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  #21  
Old 15.06.2011, 14:15
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Re: Illegal car hire?

I don't know if the rules changed when Switzerland opened the frontiers, but I made 4 trips moving in from Dresden to Zürich in German lincensed cars (2 times rented in Europcar, 2 times uncle's van) full till top with banana boxes. We where stopped 2 times only to make sure there was no wooden furniture inside (was during the pine wood crisis). I had to show driving license, documents from Europcar and the letter uncle got from Car Insurance to prove I was allowed to drive the car, and had no problems. I also had to show the Gemeinde proof that I was living in Zürich. I got no word about being forbidden to drive foreigner cars in the country, though?

Sounds kinda fishy, but burocracy in this country is always fishy. Like 3 month old out of the fridge fishy
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  #22  
Old 15.06.2011, 14:28
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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As a general rule, a Swiss resident is not allowed to drive a foreign registered car within Switzerland. (BTW many/most other countries have similar rules to avoid customs/tax evasion.)
I can confirm this with a recent experience renting a car to drive in Canada. Apparently, according to Avis, a Canadian resident cannot drive a foreign registered car there.
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  #23  
Old 15.06.2011, 14:33
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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As a general rule, a Swiss resident is not allowed to drive a foreign registered car within Switzerland. (BTW many/most other countries have similar rules to avoid customs/tax evasion.)
However there are some exceptions, one of them being for short term use of a foreign rental car. IIRC you're allowed to drive it for a few days but I don't remember the exact rules.
+1

The same applies for the UK - "they" don't like nationals hiring cars from abroad and driving them at home...
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  #24  
Old 15.06.2011, 15:13
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Re: Illegal car hire?

So whats the opinion about all those german registered hire cars that trawl around Geneva every summer with our friends from the persian gulf and mid east at the wheel?
The ones that never get or pay a fine? they are hire cars and the Arabians hire them from Germany as they are cheaper than Swiss hire cars???
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  #25  
Old 15.06.2011, 15:14
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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So whats the opinion about all those german registered hire cars that trawl around Geneva every summer with our friends from the persian gulf and mid east at the wheel?
The ones that never get or pay a fine? they are hire cars and the Arabians hire them from Germany as they are cheaper than Swiss hire cars???
That's fine, as long as they are not residents of CH.
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  #26  
Old 15.06.2011, 15:30
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Re: Illegal car hire?

Ok, now I am getting confused...

If, as a Swiss resident, I am not allowed to drive a car with a foreign license, does that mean I am not allowed, say, rent a car in a Europcar in Frankfurt, drive all the way through Swiss territory, and deliever it in an Europcar in Zürich?

Because there is a specific fee for that, which kinda makes me cross eyed if now someone tells me it is not allowed...
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  #27  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:08
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Re: Illegal car hire?

FYI:
http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justi...768587,00.html

(In German, but don't let that put you off)

Another one from the "just don't get caught"-department.
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  #28  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:10
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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Did you contact them on the way back to Germany and show them your Bewilligung? Otherwise they may be coming round to your address and looking for the car. Beware the 3 am knock on the door!
yes. i gave it back to them. the customs guy stressed multiple times that it was important that i gave this to them on the way back!
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  #29  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:11
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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Ok, now I am getting confused...

If, as a Swiss resident, I am not allowed to drive a car with a foreign license, does that mean I am not allowed, say, rent a car in a Europcar in Frankfurt, drive all the way through Swiss territory, and deliever it in an Europcar in Zürich?

Because there is a specific fee for that, which kinda makes me cross eyed if now someone tells me it is not allowed...
In principle you are not allowed to, though, you can get the appropriate authorisation to do so for specific circumstances, just as the one you've described... once you've paid, of course. This is CH, after all.
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  #30  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:25
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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In principle you are not allowed to, though, you can get the appropriate authorisation to do so for specific circumstances, just as the one you've described... once you've paid, of course. This is CH, after all.


I give up! I pain myself to play by the rules and always end up stumbling over some obscure rule.



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  #31  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:25
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Re: Illegal car hire?

This is not a swiss thing, but applicable all over Europe to avoid tax dodging. There have been discussions about this subject on EF more than once.

Within your country of residence, you are only allowed to drive a locally registered vehicle. So if you live in Switzerland and have a swiss driving licence, you can only drive Swiss cars within Switzerland. As soon as you go abroad you can do whatever you want: rent a German car and drive to Holland, drive a Danish car in Germany etc. (which is not allowed for German residents) etc.

I know a lot of people here are driving foreign cars, for example when parents are visiting, and also this is technically illegal. However when the owners of the car are present, it is usually not a problem so its a bit of a grey zone.
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  #32  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:46
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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This is news to me too. People have told me to rent cars at the French sector of Geneva airport to use in Switzerland because of the price difference. I guess that's not on either.
Cars rented on the French sector will not have a vignette- so you'll have to pay for one for CH. But be very careful in winter- cars on French sector will not have snow tyres and chains - unless specified and paid for on top of basic rental. On the Swiss sector they will be automatically included.
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  #33  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:49
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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I know a lot of people here are driving foreign cars, for example when parents are visiting, and also this is technically illegal.
Actually, not.

You are allowed to drive foreign registered vehicles for a short period of time (though they don't specify what a short period of time is).

(somewhere on the Customs website it says this, someone posted a link once)

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 15.06.2011 at 18:48.
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  #34  
Old 15.06.2011, 17:50
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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Just something that I got caught out on today. I rented a van from Germany and drove it into Switzerland only to be held at at the border. I was told this was illegal and subject to severe fines as the van had not received matriculation in Switzerland.

Didn't really make much sense to me. Anyone else had this?
Maybe it was the Vignette that was missing?
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  #35  
Old 15.06.2011, 18:15
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Re: Illegal car hire?

Just what I was thinking. How good are your language skills- are you abso sure what they said. I've often rented cars on the French side of Geneva ad driven them over- just had to buy a vignette at the border. No prob. Even if I rented on Swiss side- I always drove to my parents via France and in again, and never any problem.
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  #36  
Old 15.06.2011, 18:56
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Re: Illegal car hire?

it wasn't the vignette. he let me go without the vignette but i went back to buy one anyway.
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  #37  
Old 15.06.2011, 19:12
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Re: Illegal car hire?

I was only stopped once at customs. They thought it dodgy that I had a French car, local accent with British passport and driving licence. Just asked me to pull to side and give all paper work - disappeared for a few minutes and told me all OK. We had a laugh as I explained that I am a local lass visiting my parents- but married to a Brit and living in UK. The other chaps laughed as they all knew me- but he was a newbie.
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  #38  
Old 20.06.2011, 17:11
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Re: Illegal car hire?

Sorry for bumping an old thread. But for those intressted in the legal mumbo jumbo it is all in the Zollverordnung SR 631.01 Art.30 "Vorübergehende Verwendung im Zollgebiet" and Art. 36 "Miete von ausländischen Beförderungsmitteln zum eigenen Gebrauch", the later applies to our friends visting us, the other applies to us trying to enter Switzerland with a rented car.
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