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Old 10.01.2012, 10:36
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Car buying advice

Hi Members,

I've recently arrived in CH from the US.

In the US I sold of 2 cars (Nissan Altima Hyb and Honda Odyssey minivan) prior to coming here. The former was a bit difficult to sell (Hybrids have still not caught on the fancy of US consumers) while the latter sold like a hot cake. Long after I sold the Odyssey, I kept getting inquiries.

I'm now in the market here in the CH for a car - for a large sized one - perhaps a minivan (7 plus seater). I would like to know in this category, what is a car that the Swiss like to buy more than others?

In the US for e.g. it's fairly easy to sell your F150 as these are much sought after hard-working vehicles and have got most of the basics right.

Likewise in the 7 seat category, what car is sought after most here. The reason I ask this question is because I would like buy one of those now and sell it off after 2 years (this here is an expat arrangement for 2 years) and do not want to go thru the pain of trying to sell off a car which is not exactly easy to sell.

Thanks much!
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Old 10.01.2012, 10:50
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Re: Car buying advice

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I'm now in the market here in the CH for a car - for a large sized one - perhaps a minivan (7 plus seater). I would like to know in this category, what is a car that the Swiss like to buy more than others?
Swiss generally to not like such huge cars as they typically don't transport 7+ persons around on a regular basis, have difficulty parking, and fuel economy is important. Do you need such a large car, or would something like a VW Golf work?

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The reason I ask this question is because I would like buy one of those now and sell it off after 2 years (this here is an expat arrangement for 2 years) and do not want to go thru the pain of trying to sell off a car which is not exactly easy to sell.
Buying an new car and selling after two years is most likely not going to be very cost efficient, as the car depreciates and the second hand market is not like north america. Unless a real sought after car with very low milage, it most likely will be difficult to sell. Have you thought about leasing for your stay, or using mobility when you need a car?
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Old 10.01.2012, 10:52
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Re: Car buying advice

Here you can find statistics on the numbers of every make and model registered in Switzerland over the last few years. The site and the downloadable Excel sheets are in German but they're fairly easy to understand.
Please note that the numbers are organized by quarters, i.e. a separate sheet for every quarter.

EDIT: I just realized that the sheets are actually cumulative, i.e. to get the whole picture you just need to look at the 4th quarter.

Might be a good starting point to find out which models are popular and which aren't.

Last edited by Mark75; 10.01.2012 at 11:46.
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Old 10.01.2012, 11:13
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Re: Car buying advice

Wow!! that was quick and useful. Thank you Mark75! Looks like the VW Golf and Skoda Octavia are way ahead of others.

RunningDeer - I'm not in the market for a brand new car. I was thinking of a 2-3 years old car hoping to escape a big chunk of depreciation. With a lease - I imagine I'd be paying approx of about CHF 3000 per year which would be a bit more than I stand to lose if bought and sold a 2 year old car right? Also, occasionally, I need to carry around some musical equipment and hence needed a slightly bigger car. My equipment is almost 4 feet long.

What's not right about my thought process here - should I still be considering leasing a Golf (i.e. will my gear fit in this car - also could I do trips to Italy/Germany/France in this car with a family of 4 - is leasing more cost effective?)

Thanks again for your super quick responses!

cheers,
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Old 10.01.2012, 11:29
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Re: Car buying advice

We bought a 7 seater VW Sharan, 2011 model, in April 2011 and love it. VW is a very reputable brand and we expect to have it for about 3 years. Bought the 'tester' model with lots of bells and whistles. Therefore not new, less depreciation, and no need to wait 3-6 mths to receive the car.
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Old 10.01.2012, 11:32
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Re: Car buying advice

If you put down the back seats you should be able to put your equipment.

Traveling in 4 with luggage around Europe in a Golf will be perfectly fine, there are more comfortable cars but the Golf will be fine.
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Old 10.01.2012, 11:38
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Re: Car buying advice

The VW Golf or Passat (kombi or what you might call a station wagon) is ideal for a family of 4. We are a family of 4 and have the passat and have driven as far as Dubrovnik Croatia and the UK in this car.

If things dont fit get a dachbox (roof box) and impacts on economy but only necessary occasionally. If you go diesel the economy is tip top and while slightly more expensive to fill that pays back when you get 800-1100kms to a tank.

Skodia do similar models and are also now made by VW
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Old 10.01.2012, 12:02
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Re: Car buying advice

I think that a regular Golf is rather small for a family of four unless you pack very light.

I'd rather go for a Passat station wagon (Volkswagen calls it "Variant") or a Touran. There's also a Golf Variant but that one seems to be much less popular.
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Old 10.01.2012, 12:10
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Re: Car buying advice

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Likewise in the 7 seat category, what car is sought after most here. The reason I ask this question is because I would like buy one of those now and sell it off after 2 years (this here is an expat arrangement for 2 years) and do not want to go thru the pain of trying to sell off a car which is not exactly easy to sell.
Lowest loss of value, easy to sell, lots of space: VW Multivan. Buy a 3-year old former leasing car.
http://www.vw-nutzfahrzeuge.ch/ch/de.../multivan.html
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Old 10.01.2012, 12:20
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Re: Car buying advice

3000chf = 250chf per month

Assuming a 10% deposit, a 24mth lease - and current leasing rates - your budget would be around 12,000chf

Which won't get you very far - especially if you are looking for a 7-seater.

However, I am not one to shy away from a challenge - so I have found the perfect car for you

Cheap 7 seater
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Old 10.01.2012, 12:41
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Re: Car buying advice

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3000chf = 250chf per month

Assuming a 10% deposit, a 24mth lease - and current leasing rates - your budget would be around 12,000chf

Which won't get you very far - especially if you are looking for a 7-seater.

However, I am not one to shy away from a challenge - so I have found the perfect car for you

Cheap 7 seater

Ah, yes - the Dacias.
I guess, they are not very popular in the US.
They are no-frills cars, with little or no "extras" by default but their reputation is quite good.

Occasionally, there are reports from people that they are treated as 2nd-class customers by the Renault-dealers that sell the Dacias, along the line of "you get what you pay for".
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Old 10.01.2012, 12:46
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Re: Car buying advice

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Ah, yes - the Dacias.
I guess, they are not very popular in the US.
They are no-frills cars, with little or no "extras" by default but their reputation is quite good.

Occasionally, there are reports from people that they are treated as 2nd-class customers by the Renault-dealers that sell the Dacias, along the line of "you get what you pay for".
Hard working "little" cars. My father-in-law has one at his house in Sweden. He rates it highly. Practical, pretty well screwed together, spacious, economical - it does everything a car needs to do. Just without the luxury.

I rate them very highly.

The other excellent (odd) car I rate well above its status is the Skoda Yeti.
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Old 10.01.2012, 14:12
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Re: Car buying advice

Many many thanks for all of the awesome responses.

DodgeyKen - Let me make it easier - my budget is approx 20K CHF give or take some and hopefully the car I pick will not lose more than 6K CHF in value in 2 years otherwise Leasing is perhaps recommended. I'd be looking for a car which is 2007 or later. Earlier models usually are not so tech. savvy - cars have changed a lot since the mid 2000s. And hey I'm from the states where we are not used to going to the neighbors without getting into the car and all the bells and whistles that come with it including and not limited to heated seats, iPod / MP3 playback and DVD entertainment - and you also need the GPS to get to the neighbors right . The latter 2 I'm willing to forego though .

Wallabies - thanks for the tip about the Dachbox.

FrankS - I have to agree that I was impressed by the multivan when I saw one but at about 36Ks it was pricey. That is certainly in the radar but it does not feature a lot in the buy / sell category - perhaps because it's not easily obtainable? So when looking at a car, you want to look for the more unobtainium models?

I did some research and here are the figures in the 7 seater category. The most popular cars are :
1. VW Touran (over 4K sold per quarter)
2. Renault ScÚnic (3000)
3. VW Sharan (1800)
4. Citroen C4 (1500)
5. Opel Zafira (1300)
6. Toyota Verso (1200)
7. Renault ESpace (800)

Touran appears to be a clearly ahead here...
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Old 10.01.2012, 14:25
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Re: Car buying advice

For 20k built 2007 onwards low km with bells and whistles - you won't find among the German cars. Best bet is a Qashqai (there is a 7 seater) those are full with toys. If you see a base equipment car you will notice it's really basic, you have 3 pedals, wheel and CD radio.
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Old 10.01.2012, 14:37
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Re: Car buying advice

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For 20k built 2007 onwards low km with bells and whistles - you won't find among the German cars. Best bet is a Qashqai (there is a 7 seater) those are full with toys. If you see a base equipment car you will notice it's really basic, you have 3 pedals, wheel and CD radio.

plenty of VW Touran in autoscout for under 20k, some have high mileage which the op will have to be wary of (the swiss hate cars with over 100,000km on)

http://www.autoscout24.ch/Search/Lis...sort=price_asc
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Old 10.01.2012, 14:41
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Re: Car buying advice

On a 2 year lease you'll likely get around a 50% residual value.

20k car leased (with 2k deposit) will cost you around 420chf
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Old 11.01.2012, 09:52
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Re: Car buying advice

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On a 2 year lease you'll likely get around a 50% residual value.
dodgyken - did you mean to say purchase-sale (and not lease) here. i.e. did you mean that if I put down 20Ks to buy this car (or take a loan) - I could expect to sell the car for about 10K after 2 years - for a net opportunity cost of about CHF10K?

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20k car leased (with 2k deposit) will cost you around 420chf
So if I took this option, it would cost about a total of CHF 10,080 over 2 years (plus the additional insurance cost due to leasing vs buying)?

thanks!
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Old 11.01.2012, 10:15
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Re: Car buying advice

If you purchase a car for 20,000chf on a 2 year lease:

Deposit: 2000chf
24 months @ 420chf

Hand car back to the dealer at the end of the lease - assuming no excess KM charge.

Buying and running cars is, as with a lot of things, more expensive that the US.
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