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Old 27.11.2013, 12:20
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Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

We are moving out to Zurich in January and I'm wondering what to do about a car when we get to CH. We will bring out a British car with us, and either sell it to an ex-pat returning home or get someone to take it back to the UK when they come and visit us but will then need to buy a Swiss car.

So, will I be able to get finance to buy/lease a car? I don't like having loads of capital tied up in a depreciating asset so would rather lease or at least finance it if possible. I have a very good UK credit rating and will have a decent Swiss salary but obviously no credit history in CH.

I see in CH there are a lot of petrol versions of cars which in the UK only come as diesels, is there a particular reason people buy petrol instead of diesel cars? It will be used for trips over to Normandy in France (holiday home) and back to the UK as well as being a family car in Zurich, and normally I'd be looking at a diesel but does petrol have tax advantages? I'm looking at a new or lightly used RR Evoque, Audi Q5 or similar, or the sensible option of a new Dacia Duster, or the more silly option of a 6+ year old Cayenne S if it makes a difference to the maths.

Thanks!
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Old 27.11.2013, 12:40
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

Petrol is cheaper than diesel in Switerland. Relatively few diesel cars compared with France for example, where it's the other way round.
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:01
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

Petrol is cheaper than diesel in CH, but it's often the reverse elsewhere (specifically thinking France and Italy, although fuel in Italy is substantially more than in CH anyway). Moreover diesel cars (for all the other problems with diesel) tend to be more economical. I can get from Richti all the way to the Ionian on one tank of fuel (granted, there's 17 hours on a ferry in the middle).

The reason there are so many petrol versions of e.g. the RR, is that historically petrol has been so much cheaper here than anywhere else but Luxembourg, and salaries high enough that a thirsty car made no odds. However, it's no longer the case, and there are more and more diesel cars around, especially as performance and the sound have improved.

If you are looking to be travelling across France regularly, you'd be daft IMV to go for anything other than a diesel and buy all the fuel you can in France - you'll save getting on for 30 rp per litre.
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:12
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

I wouldn't say there's fewer diesels, but there is a difference in price of between 8 and 11 centimes a litre so it's something to think about.

It really depends on how much mileage you think you'll be doing each year. We had a petrol Qashqai before, but bought a diesel version last year because with the mileage the OH does day to day for work it made better sense (we've had the car a year and done over 43,000). Better miles per gallon, fewer services (every 30,000k as opposed to only every 15,000 for petrol) plus it's exempted from the CO2 tax or whatever it is for the first 4 years due to its rating which also saves around CHF400-450. We travel to the UK twice a year and fill up in France because the price difference is reversed there with diesel being much cheaper than either Switzerland or the UK.

You should be able to get a 4 year lease option, it's quite normal here. It's also worth checking whether your employer has a "deal" with any car dealers/tyre suppliers, etc, in the area. It's not as common as it used to be, but sometimes they will give good discounts to certain companies' employees when buying cars, tyres, etc. So it's worth asking your employer if they have any arrangements.
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:14
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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If you are looking to be travelling across France regularly, you'd be daft IMV to go for anything other than a diesel and buy all the fuel you can in France - you'll save getting on for 30 rp per litre.
With regards to this - currently diesel is around 1.30eur per litre in France - and 1.46eur per litre in France at motorway service stations.

Plan your driving accordingly!
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:15
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

I'm wary of a 4 year lease as I'm not sure how long we will stay in CH, is it easy to return a car early or are there massive penalties for doing that? The car won't be used for work at all (all my travel is by train or plane) but I guess a few trips a year to France and the UK will easily account for 10k before the normal use is added in.
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:18
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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With regards to this - currently diesel is around 1.30eur per litre in France - and 1.46eur per litre in France at motorway service stations.

Plan your driving accordingly!
Indeed, I always try and fill up at the supermarket over there, it was 1.27 at our local E Leclerc when I was there a few weeks ago. My wife wants an Evoque, so the most likely option is the TD4 Pure with a couple of extras as I don't think petrol makes sense in that car, but the cheap option is a top spec Duster for less than half the price of the RR, and the petrol is 3k CHF less than diesel.
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:29
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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Indeed, I always try and fill up at the supermarket over there, it was 1.27 at our local E Leclerc when I was there a few weeks ago. My wife wants an Evoque, so the most likely option is the TD4 Pure with a couple of extras as I don't think petrol makes sense in that car, but the cheap option is a top spec Duster for less than half the price of the RR, and the petrol is 3k CHF less than diesel.
I know one forum member with a petrol Evoque - who has been less than impressed with the performance.

A couple of years back I drove from Brno to Swiss border in convoy with a Honda CRV and a Dacia Duster (diesel) - the driving style was "rapid" and included me nudging up to 270kmh before cruising to the let the others catch up. We averaged 170kmh while driving. The Duster used more fuel than mine at those speeds!!!

The Duster is a bargain small SUV - but I would not want to be crossing France in one on a "regular" basis.

If you terminate a lease early you will be hit with a loss - whether up front with a larger deposit or at the end. Unless you absolutely need an SUV then I would consider a 4wd estate instead. There are plenty of suitable A6/V70/E-Class/5-series to cater for all budgets.

If SUVs are your thing - the Touareg is the most common (large) one. The Tiguan sells very well. Discoverys tend to move quite quickly in the used market. BMWs X range sells well

In terms of leasing - budget on 5-6% in the used market. Some companies offer better rates on new (or very nearly new) cars. Also make sure that whatever you buy includes winter tyres - or put aside the money to buy them yourself.
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:40
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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I know one forum member with a petrol Evoque - who has been less than impressed with the performance.

A couple of years back I drove from Brno to Swiss border in convoy with a Honda CRV and a Dacia Duster (diesel) - the driving style was "rapid" and included me nudging up to 270kmh before cruising to the let the others catch up. We averaged 170kmh while driving. The Duster used more fuel than mine at those speeds!!!

The Duster is a bargain small SUV - but I would not want to be crossing France in one on a "regular" basis.

If you terminate a lease early you will be hit with a loss - whether up front with a larger deposit or at the end. Unless you absolutely need an SUV then I would consider a 4wd estate instead. There are plenty of suitable A6/V70/E-Class/5-series to cater for all budgets.

If SUVs are your thing - the Touareg is the most common (large) one. The Tiguan sells very well. Discoverys tend to move quite quickly in the used market. BMWs X range sells well

In terms of leasing - budget on 5-6% in the used market. Some companies offer better rates on new (or very nearly new) cars. Also make sure that whatever you buy includes winter tyres - or put aside the money to buy them yourself.
I've heard similar about the petrol Evoque, and I'm not a fan of the new trend for 4 pot turbo petrol engines in cars which would previously have had a 6. My wife likes SUVs and taller cars as she's technically a dwarf (well not quite, but nearly...) hence the preference for that type of thing, but personally I'd rather have a normal estate with the largest engine possible (C63 AMG.....)

We have an X1 in the UK and that's also an option in CH, but I've never bought the same car twice and would rather have a change! As someone who has worked in the auto industry almost all my career the Duster interests me because it's actually a good car and incredibly cheap, plus the new version can have nav and cruise added which makes it even more attractive - under 20k CHF brand new with all the extras we want. Given the price of used cars out there that's hard to ignore. I know it's not quite as refined as my BMW, but it's better than our previous model Grand Scenic and that's not an unpleasant place to spend a long journey.

I wonder if the new Caterham 7 165 will be available in CH? That would make an ideal 2nd car for me....
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:48
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

Have a play with extended search tool at autoscout24.ch!
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Old 27.11.2013, 13:58
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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Have a play with extended search tool at autoscout24.ch!
I have done already, hence the V8 engined Cayenne appearing on the list....

Do tax and insurance costs rocket if you want to drive something interesting over there? Here I'm forced into a diesel by company car tax rules, and the fact I do 60k km a year so something with a big engine would cost me thousands of GBP more a year.
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Old 27.11.2013, 14:00
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

It's quite simple: a gentleman does not drive a diesel.

For instance, could you imagine James Bond, Christopher Lee's Dracula or Raffles "The Gentleman Thief" driving a diesel? Of course not, the very idea is absurd.
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Old 27.11.2013, 14:01
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

No insurance is way cheaper here , I have a Porsche 911 & BMW 330ix insured for 950 full bonus & 3rd party cover.
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Old 27.11.2013, 14:07
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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No insurance is way cheaper here , I have a Porsche 911 & BMW 330ix insured for 950 full bonus & 3rd party cover.
Wha! Both of our cars are costing _way_ more than that.
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Old 27.11.2013, 14:14
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

Id say consider any TDI with an engine no greater than 2.0L.

You'll have the benefit of lower taxes on the smaller engine and the relatively high fuel economy associated with the 1.98l class engine (avg 5.25 l/100km). Most 2.0 petrol SUV's will get avg 9 l/100km.

Assuming that a distance of 10,000 km, the TDI would consume about 525 liters and the petrol would consume about 900. Petrol at 1.85 would total 1,665 francs and the diesel at 1.95 would cost 1,023 francs. The TDI is the more cost effective option by quite a margin.
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Old 27.11.2013, 14:19
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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Wha! Both of our cars are costing _way_ more than that.
He is talking 3rd party only.

IIRC my 3rd party is around 650chf + 1000chf for fully comp.

Road tax changes next year - and is a combination of weight and engine size - SUVs will be hit hard - especially if you opt for a V8 powered one.

For example a Discovery 2.7 diesel will go from 525chf per year to around 1000chf for 2014.
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Old 27.11.2013, 14:21
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

Lotus Elise with a baby seat ratchet strapped to the engine cover it is then!
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Old 27.11.2013, 14:27
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

Consider a TDI Octavia 4x4 Scout.

We have the non-scout version, but the same would hold true:
Costs very little to operate
Climbs icy roads with ease
Nearly impossible to roll (a forced event of which we survived unscathed)
Comfortable for long distances
Repairable anywhere (VAG A5 group)
Carries and incredible amount of stuff when needed.
Fun to drive
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Old 27.11.2013, 22:13
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

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No insurance is way cheaper here , I have a Porsche 911 & BMW 330ix insured for 950 full bonus & 3rd party cover.
Each, right? And no kasko...
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Old 27.11.2013, 22:21
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Re: Petrol vs Diesel car, and other simple questions about cars in CH

Even with the slightly higher diesel price compared to benzin you will still be well ahead due to the economy that diesel will give you. If you are doing around 20k a year then diesel will win out overall easily. The extra bit you pay per tank on diesel will likely give you 300-400kms more on a autobahn run when compared to benzin
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