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Old 06.05.2011, 19:49
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Cars from Germany

All, does anyone know of a service offered in the Basel area where someone can get help and advice (for a fee) on importing a car from Germany.

I am due to move to Basel from Ireland in June and am trying to get a car for when we move, but my German is poor at best. I'm not sure how easy it would be to go round Germany looking at cars and trying to negotiate without a good command of the language.

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Old 09.05.2011, 00:15
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Re: Cars from Germany

The garage may have some advice however bear in mind that you will be liable for customs (8%) on import--if you owned the car for longer than 6 months abroad then this would be wavered. You may want to consider buying a car locally... of course many people would ask if you really need a car as Basel (and actually other Swiss cities) work very well with just using public transport--most people would consider having a car a hassle.
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Old 09.05.2011, 10:56
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Re: Cars from Germany

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The garage may have some advice however bear in mind that you will be liable for customs (8%) on import--if you owned the car for longer than 6 months abroad then this would be wavered. You may want to consider buying a car locally... of course many people would ask if you really need a car as Basel (and actually other Swiss cities) work very well with just using public transport--most people would consider having a car a hassle.
Also he will have to pay 4% import duties, etc....
And more if he forget some documents-

Basically it's all covered here:
(Use google translate):

http://www.mueller24.info/autoexport.php

As the guy said here or there: it's only worthy for expensive vehicle and involve a lot of paperwork and delays.

I would say no point for vehicle less than 15 000euros minimum.
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Old 10.05.2011, 20:08
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Re: Cars from Germany

Thanks for the great comments; I had weighed up the VAT paid in Switzerland versus the VAT that I can claim back when I import the car from Germany and it is still worth financially viable. I also have the advantage of support from the relocation company and time isn't too much of a factor. But thanks so much once again
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Old 15.05.2011, 20:04
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Re: Cars from Germany

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Also he will have to pay 4% import duties, etc....
And more if he forget some documents-

Basically it's all covered here:
(Use google translate):

http://www.mueller24.info/autoexport.php

As the guy said here or there: it's only worthy for expensive vehicle and involve a lot of paperwork and delays.

I would say no point for vehicle less than 15 000euros minimum.
I have imported a car from Germany and found it pretty simple. I would not use these import "service" companies, they are a rip-off, they charge a basic % for importing it, then add on transportation costs, then cost to clean and get it ready for the Swiss plates, it almost takes out all the money you save by going to Germany in the first place.

If you want to import a car from Germany and don't know much English then

1) Buy from one of the main dealers, 3 reasons:
  1. They will speak English
  2. The will be used to importing to Swiss and will do most of the paper work on German side (export plates etc) and advise you on what you need
  3. German VAT only applies to trade sales not private sales. So be sure the car you are looking at includes VAT (which you claim back)

2) Contact the Strassenverkehrsamt, in your office they will tell you what you need to get Swiss plates:
  1. You will need a Swiss Stamm number which is the Swiss registration number. You will get that from Customs.
  2. You need the CoC to say the car conforms to Swiss car standards. You get this from the dealer

3) Contact customs at Basel, they are very helpful and will speak in English and tell you what you need.
  1. They will charge you the import tax and Swiss VAT
  2. They will give you the Stamm number and the form you need for the Strassenverkehrsamt.


Its pretty simple as everything fits with else, there a a bit more detail, but everyone one you deal with would have done this 100 times before and can tell you what to do. I got my Car from Germany and had the Swiss plates within a week, I have 0 English but just asked around and saved 25% of the Swiss price.....so its worth it and not as difficult as people make out
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Old 18.05.2011, 23:47
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Re: Cars from Germany

I also did the import just last week, and indeed its dead easy even when you don't speak German. Just make sure you have the critical papers - CoC (certificate of conformity - don't buy the car without knowing you get this or it can be hard to get), any other certifications for modifications (wheels, exhaust etc), contract from seller, invoice from seller, and the car papers.

Customs was about an hour, one warning is to check the details as they managed to put 2300kg on the form and charge me duty for that (it was a Japanese import) but the car is only 1600-1700kg so that cost me about 150chf unnecessarily.

The only painful part is the wait for the Strassenverkehrsamt. Zurich is currently a 6 week wait . I got export plates for 1 month, unfortunately during the remaining 2 weeks I'm not only not allowed to drive the car but can't even park it on the public road (so what one is supposed to do...???). This testing system is by far the stupidest I have ever seen in the 4 countries I have lived in...
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Old 19.05.2011, 00:07
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Re: Cars from Germany

One easy method is to buy a new car from a swiss garage which has already been imported from Germany. For example, auto discount center near zurich (adu.ch).

I found them very good. Zero customer service, but rock bottom prices and zero admin. To save an extra CHF 400, ask to register the car yourself.

Check out the prices.

(MODERATOR : W-Maximus, you may well be correct, but please note that there are other threads on this method on this website)
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