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Old 10.06.2011, 22:41
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Illegal car hire?

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?
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Old 10.06.2011, 23:35
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Re: Illegal car hire?

Hadn't heard of this. I did the opposite, hired an Extragent van for a swift run to DE and back with no problems...
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Old 10.06.2011, 23:36
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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?
Scare tactics, foreign cars cross the border all the time. None could possibly have passed the exam.
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Old 11.06.2011, 00:00
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Re: Illegal car hire?

it was a bit annoying. i was held up for quite a while and made to sign a form acknowledging the illegality or some such. i didn't bother reading it properly as i was in a hurry.

i should have taken a copy. the guy told me to take the copy of the form when i crossed a border and stressed it was very important do so that they delete the record from the system. i didn't really know what was going on and i didn't really care. i just know that if i tried it again, i'd be in trouble.
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Old 11.06.2011, 00:19
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Re: Illegal car hire?

Customs told us the same when we came with a (German) trailer behind our German car.
He let us drive through, though and explained that it is not actually his business but if the police would stop us, we'd be fined.

Other guards (when we crossed the border before) didn't care.
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Old 11.06.2011, 00:29
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Re: Illegal car hire?

I was told that if you are registered in Swissieland (B-permit or similar) you are not allowed to bring a German-registered car into Swissieland, it was considered tax fraud (unless you declare it upon entry).

Couldn't quite follow the logic of the Grenzwache ... they let me enter with the promise that I would leave within 2 days.



Disclaimer: This was a car owned by a friend in Germany, and he simply loaned it to me. NO GO said the Swiss Grenzwachman. Not sure if and how rentals with German plates are different.
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Old 11.06.2011, 00:34
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Re: Illegal car hire?

My husband and his friends brought German registered rentals over quite a few times, they never had any issues.
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  #8  
Old 11.06.2011, 00:36
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Re: Illegal car hire?

The problem is you are bringing a vehicle into CH which you do not own.

Were they asking for a Carnet for the van? The rental company should have given you one.

EF Driving someone's else car in CH and DE

Or maybe you needed something like this
http://www.reisen-tcs.ch/etc/mediali..._vehicules.pdf

http://www.reisen-tcs.ch/travel/de/h...dokumente.html#

Last edited by Ittigen; 15.06.2011 at 13:22.
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Old 11.06.2011, 00:38
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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I was told that if you are registered in Swissieland (B-permit or similar) you are not allowed to bring a German-registered car into Swissieland, it was considered tax fraud (unless you declare it upon entry).

Couldn't quite follow the logic of the Grenzwache ... they let me enter with the promise that I would leave within 2 days.



Disclaimer: This was a car owned by a friend in Germany, and he simply loaned it to me. NO GO said the Swiss Grenzwachman. Not sure if and how rentals with German plates are different.
yes. the guy told me something similar. he said something like "if you live in switzerland you cannot rent a car from outside switzerland". at first i was "hahah, good one" and then my smile was quickly wiped out by his stern look.

anyway, they took my name and address so i wont get away with it the second time. however, i would think this contravenes free movement of goods/capital, which i thought switzerland had signed up to...
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Old 11.06.2011, 00:52
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Re: Illegal car hire?

More market protectionism I guess - when I last priced it it literally cost 3 times the price to rent the same half-decent car from the same car rental company here in Switzerland than it did just over the border. I have for this very reason chosen to rent a car in Germany rather than Switzerland. Never had any problem with border patrol though as we had no need to bring the thing into Switzerland (and no wish to either given the CHF40 charge for a non-reusable vignette). Instead we took the train for the just under one hour journey from Zurich to the German town and back - and were able to drive a comfortable hi-spec new Audi through Germany, Austria and Italy on a mini-break whilst saving several hundred francs. To put it another way - for a given price the choice came down to a Swiss registered tiny Hyundai or Smart Car or a German plated Audi estate (station wagon).

I've lived here long enough to expect to pay up to double for the same product without getting wound up about it - but 3x the price? - come on!
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Old 11.06.2011, 07:38
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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?
A former co-worker of mine (Swiss) always gets his car repaired at a garage in Germany. Sometimes they needed to supply him with a loaner (German registered) which (as I understood it) he had to fill out some sort of paperwork explaining why he was in possession of this car.

If I get a chance to talk to him later today I'll ask him again about it.
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Old 11.06.2011, 08:01
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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.
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Old 11.06.2011, 10:06
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Re: Illegal car hire?

It's the same throughout the EU, If you live in Switzerland with a Swiss driving license then you can only drive Swiss registered cars in Switzerland. If you import a car you can get a form from the customs getting tempory permmission do drive for a few days, you either have to properly import the car or reexport the car in a very short time frame.

It's a customs matter so fairly serious, as a resident you can only bring items below 300 in value without declairing them.
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Old 11.06.2011, 11:04
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Re: Illegal car hire?

Well, I had to rent a car in France as my motorcycle broke down (rental was paid by my insurance), and had no problem to drive it home to CH.

Tom
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Old 11.06.2011, 11:14
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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Well, I had to rent a car in France as my motorcycle broke down (rental was paid by my insurance), and had no problem to drive it home to CH.

Tom
Hi Tom,

You wont have any problem unless stopped & checked, that does not make it legal.

There is a form to fil in when importing cars, I think it costs 10 chf.
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Old 11.06.2011, 13:35
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Re: Illegal car hire?

If you need a rental car in Swissieland, it can be significantly cheaper to make the reservation via a U.S. Web site, e.g. Travelocity or Expedia, the rates are often much lower for tourists.
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Old 11.06.2011, 14:24
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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?
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.
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Old 11.06.2011, 16:26
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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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.
the customs officer told me different. he gave me a 1 day bewilligung but made it clear that this was a one-off and next time, i would be in trouble.
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Old 11.06.2011, 17:36
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I've lived here long enough to expect to pay up to double for the same product without getting wound up about it - but 3x the price? - come on!
The Swiss rip off everything and everyone. The garbage collectors and street sweepers want to drive a top of the line BMW just like everyone else.
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Old 15.06.2011, 13:22
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Re: Illegal car hire?

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the customs officer told me different. he gave me a 1 day bewilligung but made it clear that this was a one-off and next time, i would be in trouble.
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!
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