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Old 20.11.2007, 08:56
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What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

I have read through the forums that I can find and all are very helpful - one other point - I am heading to Valais from Vaud to look at and hopefully buy a second hand car privately.
I get that I pay cash, get the original car papers etc and insurance but what's the process over the number plates? Do I insure it under the old VS plates and drive it back to Vaud and post the plates back to him? Can I hand the old plates into my local registration centre? Will he want to take the plates off - then how do I drive it back?? Any information is greatly appreciated.
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Old 20.11.2007, 09:07
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

changing number plates

http://www.englishforum.ch/transport...procedure.html

the opposite of this... contact your strassenverkehrampt (whatever it is called in french if you're on that side and ask)

http://www.englishforum.ch/transport...html#post66662

insurance

http://www.englishforum.ch/commercia...tually-do.html

Don't be afraid to contact your strasseverkehrsamt or TCS office for advice. Hope those links offered help beyond what you previously found.
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Old 20.11.2007, 09:13
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

Thanks Gooner -
they were the same threads but I haven't contacted the TCS yet so will try them next. French is not my strong point (we are new to the area) but I will persevere on the phone with them!! I went into the car registration place but he was not helpful and was only concerned about how he issues the new plates!
Thanks anyway
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Old 20.11.2007, 09:16
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

buying a used car in Vaud canton

changing number plates
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Old 20.11.2007, 09:24
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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Thanks Gooner -
they were the same threads but I haven't contacted the TCS yet so will try them next. French is not my strong point (we are new to the area) but I will persevere on the phone with them!! I went into the car registration place but he was not helpful and was only concerned about how he issues the new plates!
Thanks anyway
It should be a relatively painless process. If you are buying through a dealer they can and usually do take care of the administration of the vehicle, even across Cantons.

If you already own a car, you can use a second car under the same insurance policy and with the same plates, but then you can only drive one car at a time, the insurance is relevant to the more expensive car.

The car you are buying needs to be road worthy. if it is less than 10 years old (I think) then the road worthiness needs to be valid for at least 1 year.

You will need the car papers and you should be able to register it there and then. If you are a TCS member, they help and advise on such issues. If you are not a member, become a member, it is the cheapest thing you can buy in Switzerland.

Someone will be along to tell you more. Don't worry. In the meantime take a chance on calling the registration office, ask nicely if they speak English. Just because they speak French doesn't make them French.
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Old 20.11.2007, 09:31
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

Thanks again Gooner! Yes we will join TCS as it does look very worthwhile if not a necesity!!- it's a private sale, has it's expertise up to date and will be our first car here in Switzerland - hopefully all will go to plan! Will let you know!
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Old 20.11.2007, 09:34
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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Thanks again Gooner! Yes we will join TCS as it does look very worthwhile if not a necesity!!- it's a private sale, has it's expertise up to date and will be our first car here in Switzerland - hopefully all will go to plan! Will let you know!

I know this much.

You must pre-arrange insurance for the car. This will be in the form of a cover letter from the insurance company. Once you have this, I think it's as simple as taking that along with the car's papers to the traffic authorities and registering the car under your name, at which point you are issued plates.

how long it takes to get the plates I don't know, but i should imagine that they can at least issue temporary ones. Which is why it is important to at least try and phone and find out.

Good luck.

This site is also useful from time to time

http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/imm.../insuring.html
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Old 21.11.2007, 11:11
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

...and the ending to my dilemma - saw the car - loved it - paid a deposit (got receipt) got a copy of grey car papers - previous owners are driving it 1.5 hours to us in Vaud today then they will take their plates off and I can get mine. We were surprised they were willing to drive it to us but it solved the number plate problem - its possible we didn't haggle them down as far as they were expecting so were willing to help us out.

Insurance is set up and TCS cover when we have a number plate later today - hey presto - wasn't as complicated as we had expected! thanks to all for your input.
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Old 21.11.2007, 11:18
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

Well done. So it was easy after all. Glad you found an everyone's-a-winner solution.
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Old 21.11.2007, 16:40
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

Even though it seems like you have sorted your situation out, I can add my experience recently- it may be helpful to others.
I bought a car privately from St. Gallen (I live in Basel Land). I didn't previously own a car here.
To get my number plates, I needed a (photo)copy of the grey ownership paper, which went to the insurance company together with the insurance quotation form. They then sent a cover letter to me. Whilst this was going on, my payment went to the owner, who then deregistered the car in St Gallen and sent me the cancelled grey ownership paper. Also at this time, I ordered number plates from the MFK in Basel Land.
I took the ownership paper and the cover letter to the local MFK to get my new ownership paper and the BL number plates. Then I could go over to St. Gallen to pick up the car! Phew! It seemed a bit stressful at the time, working out what needed doing and who got paid (insurance was the last thing!). It took around 10 days from agreeing to buy to being able to pick the car up. Hope this helps...
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Old 05.06.2011, 11:51
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

I'm still a little puzzled about the transfer of ownership steps. I'm buying a car privately from someone in ZH, and he has agreed to deliver it to Basel. If we both go to the MFK in Basel Land with all the existing paperwork, will they cancel it in ZH, or does he have to cancel it first in ZH?

cheers
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Old 05.06.2011, 13:28
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

When I bought the car from Geneva and living in FR hes gray card got cancelled at the office in FR as did mine. we simply switched plates (and cars) insurance had to be switched before hand (just gave them a date of when we would switch and go to the office).

So in our case he was capable of cancelling it in FR .....(at a cost which i do not remember)
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Old 05.06.2011, 13:31
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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When I bought the car from Geneva and living in FR hes gray card got cancelled at the office in FR as did mine. we simply switched plates (and cars) insurance had to be switched before hand (just gave them a date of when we would switch and go to the office).

So in our case he was capable of cancelling it in FR .....(at a cost which i do not remember)
Cool, so he can drive up to Basel and everything gets done at the MFK offices here?
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Old 05.06.2011, 13:38
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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When I bought the car from Geneva and living in FR hes gray card got cancelled at the office in FR as did mine. we simply switched plates (and cars) insurance had to be switched before hand (just gave them a date of when we would switch and go to the office).

So in our case he was capable of cancelling it in FR .....(at a cost which i do not remember)
Actually, the insurance only gets switched once you have the new plates. You have 30 days to get the new plates after you get the insurance, but it only activates (and is billed) once you get them.

And the new canton WILL return the old plates to the old canton, you don't need to do it, same if you move to another canton and change plates (you also need to get a new insurance, even if you stay with the same company, if you move cantons)

Tom
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Old 05.06.2011, 13:40
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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Cool, so he can drive up to Basel and everything gets done at the MFK offices here?
Yes, though the insurance can be arranged anywhere.

You can even do it by phone, just give them the details from the grey-card.

Tom
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Old 05.06.2011, 19:48
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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Yes, though the insurance can be arranged anywhere.

You can even do it by phone, just give them the details from the grey-card.

Tom

I just did this before hand. got a copy from the previous owner and send it on to my insurance. told him I will trade this car in on x date and he said ok, you can drive on that day with the other car....
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Old 07.06.2011, 10:16
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

I've just spoken to my seller friend in ZH and he is adamant that it doesn't work like that here i.e. we both turn up at the Basel MFK and they handle the transfer of ownership and inform Zurich of the change.

He thinks he needs to first cancel the Fahrzeugzulassung and hand in his plates in ZH, then send me the cancelled Fahrzeugzulassung in the post which I use to obtain my Fahrzeugzulassung and plates in Basel land.
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Old 07.06.2011, 10:28
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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I've just spoken to my seller friend in ZH and he is adamant that it doesn't work like that here i.e. we both turn up at the Basel MFK and they handle the transfer of ownership and inform Zurich of the change.

He thinks he needs to first cancel the Fahrzeugzulassung and hand in his plates in ZH, then send me the cancelled Fahrzeugzulassung in the post which I use to obtain my Fahrzeugzulassung and plates in Basel land.
This is correct- I bought my car privately from a guy in St Gallen. He went to his MFK to cancel the grey ownership paper; you then need this to take to the BS (or BL, can't remember which kanton you're in!!) MFK office to obtain your new ownership paper and to get your license plates. You will also need an insurance cover note. It will probably seem like the car's ownership status is in limbo while all this is sorted out!
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Old 07.06.2011, 10:43
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

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This is correct- I bought my car privately from a guy in St Gallen. He went to his MFK to cancel the grey ownership paper; you then need this to take to the BS (or BL, can't remember which kanton you're in!!) MFK office to obtain your new ownership paper and to get your license plates. You will also need an insurance cover note. It will probably seem like the car's ownership status is in limbo while all this is sorted out!
This seems to be the standard procedure, I was just hoping to take advantage of his offer to deliver the car to me. As it is, I will need to train it down to ZH with my plates and collect the car (granted, not the end of the world ).
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Old 07.06.2011, 12:08
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Re: What's the process with number plates when buying a car from another canton?

In BE you can still drive on the day that you cancel the plates. I went to the MFK in the morning, cancelled the registration (stamp, stamp!) then drove to ZG, met the buyer, got my cash, gave him the grey paper, took my plates and returned on the train. The next morning I dropped the BE plates at the StVA in Bern.
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