
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Old 01.05.2011, 00:24
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Re: Options for Paying for a Used Car

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We are moving to the Bern area in July and plan to buy a cheap used car from a local garage. Does anyone know if garages accept credit cards as a form of payment. I will be moving from the US and I have a Charles Schwab account who doesn't have foreign transaction or exchange fees. I would rather pay with a card than either come in with a wad of Francs or spend a few days withdrawing my max from an ATM.
Emm.. call and ask them?
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Old 01.05.2011, 01:22
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Re: Options for Paying for a Used Car

Yes. You'll have to ask the agencies. But it's still common to walk in with the cash or they probably have financing options.
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Old 01.05.2011, 07:21
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Re: Options for Paying for a Used Car

Whenever I've bought a used car from a garage, they've sent me a paying-in slip. The funds have to have cleared by the time I pick up the car. On one occasion I made the payment by an international transfer from a UK bank. As your bank doesn't do foreign transactions - and even if it did, it would give bad exchange rates; most banks do - I suggest you use a foreign exchange company that specialises in make such transfers. You pay them the money into a US account, and they convert it to CHF, and pay it into the nominated account - in this case, the garage's account.

You probably will be able to pay in cash direct, but you'll have to check in advance. Credit cards are less likely to be accepted. Even with financing, you'll need to pay the deposit and first payment - and they'll want it into their account.

Alternatively, wait until you get here, open a Swiss account, and everything will be easier. Notwithstanding that some banks won't take on US customers. Public transport in Switzerland is extensive, regular and reliable. You don't really need a car.
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Old 01.05.2011, 11:11
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Re: Options for Paying for a Used Car

This was my experience as well. Most garages expect that you'll either pay in cash, or failing that, pay via a paying-in slip. I've not come across a car dealer that will accept a credit card.
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Old 01.05.2011, 11:43
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Re: Options for Paying for a Used Car

What is the use of a bank that does not transfer money out of the US?

When you live here you will need an account here. Reccommended is the Swiss government Post Finance.

Open another account in the USA. Transfer money to your CHF Post Finance account here. Pay the garage with a transfer.

Alternatively pay money into the Garage bank account with cash.
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