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Old 02.03.2016, 13:21
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Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

Hi all

I've searched the forum for an answer to my conundrum, without success.

I got a lease car in the UK, on a personal lease, 6 months ago.
Yeah, at the time, I wasn't planning on moving to Switzerland, but hey, things change, and they sure did for us.

Anyhoo. Now, I've got this lease car, and it's got 18 months left on the lease.
The leasing company would charge me very close to the outstanding amount on the lease (I'd save about 600) to give it back this early.

I can't transfer the lease, they wouldn't allow it.
I don't know anyone who would take over the lease for me and do a cash in hand job.
So, not really an option here

Realistically, that leaves me with 2 options:

Option 1:
I could probably buy the car, but then:
- I'd probably pay through the nose
- I'd have owned the car for less than 6 months, and might have to pay import duty on it (not sure about that actually, the information I've found seem to not be consistent on owner vs keeper vs driver)

Option 2
Take the car to Switzerland.
The leasing company allows me to take it 90 days at a time, providing I spend 24h in the UK between each stint.
I'm not sure what the law is about converting to Swiss plates on a car you don't legally own, though.
Would I still have a year before I need to do that? Would I have no limit whatsoever?
Car won't make it to 2 years old, so MFK shouldn't be a concern.
Headlights conversion might be more of an issue, as it's not my car.
Oh, and of course, I might need winter tyres

My current insurer allows me 90 days out of the country at a time, too.
But even if the insurance was proving a problem, I could always switch to Stuart Collins (yes, the EF search DID yield SOME results )

very puzzling, all this malarkey!
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Old 02.03.2016, 13:57
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

Pay the 600 and hand the car back.

Anything else will just be too complicated and "grey" at best.
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Old 02.03.2016, 14:22
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

I believe at least until you need to register the car that the rules are the same as for a privately owned vehicle, discussions of which you'll find on EF, i.e. you have 12 months from the date of your personal entry that you can drive the car on UK plates.

I'm not saying it's the right thing to do but many people are over here with UK cars and most probably UK licences for way over the one year period. It's all fine until you get caught.
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:07
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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Pay the 600 and hand the car back.

Anything else will just be too complicated and "grey" at best.
Ah, but it's not 600. It's 600 LESS than if I had kept the car for the whole duration.

Basically, I'm paying 200/month.
18 months left = 3.600
Buy out clause= 3.000

I feel slightly aggravated at paying 3k for not using the bloody car. Hence my looking for a (legal) alternative.
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:10
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

Well, you entered into the contract and the contract states that you need to pay a certain amount for a certain period of time. So?


As DKen said, anything else is a "grey" option and may lead to legal issues
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:14
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

Double check your contract - depending on the type of credit agreement you can terminate (hand car back) when you have paid >50% of the total contract value.
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:16
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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Well, you entered into the contract and the contract states that you need to pay a certain amount for a certain period of time. So?


As DKen said, anything else is a "grey" option and may lead to legal issues
I don't deny the fact that I entered the contract, of my own free will, and that I knew how it worked.

However, it is, obviously, in my interest to make the best out of a crappy situation.
Hence me exploring the options I have.

I could potentially buy the car, and sell it immediately, and I would probably make less of a loss than paying the 3k they're asking me for breaking the contract.

I now have an answer on the lease car and the one year limit thing. It does apply to any car with UK plates. So I won't explore that option further (though I might keep the car for the first 3 months, which would help me decide whether or not I need it, then either give it back, pay my penalty and suck it up, or just buy it outright)

But maybe it would be more in my interest to buy the car and import it into Switzerland (it is likely that I will need that car there) hence my quest for clarification on the owner/keeper/driver question.

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Double check your contract - depending on the type of credit agreement you can terminate (hand car back) when you have paid >50% of the total contract value.
I'm on it, thanks Ken

Last edited by OlivierH; 02.03.2016 at 15:18. Reason: double post
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:21
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

Can you import a car that is not legally yours? I had some issues in the past with a financed car and moving countries.


Better check that with the Swiss custom authorities!


My experience was that the official owner needed to agree to the car being exported to a foreign country.
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:36
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

List it on a site specialized in transferring leases to others?

http://www.takemylease.co.uk/

http://www.swap-a-lease.co.uk/
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:48
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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Can you import a car that is not legally yours? I had some issues in the past with a financed car and moving countries.


Better check that with the Swiss custom authorities!


My experience was that the official owner needed to agree to the car being exported to a foreign country.
Thanks, that would rule out the option 2. If I need to import it, then I'm scuppered. Lease agreement is only for up to 90 days in a row, not permanent relocation

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List it on a site specialized in transferring leases to others?

http://www.takemylease.co.uk/

http://www.swap-a-lease.co.uk/
Unfortunately, I can't pass the lease on.
I'm stuck with it.

So, 2 options remain:

Buy the car, which would only be viable if the Swiss authorities recognise that I've "had" the car for more than 6 months and don't make me pay import duty on it.

Or just suck it up and give the car back and pay the 3 grand
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:48
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

What car is it? I spend over 200 a month on hire cars when I visit the UK so I was thinking of getting a car, or getting my brother a car that I can drive.
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Old 02.03.2016, 15:53
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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What car is it? I spend over 200 a month on hire cars when I visit the UK so I was thinking of getting a car, or getting my brother a car that I can drive.
Ford Fiesta 1.0 (125) titanium.
No tax, low insurance, high mpg.

Really happy with the car, and if we werent' moving, I'd happily keep it :/
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Old 02.03.2016, 16:01
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

It's a shame because it is a bit small for me and the family, but worth a thought.
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Old 02.03.2016, 16:11
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

The OP says he has permission to take the car to Switzerland. The Swiss would need him to declare (import) the car when he enters. I believe the allowance as a personal item is that you've had use of the car for more than 6 months. The website says to talk to your local canton about the possibility of (permanently) importing and registering a leased car. Otherwise he can buy it out when he's here, then register it in his own name (?)

If you're coming for a well paid job, then you might think to cut your losses.
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Old 02.03.2016, 16:23
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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The OP says he has permission to take the car to Switzerland. The Swiss would need him to declare (import) the car when he enters. I believe the allowance as a personal item is that you've had use of the car for more than 6 months. The website says to talk to your local canton about the possibility of (permanently) importing and registering a leased car. Otherwise he can buy it out when he's here, then register it in his own name (?)


He says: The leasing company allows me to take it 90 days at a time, providing I spend 24h in the UK between each stint.


To me that does not sound as an agreement to officially import the car.
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Old 02.03.2016, 16:28
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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Ah, but it's not 600. It's 600 LESS than if I had kept the car for the whole duration.

Basically, I'm paying 200/month.
18 months left = 3.600
Buy out clause= 3.000

I feel slightly aggravated at paying 3k for not using the bloody car. Hence my looking for a (legal) alternative.
Have you requested an official quote / summary from the leasing company on how much you will pay to return the car?

I paid half price for the 6 month early return on my Nissan. I was like you expecting to pay more but was surprised to find out that they charged me half monthly payments for the remaining of the contract.
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Old 02.03.2016, 16:35
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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The OP says he has permission to take the car to Switzerland. The Swiss would need him to declare (import) the car when he enters. I believe the allowance as a personal item is that you've had use of the car for more than 6 months. The website says to talk to your local canton about the possibility of (permanently) importing and registering a leased car. Otherwise he can buy it out when he's here, then register it in his own name (?)

If you're coming for a well paid job, then you might think to cut your losses.
In my opinion OP will need to buy the car in order to declare import or to do anything with it in Switzerland.
Car is not in his name. V5 belongs to the leasing company.
I'm in a same situation with less months remaining on the lease.
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Old 02.03.2016, 16:40
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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He says: The leasing company allows me to take it 90 days at a time, providing I spend 24h in the UK between each stint.


To me that does not sound as an agreement to officially import the car.
Yeah, I can't import the car officially.
It would enter the "grey area" Ken was mentioning earlier.
Which I'd be ready to do for 3 months, to evaluate my need for a second car there, but not more.

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Have you requested an official quote / summary from the leasing company on how much you will pay to return the car?

I paid half price for the 6 month early return on my Nissan. I was like you expecting to pay more but was surprised to find out that they charged me half monthly payments for the remaining of the contract.
I have, and that's what they've quoted me. And yes, it does sting.
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Old 02.03.2016, 16:53
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

I've received my VE103B certificate for my travels on the main land (received second time as valid for 1 year) and this is what I'm planing to do:
Travel with the car in Switzerland end of this month for the move. Have it CH for 90 days (just little less than 90 days when contract is due) and I drive to UK to return the car on the 2 years mark. Let insurer know I'm in CH for that time. (green card etc)

Driving back to UK is hassle but will give me the time to get my self sorted in Switzerland and not rush the buying of my next car which will be lease again.

I hope I'm not in the "grey" for this.
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Old 02.03.2016, 17:10
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Re: Taking a UK lease car to Switzerland

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I've received my VE103B certificate for my travels on the main land (received second time as valid for 1 year) and this is what I'm planing to do:
Travel with the car in Switzerland end of this month for the move. Have it CH for 90 days (just little less than 90 days when contract is due) and I drive to UK to return the car on the 2 years mark. Let insurer know I'm in CH for that time. (green card etc)

Driving back to UK is hassle but will give me the time to get my self sorted in Switzerland and not rush the buying of my next car which will be lease again.

I hope I'm not in the "grey" for this.
Thinking of doing something similar.
Take the car to CH for 90 days, figure out whether or not I need it.
If I don't drive it back, give it back, take the hit on the contract termination (but 1/ it should be less of a hit, as I will be further in the contract and 2/ at least I will have had 3 more months' use out of it)

If I decide to keep it, buy it, and be done with it.
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