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-   -   Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/transportation-driving/185188-driving-car-foreign-plate-swiss-driving-license-switzerland.html)

mlx.milano 18.08.2013 11:38

Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Hello,

I think that driving a car with a foreign plate in switzerland having a swiss driving license is illegal, right? But what happens exactly if police stop you in this situation? Do you just get a fine or it will be a problem and they will retire you the driving license? I was not able to find anything in the website about this...

Thank you!
Marco

pama 18.08.2013 12:01

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Hey my friend had this situation, and the police nicely told him that he just had to change the plate immendiately. Without big consequences.

But I'm not sure it happens every time like that ;)

Sooner or later you will have to change it.

Good luck.

mlx.milano 18.08.2013 12:05

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Hi Pama,

thank you for your reply. Actually I am buying a new car in switzerland (with swiss plate), however it will arrive in 4 months. So for the next 3/4 months I just have this old card with foreign plate and it does not really make sense for me to change it to swiss plate (also the car is of my mother which is living in Italy).

If the maximum risk is a fine, even 300 CHF or similar, ok I can take it. However I do not want to risk to loose the swiss driving license, otherwise when I will get the new car I will not be able to drive it.. very bad!

Thanks for the information anyway!

fatmanfilms 18.08.2013 12:06

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mlx.milano (Post 1953248)
Hello,

I think that driving a car with a foreign plate in switzerland having a swiss driving license is illegal, right? But what happens exactly if police stop you in this situation? Do you just get a fine or it will be a problem and they will retire you the driving license? I was not able to find anything in the website about this...

Thank you!
Marco

Well it's the customs who will sting you, no free importing of a previously owned car if it's not been declared so VAT & a fine of 3 times the VAT. People have been stung for 20k or more, depends on the value of the car.

Sean Connery 18.08.2013 12:53

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 1953263)
Well it's the customs who will sting you, no free importing of a previously owned car if it's not been declared so VAT & a fine of 3 times the VAT. People have been stung for 20k or more, depends on the value of the car.

customs "caught" me back in 1996 and told me to import the car.

I said no and sold the car is the UK.

No mention of a fine or duty owed and I certainly did not declare the car when entering Switzerland.

fatmanfilms 18.08.2013 13:30

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Connery (Post 1953283)
customs "caught" me back in 1996 and told me to import the car.

I said no and sold the car is the UK.

No mention of a fine or duty owed and I certainly did not declare the car when entering Switzerland.

How long had you lived here in 1996? I assume you were charged 25 CHF for a form? Perhaps you were lucky :D

Ace1 28.08.2013 15:43

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Just thought I'd tag on to this thread, as I was just discussing with a work colleague - can anyone provide links to the laws/regs forbidding driving of someone else's foreign registered car in CH on a Swiss licence. Also the laws about how long you can drive a foreign car you've bought before you have to import it.

I've spent about fifteen minutes searching, but all the links I've found in previous threads are no longer valid, so if anyone's got this info themselves I'd appreciate it.

aSwissInTheUS 28.08.2013 16:16

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 1962351)
Just thought I'd tag on to this thread, as I was just discussing with a work colleague - can anyone provide links to the laws/regs forbidding driving of someone else's foreign registered car in CH on a Swiss licence. Also the laws about how long you can drive a foreign car you've bought before you have to import it.

I've spent about fifteen minutes searching, but all the links I've found in previous threads are no longer valid, so if anyone's got this info themselves I'd appreciate it.


You wont find a law that will forbid driving a foreign registred car with a Swiss license. Period. (How can you prove a negative?)
http://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifie...ion/74.html#74

But you will find alot about about importing of motor vehicles, restrictions, relaxations and exemptions etc. But still nothing about the license. What matters is your domicile and under what condition the car was brought over the border.
http://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifie...ion/63.html#63

Some links (Use Beförderungsmittel as search term):
http://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifie...index.html#a35
http://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifie...index.html#a55

Two basic rules:
1) Your domicile is in Switzerland, you drive with a non Swiss registred car over the border, you have to stop at the border and declare the car. (if not previously done).

2) Your domicile is not in Switzerland, you drive with a non Swiss registred car over the border, you do not have to stop at the border under the condition that it is for you own personal use and the car stays in Switzerland for no longer than one year. Giving your car to any third party means a custom/tax vialation.

Ace1 28.08.2013 16:48

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aSwissInTheUS (Post 1962386)
You wont find a law that will forbid driving a foreign registred car with a Swiss license. Period. (How can you prove a negative?)

But you will find alot about about importing of motor vehicles, restrictions, relaxations and exemptions etc. But still nothing about the license. What matters is your domicile and under what condition the car was brought over the border.

Sure, that's effectively the same thing though, as a Swiss domiciled person can only hold a Swiss licence.

Quote:

Originally Posted by aSwissInTheUS (Post 1962386)

Great stuff, thanks. And for Francophones
http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classified-compilation/20052713/index.html#a35
http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classified-compilation/20070116/index.html#a55

Quote:

Originally Posted by aSwissInTheUS (Post 1962386)

Two basic rules:
1) Your domicile is in Switzerland, you drive with a non Swiss registred car over the border, you have to stop at the border and declare the car. (if not previously done).

2) Your domicile is not in Switzerland, you drive with a non Swiss registred car over the border, you do not have to stop at the border under the condition that it is for you own personal use and the car stays in Switzerland for no longer than one year. Giving your car to any third party means a custom/tax vialation.

It also clarifies that even once declared by a Swiss resident, a foreign car needs to be out of the country within 3 days, except for a rental one which gives eight days.

But this does raise an interesting point. As these laws are not actually forbidding you _driving_ a foreign registered car, just stating the conditions under which you must _import_ one, what happens when a tourist brings in their car then lends it to you while they're here? That's not covered by those rules at all, but it's often been stated that it also would not be allowed. Has anyone actually got a reference to clarify this one way or the other?

Like, a German colleague whose father drives over, and then she drives his car while he's here.

aSwissInTheUS 28.08.2013 17:17

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 1962417)
Sure, that's effectively the same thing though, as a Swiss domiciled person can only hold a Swiss licence.

Not exactly there are some exceptions. As we know you have one year to exchange a foreign license to a Swiss one. Similiar rules existes in other countries.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 1962417)
But this does raise an interesting point. As these laws are not actually forbidding you _driving_ a foreign registered car, just stating the conditions under which you must _import_ one, what happens when a tourist brings in their car then lends it to you while they're here? That's not covered by those rules at all, but it's often been stated that it also would not be allowed. Has anyone actually got a reference to clarify this one way or the other?

Like, a German colleague whose father drives over, and then she drives his car while he's here.

New search term: penal provisions/Strafbestimmungen/Dispositions pénales you will find it at the end of most Law/Gesetz/Loi. (Whats the use of a law if there are no
sanctions?)

The Acts/Verodnungen/Ordonnaces are based on the Zollgesetz/Loi de sur les douanes.
here the links to the interesting part
(German) http://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifie...ndex.html#a117
(Franch)http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifie...ndex.html#a117
(Italian) http://www.admin.ch/opc/it/classifie...ndex.html#a117

Which reminds us of this useful post:
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 1953263)
Well it's the customs who will sting you, no free importing of a previously owned car if it's not been declared so VAT & a fine of 3 times the VAT. People have been stung for 20k or more, depends on the value of the car.

But the fine can be 5 times the duty/tax.

ZurichNewby 28.08.2013 21:08

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
I think a big point to clarify here is whether you are only borrowing the car from your mother or not. If you do not own the car and are only using it for the four months then I don't see what the problem is. If you return the car to your mother after the four months then you never owned the car and therefore having nothing to declare (more common sense rather than being able to quote Swiss law!). If however you own the car, you must change the plates to Swiss plates within one year and cannot sell the car within Switzerland without registering beforehand. If you own the car and plan to sell it after the four month initial period then just sell it in Italy and avoid the hassle of importing it. Finally, unless you are driving dangerously I would see it as somewhat unlikely that you would be simply pulled over in an Italian car. There are a huge amount of Italian and German cars driving on Swiss roads so this should not raise the authorities' suspicions.

st2lemans 28.08.2013 21:14

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZurichNewby (Post 1962625)
I think a big point to clarify here is whether you are only borrowing the car from your mother or not. If you do not own the car and are only using it for the four months then I don't see what the problem is.

Still illegal, though. Well, technically customs fraud.

Likewise in Italy, etc.

Last year, an Italian drove his parents Swiss-registered car into Italy, it was confiscated, and they had to pay 20k to get it back.

Think it was a Fiat Panda.

Tom

teco 01.10.2013 11:42

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 1962632)
Still illegal, though. Well, technically customs fraud.

Likewise in Italy, etc.

Last year, an Italian drove his parents Swiss-registered car into Italy, it was confiscated, and they had to pay 20k to get it back.

Think it was a Fiat Panda.

Tom

Hi Tom,
I didn't get your point. Someone drove a car in Italy with a Swiss plate, and it was confiscated? Why?

Ace1 01.10.2013 12:59

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 1962632)
Still illegal, though. Well, technically customs fraud.

Likewise in Italy, etc.

Last year, an Italian drove his parents Swiss-registered car into Italy, it was confiscated, and they had to pay 20k to get it back.

Think it was a Fiat Panda.

Tom

OK, a good example, but presumably the parents were not with him, so they must have deemed that he wasn't simply borrowing it while they were visiting.

I still have yet to see a specific law that relates to the actual question - is it illegal to drive a foreign-registered car on Swiss licence. All the quotes and examples so far are about illegally importing a vehicle, and your example illustrates clearly a situation where the customs would have concluded, quite rightly, that this was the case.

But what about when the owner is a passenger in the car, for example? Pretty sure they wouldn't claim it as an illegal import in that case. Where do they draw the line?


Anyway, I know you're lying - nobody would pay 20k for the return of a Fiat Panda :rolleyes:

st2lemans 01.10.2013 13:44

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by teco (Post 1986723)
Hi Tom,
I didn't get your point. Someone drove a car in Italy with a Swiss plate, and it was confiscated? Why?

Because the driver resided in Italy and had an Italian driving license.

Tom

st2lemans 01.10.2013 13:47

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 1986776)
But what about when the owner is a passenger in the car, for example? Pretty sure they wouldn't claim it as an illegal import in that case. Where do they draw the line?


Anyway, I know you're lying - nobody would pay 20k for the return of a Fiat Panda :rolleyes:

I was joking about it being a Panda.

I also expect that if the owner is present, then there is no problem.

But in this case, the owner wasn't present.

Here's another case.

"Č il 6 novembre 2010 quando in territorio italiano, a pochi chilometri dalla dogana di Stabio Gaggiolo, la Guardia di Finanza ferma una Ferrari d’epoca con targhe ticinesi. Alla guida c’č un ex militare italiano. L’ auto viene immediatamente sequestrata e lui accusato di contrabbando. Il motivo? I proprietari del veicolo, cittadini ticinesi, non gli avevano rilasciato un'autorizzazione scritta ”motivata”, una cosiddetta “delega”, per poter guidare quell’auto in Italia. Sono trascorsi due anni, e quella Ferrari č ancora sotto sequestro, il conducente rischia una multa fino a 80 mila euro, e i proprietari ticinesi di vedersela definitivamente confiscata e messa all’asta!"

For the Italian impaired:

"The 6 Novemeber 2010, while in Italian territory, a few km from the Dogana Stabio/Gaggiolo, the Gurdia di Finanza stopped a classic Ferrari with TI plates. At the wheel was an ex-military Italian. The vehicle was immediately impounded and the driver accused of contrabanding. The reason? The owner of the vihicle, a Ticinese citizen, hadn't given him an written authorization to drive the vehicle in Italy. After two, the Ferrari is still impounded, the driver risks a fine of EUR 80k, and the owner will see it confiscated and sold at auction."

Tom

fatmanfilms 01.10.2013 14:37

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZurichNewby (Post 1962625)
I think a big point to clarify here is whether you are only borrowing the car from your mother or not. If you do not own the car and are only using it for the four months then I don't see what the problem is. If you return the car to your mother after the four months then you never owned the car and therefore having nothing to declare (more common sense rather than being able to quote Swiss law!).

A car temporally imported by a tourist for their own use, it can't be lent to a local resident. Imagine how many people would use the loop hole if it existed........

teco 01.10.2013 14:58

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 1986807)
Because the driver resided in Italy and had an Italian driving license.

Tom

Now I got it. Car with Swiss plate, but the owner reside in Italy.

I was concerned because I'll move in 1 month to Zurich and I drive a car with Italian plate, and the owner is my father, and he reside in Italy.
I used that car 1 year in Germany and no problem until now. Also in Germany after 3 months you have to register the car with a German plate, but every month I go home in Italy for 20-25 days....and the law is not clear in this sense...

fatmanfilms 01.10.2013 15:02

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by teco (Post 1986895)
Now I got it. Car with Swiss plate, but the owner reside in Italy.

I was concerned because I'll move in 1 month to Zurich and I drive a car with Italian plate, and the owner is my father, and he reside in Italy.
I used that car 1 year in Germany and no problem until now. Also in Germany after 3 months you have to register the car with a German plate, but every month I go home in Italy for 20-25 days....and the law is not clear in this sense...

I think you will find the law is quite clear, you just believe you have a loophole, which I can assure you you haven't!

BTW if you went home to Italy for 20-25 days a month, how could you have been a German resident......the plot thickens!

Ace1 01.10.2013 15:08

Re: Driving a car with foreign plate with Swiss Driving License in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by teco (Post 1986895)
Now I got it. Car with Swiss plate, but the owner reside in Italy.

I was concerned because I'll move in 1 month to Zurich and I drive a car with Italian plate, and the owner is my father, and he reside in Italy.
I used that car 1 year in Germany and no problem until now. Also in Germany after 3 months you have to register the car with a German plate, but every month I go home in Italy for 20-25 days....and the law is not clear in this sense...

Read, then re-read, all the posts here so far; in the case you describe it is quite clear - you must import and register the car here, else risk being fined for illegally importing it.


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