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Old 27.07.2011, 11:44
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My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

I imported a car from Germany to Swtizerland and I thought I should share the experience…..

After I found the car I wanted I contacted the relevant dealership in Germany. I asked for all the papers that I needed to export the car. The dealership prepared all this. He also prepared a temporary full coverage insurance for 2 weeks (if I would do it again I would ask for a longer one - will tell you more about it further down).

The papers I got was:

- "COC" paper (certificate of CO2 emission)
- the bill
- the insurance papers
- the green paper with the tiny little details of the car

We had to pay, in full, the dealership with a bank transfer before picking up the car (a bit scary!). You pay the price WITH german VAT. After registering the car in Switzerland you send papers back to the car dealership and then you get your VAT back. Anyway, we then went to germany, picked up the car and the papers. No problems at all.

We drove to the border and went in to the german customs - I handed the papers the dealership had prepared. They did some stuff on the computer and gave it back and I was good to go.

We then went to the Swiss border. It was closed. We therefore drove home for the day. After the weekend we went to a local custom office (zoll) and registered the car (for more detailed info see: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en) - in short: you pay 4% of the purchase price (without VAT) and then another 8%. You also have to pay 60CHF for the admin fee. Registration done.

Then, got my insurance approved by phone. Make sure you call your insurance and have an agreement. They will then send electronically a "proof" to the car registration office (where you ask for your plates)

Next step, get swiss plates at the car registration office (for Ticcino go to: http://www4.ti.ch/index.php?id=16397). This is where it was a bit painful. The process is simply: do a test of the car (cost 120CHF) and then get your registration plates (60CHF or so) and pay taxes for the car (price depends on the car - environmentally friendly cars are cheaper, big engine cars are expensive. But usually anything from 150CHF to 600CHF. Logical.).

However, our temporary plates were valid for 2 weeks and the next available test appointment (in Lugano) was in 5 weeks time (this is because a lot of people are now importing cars. Euro is weak). This meant, we had 3 weeks without a car. I called the insurance and they couldn't insure a foreign plate - they needed a swiss plate. I asked for a temporary swiss plate but they only give it to Swiss cars and not imported car. I called the tax office and asked for a grenzversicherung (border insurance) but they said as I paid the taxes already so in their eyes it was a Swiss car. This is why I wrote in the beginning of this post (get a longer temporary insurance and you will have no problem if there is a waiting period for the test).

After you get your plates (they will be different size from your german standard plates so you have to go to a garage and get some "holders" for them). Of course you can do this earlier if you are a good planner. I did it afterwards as I was not aware of the size - I got it for free by the garage. Bought them a six pack beer. In case you need to come back one day and it is always nice with beer.

Lastly, contact your dealership after you registered the car. Send them the necessary paper and get your VAT pack.

I must say - the process was very easy overall. It was worth it for sure. I have a B-permit and it was no problem for me.
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Old 27.07.2011, 14:09
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Thanks for sharing this accurate experience.
Once you've done the math, how much did you save?
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Old 27.07.2011, 14:16
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

It depends how much you pay for the car....

The math is easy as VAT is 19% in germany and here you pay 4% and then 8% and then around 200CHF for other admin stuff.

The real value is that the 30 000 euro car cost 35-38 euros here. That's where you really save the money.

Hope this helps
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Old 27.07.2011, 14:38
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Great post

Thanks
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Old 27.07.2011, 14:39
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

On the other hand, there are dealers who do all the work for you (Direktimport). It would be interesting to compare how much you'd save compared to those dealers.
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Old 27.07.2011, 14:40
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

did you buy a new car or a used car? In our searches thus far, CH seems to have a better market than Germany for used cars (especially when looking for one with all-wheel drive)
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Old 27.07.2011, 14:48
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Hi Bobo, Just curious to know if this was a new car or a second hand car. Which car did you buy and from where in germany?
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Old 27.07.2011, 16:30
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Bought a used car (1 year old) and it was in Baden-Baden.

BMW and Audis are generally cheaper in Germany. I got a volvo (before i did the research the volvo's tended to be more cheap in switzerland but this newer model was not).

I bought from this place:
autohaus-geisser.de
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Old 27.07.2011, 17:06
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Hi Bobo

I got an offer from a german garage do do the complete import on a new car for 850 euro (covers Abgastest, import, MFK, registration and Vignette) which seems alot . How much did the temporay plates and insurance cost from the dealer
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Old 27.07.2011, 17:09
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

I got this for free - it was part of my negotiation

However, when I spoke to another dealership they offered insurance and paper work for 50 euros!

Perhaps they offer u something I did not get? Not sure....
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Old 27.07.2011, 17:21
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Who did you talk to to get the date changed?

Tom
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Old 27.07.2011, 17:24
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

What Tom is talking about is the date of mandantory test one has to do in order to register the car and get a license plate.

First I went there to make an appointment, they sent me a letter when my appointment was. I simply drove to the place where they do the tests and asked if I can get something earlier - ended up doing it 5 minutes after I asked. Bit lucky there!
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Old 27.07.2011, 21:02
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Do second hand cars (or anything else second hand) have VAT on them? Not in the UK anyway...
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Old 28.07.2011, 00:46
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

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Do second hand cars (or anything else second hand) have VAT on them? Not in the UK anyway...
Could it be that the car was owned by a company. In that case I suppose you could reclaim the VAT back. Correct me if this was not the case.
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Old 28.07.2011, 00:50
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

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Could it be that the car was owned by a company. In that case I suppose you could reclaim the VAT back. Correct me if this was not the case.
Ex Lease cars probably will as they are rental cars to the bank that owns them.
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Old 28.07.2011, 01:00
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

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Do second hand cars (or anything else second hand) have VAT on them? Not in the UK anyway...
Not in CH.

Tom
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Old 28.07.2011, 10:07
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

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It depends how much you pay for the car....

The math is easy as VAT is 19% in germany and here you pay 4% and then 8% and then around 200CHF for other admin stuff.

The real value is that the 30 000 euro car cost 35-38 euros here. That's where you really save the money.

Hope this helps
Blablabla...
On the other end I already said that in a detailled topic with specific information...
Now your new topic collects the questions "is it worthy", blablabla.

Importing a used car from Germany


It's nice to "reinvent the wheel" but maybe do it nice and round the first time...

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Old 28.07.2011, 10:10
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

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Do second hand cars (or anything else second hand) have VAT on them? Not in the UK anyway...
Re: Importing a used car from Germany
Sorry everyone I'm missing something here.

Why are we discussing VAT (MWST) on used cars? Surely if you're buying a used car in Germany there's no VAT/MWST.

Vat is only paid once when the car is new.
...

Not true.


Importing a used car from Germany
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Old 28.07.2011, 10:12
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

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Hi Bobo

I got an offer from a german garage do do the complete import on a new car for 850 euro (covers Abgastest, import, MFK, registration and Vignette) which seems alot . How much did the temporay plates and insurance cost from the dealer
They are skimming you, clearly.


Temporary plates for export (red ones, valid 1 month): approx 200euros with RC insurance.
Temporary plates for tests in Germany (yellow ones: 1 weeks max): approx 80-90 euros, with RC insurance.
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Old 29.07.2011, 15:01
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Re: My experience importing a car from germany to switzerland....

Could anyone tell me when the Abgastest should be done?

I moved my car from Luxembourg to Switzerland last weekend. I have paid the Zoll, arranged insurance and now need to go to the STVA to present my paperwork and get a date for the inspection.

Do I need to have the Abgastest done first?

With many thanks for your help!
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