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Old 12.01.2008, 12:25
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Can a tourist visiting buy a car?

Hi,

I am a Australian citizen living in Melbourne. I am planing a trip to Switzerland, and will stay there for several weeks. I will like to buy a car there, so that I can explore beutyfull country to its maximum. Just wonder if anybody knows what is the requirements for visitor to buy a car in Switzerland.

thank you,
regards
Michael
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Old 12.01.2008, 12:38
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Re: car

Hi Michael

not sure myself what reg's there are re buying a car but I really wouldn't bother. Public transport here is so complete and reliable you can go almost anywhere anytime quite cheaply. You could always hire a car for a few days or a week as well, it will be much cheaper and easier.

here is the link to the Swiss railway in English,

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 12.01.2008, 12:55
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Re: car

I must agree with GrumpyGrapefruit. I have spent many summers in switzerland and have never felt the slightest need for a car.

For an overview of the Swiss railways (from a resident's point of view) see a post on this forum: Fact Sheet #2 - Swiss Railways, for one more oriented to visitors (probably more useful for you) see this one: Travel Passes for Visitors.
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Old 12.01.2008, 13:03
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Re: car

Thank you for a comments, but I will be driving all through Europe, after Switzerland, and will be more eassy and free to do so with a car.

Thanks
Michael
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Old 12.01.2008, 13:06
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Re: car

Buying a car for a few weeks stay...?!? Absurd.. unless you mean more like 52 weeks but renting a car for a few weeks would be a lot easier and cheaper than buying and trying to resell the car afterwards. At that point I'd be surprised if you could recouped 60% of your initial investment for the vehicle not to mention the time and hassle one would have to endure for such an adventure.
Besides, like the others said (and I tell all my American visitors the same), leave the car at home and take public transportation. You'll spend hours gazing out the windows viewing a Switzerland you could never enjoy behind the wheel of a car.
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Old 12.01.2008, 13:59
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Re: car

Hi Michael. I recognize the approach you are taking, as I've traveled previously to countries for as little as 3 weeks where it has made more sense to buy a car and sell it back, rather than rent one. This was our approach in South Africa and in Portugal, in fact. In that case, you're really looking for someone who deals in those type of double transactions. Here is one:
http://www.autoeurope.com/buyback.cfm

Having lived here for a few years now, I would have to agree with the well-intentioned other posters, and recommend that you train it everywhere. Train travel will get you to 95% of the places you want to reach and be virtually hassle free (no insurance, parking, petrol, speeding and parking tickets, etc.) That being said, here are a few sites you might want to check out:

http://www.sixt.com/main/car-rental/Switzerland/ longer-term "holiday car rentals"
http://www.kemwel.com.au - an Aussie site, with you in mind!

I wish you a good trip. Best regards,

CM
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Old 15.01.2008, 11:53
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Re: Can a tourist visiting buy a car?

I'd back up everyone else who said not to bother with buying a car. It is a hugely expensive excercise in frustration, not to mention costly. Use public transport. We wouldn't have a car if we didn't have a child.
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Old 25.01.2008, 01:11
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Re: Can a tourist visiting buy a car?

come on guys, he asked about buying a car not about the state of public transport. plus, he said he'd be driving across europe, I assume also to places where buses and trains don't go.
I'd love to answer his question but unfortunately I don't know the answer. I guess buying insurance w/o a swiss residence would be a problem so it's more likely a no-go.
he drives -- you ride the train, you're both happy, enough.
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Old 27.01.2008, 09:39
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Re: Can a tourist visiting buy a car?

Thak you, that is exactly what i am after.
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Old 27.01.2008, 12:41
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Re: Can a tourist visiting buy a car?

I also think that public transportation is good in certain circumstances but is limited in most when you really want to explore Switzerland or Europe. You can pretty much get anywhere you want to go using public trans., but you may spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do it. OK for a few days but can get old for a longer trip.

I'm not positive about buying a car, being a non-resident in Switzerland, but have the feeling that it will not be a simple process. Maybe easier in the EU?

The following link is for a program from Renault that my parents used a couple of years ago for a trip through Europe. They picked up a new car in Amsterdam and returned it 8 weeks later in Madrid. Seemed like a decent deal without any bureaucratic hassles (e.g. registration, insurance, etc.,...):

http://www.renault-eurodrive.com/cms/australie/
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Old 27.01.2008, 13:41
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Re: Can a tourist visiting buy a car?

It has been said about public transportation, but I agree that there are good reasons to get a car.

However, the option to try to buy and sell again could really be bothersome; you would spend quite a bit of time getting the car, getting the insurance settled, getting it registered, etc.

Not having a car myself, I found it to work well to go for a long-term rental (if you intend to rent for more than a month). I found the best deals and best service with Avis (specifically their Glattbrugg office); you might call them up directly and ask to be transferred to the long-term rental department.

Other rental car companies may have similar offers, and you might check about rates if you get a deal from your place.
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