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Old 20.07.2016, 11:28
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Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry if this topic has been addressed before, I have done a search and I could find this specific topic.

I'm moving to Switzerland in about a month, from the Netherlands. I've heared that in my specific kanton, I'm allowed to drive around on Dutch license plates for up to a year still. The Dutch goverment also allows me to own a car on Dutch plates while living abroad. I'd like to do this for up to that year, because my car is a little old, and I heared the Swiss inspections are quite strict. Don't worry, it's just passed it's Dutch inspection (APK) with flying colours, so it's totally safe and in healthy condition, but I'd like to restore the car before I put it up for Swiss inspection and Swiss plates.

But here is where I run into an issue. No Dutch insurers will insure the car if I move to a foreign country, and no Swiss insurers will insure the car if it's not on Swiss plates. Or so I've heared.

So basically, the way that the goverments allow me to use the license plates and registration, isn't covered by the insurance companies.

I've figured out a few (bad) options in the mean time...

1. Don't move to Switzerland just yet. However, due to tax reasons, it would be economically unwise to do so. Plus, I don't know if it's easy to be allowed to work in CH but not live in CH. Too much of a hassle for me.
2. Sell the car. However, I need a car and I'm not going to be able to sell the car quickly enough at a decent price. It's worth nearly nothing and I don't have the money right now to purchase a different car in CH. And I'm quite attached to the car as well.
3. "Sell" the car to one of my parents who live in NL, so that it's their son driving it around outside of NL. The insurance doesn't cover work-related stays outside NL, by the way, just for leisure and holidays.
4. Take the car to Switzerland, but not drive it. This is kinda useless for me, I need to drive around in my car still for at least a couple of months.

Do you have any ideas how to handle this? I'd like to drive around on my Dutch plates for at least a month or three after I've officially moved to Switzerland...

Thank you for all your advice!

Best regards,

Jochem
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Old 20.07.2016, 11:48
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

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Hi everyone!

I'm sorry if this topic has been addressed before, I have done a search and I could find this specific topic.

I'm moving to Switzerland in about a month, from the Netherlands. I've heared that in my specific kanton, I'm allowed to drive around on Dutch license plates for up to a year still. The Dutch goverment also allows me to own a car on Dutch plates while living abroad. I'd like to do this for up to that year, because my car is a little old, and I heared the Swiss inspections are quite strict. Don't worry, it's just passed it's Dutch inspection (APK) with flying colours, so it's totally safe and in healthy condition, but I'd like to restore the car before I put it up for Swiss inspection and Swiss plates.

But here is where I run into an issue. No Dutch insurers will insure the car if I move to a foreign country, and no Swiss insurers will insure the car if it's not on Swiss plates. Or so I've heared.

So basically, the way that the goverments allow me to use the license plates and registration, isn't covered by the insurance companies.

I've figured out a few (bad) options in the mean time...

1. Don't move to Switzerland just yet. However, due to tax reasons, it would be economically unwise to do so. Plus, I don't know if it's easy to be allowed to work in CH but not live in CH. Too much of a hassle for me.
2. Sell the car. However, I need a car and I'm not going to be able to sell the car quickly enough at a decent price. It's worth nearly nothing and I don't have the money right now to purchase a different car in CH. And I'm quite attached to the car as well.
3. "Sell" the car to one of my parents who live in NL, so that it's their son driving it around outside of NL. The insurance doesn't cover work-related stays outside NL, by the way, just for leisure and holidays.
4. Take the car to Switzerland, but not drive it. This is kinda useless for me, I need to drive around in my car still for at least a couple of months.

Do you have any ideas how to handle this? I'd like to drive around on my Dutch plates for at least a month or three after I've officially moved to Switzerland...

Thank you for all your advice!

Best regards,

Jochem
Unless the car needs significant work, your least expensive option will probably be to register and insure the car here. I suspect that the Dutch MFK is reasonably thorough. Not sure what you mean exactly by "restore" - is this an antique vehicle?
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Old 20.07.2016, 11:52
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

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Unless the car needs significant work, your least expensive option will probably be to register and insure the car here. I suspect that the Dutch MFK is reasonably thorough. Not sure what you mean exactly by "restore" - is this an antique vehicle?
What he said. It is the simplest and most logical solution.
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Old 20.07.2016, 11:58
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

There is a lot of misinformation about the Swiss inspection (MFK).

It's pretty much the same inspection that every EU country makes, they just want the car to be reasonably clean so that they can inspect it.

If it passed in the NL, it shouldn't be too much trouble (if any) to pass here.
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Old 20.07.2016, 12:04
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

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It's pretty much the same inspection that every EU country makes, they just want the car to be reasonably clean so that they can inspect it.
The rule of thumb "If the inspector gets his hands dirty the car fails" - its not entirely true - but worth remembering.

When I bought one car the garage ran out of time to do the MFK and asked me to do it - and they'd pay any bills. When the car was inspected they said the front tyres looked a little worn on the outside shoulder - I explained that the car did exhibit some understeer if attempting to carry too much speed at the apex - and that I needed to get the rear working more. He smiled, said he just wanted to highlight it but he won't flag it on the sheet.
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Old 20.07.2016, 12:09
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

Thank you all for your quick replies!

The car is reasonably old, 23 years at this moment. The bodywork has a little rust issue at 1 location, but it's not the chassis that's affected, so dutch APK/MOT/MFK said it's ok. Other than that, the car has an oil leak because most likely a crankshaft seal is old and has dried up. So it's a little filthy on the underside of the block.

But yeah, I want to remove the engine and redo all of the seals, so that it's as new again, which I don't have the time for before I move to CH. And the same goes for the bodywork, I want to replace the rusty parts of sheet metal with fresh bodywork, but that too will take time...

So yeah, that's why I'm a little hesitant to get it registered on Swiss plates.. But I do have the COC incoming soon from the Dutch Mazda importer, and I'm doing a rundown of all the documents I'll need besides that, to import it.

For anyone who's interested, it's a 1993 Mazda MX-5. Lovely machine!
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Old 20.07.2016, 12:20
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

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The bodywork has a little rust issue at 1 location, but it's not the chassis that's affected, so dutch APK/MOT/MFK said it's ok. Other than that, the car has an oil leak because most likely a crankshaft seal is old and has dried up. So it's a little filthy on the underside of the block.

For anyone who's interested, it's a 1993 Mazda MX-5. Lovely machine!
The rust will depend how lucky you get with the inspector - some shrug and chalk it up to age - some have never seen a car with rust. You'll never know who you'll get!!

Oil leaks are the biggest risk - get the car perfectly cleaned underneath ahead of the test - and mask the leak as best as you can - and you might get lucky. Jag is the man to speak to on that front!
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Old 20.07.2016, 12:29
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

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The rust will depend how lucky you get with the inspector - some shrug and chalk it up to age - some have never seen a car with rust. You'll never know who you'll get!!

Oil leaks are the biggest risk - get the car perfectly cleaned underneath ahead of the test - and mask the leak as best as you can - and you might get lucky. Jag is the man to speak to on that front!
If you get the engine surgically clean, and it doesn't actually drip while being inspected you will get through.

As to the rust, bubbles are usually no problem, anything structural, or with a sharp edge will usually get you into trouble.
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Old 20.07.2016, 12:43
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

I was in the same situation last year with a newer (8 year old) car, with freshly passed APK from NL. In MFK, we were told to to replace all 4 break discs and pads for the car to pass because they looked rusty, even though it passed the function test. (To have this done in CH cost us almost 1/4th the price of the car!). So the result really seems to depend on the inspector that is doing the MFK. So if you want to be safe my advise would be to go for option 2, to sell the car in NL. Public transportation is excellent in Switzerland unless you live in the middle of nowhere, and for moving furniture etc. options like Mobility car sharing are available.
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Old 20.07.2016, 13:18
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

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I was in the same situation last year with a newer (8 year old) car, with freshly passed APK from NL. In MFK, we were told to to replace all 4 break discs and pads for the car to pass because they looked rusty, even though it passed the function test. (To have this done in CH cost us almost 1/4th the price of the car!). So the result really seems to depend on the inspector that is doing the MFK. So if you want to be safe my advise would be to go for option 2, to sell the car in NL. Public transportation is excellent in Switzerland unless you live in the middle of nowhere, and for moving furniture etc. options like Mobility car sharing are available.
The "These brakes all need replacing even though the measured braking force is within spec" thing seems to be a "thing" when the owner takes the car in themself and the vehicle seems not to have been serviced regularly. If a Mech. takes it in and can prove that the discs are within spec then the tech may demand new pads to save face. It isn't the rule, but I've heard of this a few times.

Last edited by JagWaugh; 27.07.2016 at 13:28. Reason: wierd autocorrect, "face", not "space"
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Old 27.07.2016, 13:26
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

Thank you all very much for your replies!

I've been trying to get a temporary insurance for driving around in Switzerland on Dutch plates, but this is only permitted provided that I don't de-register myself as a Dutch inhabitant. And I will officially move to CH, so that's not gonna work.

The minimum I can do if I want to keep the car, and restore it before it goes up for Swiss plates and Swiss MFK is get an export insurance for 15 days, and when I get to CH, park the car on a private parking lot until I'm ready to restore it, and get it registered after restoration.

It's also a financial issue, I'd love to keep driving this type of car, but a similar car costs around 8000 CHF currently, whereas I could do the repairs for about 2000 CHF...

A final question... I contacted the Dutch Mazda importer to ask for the COC (certificate of conformity) which is required by the Strassenverkehrsambt, or so I've heared. Turns out, because my car was built before 1996 (in 1993), there were no COCs in existence. The only thing the importer can send me, is a technical data sheet of the car. Will that be sufficient for the Strassenverkehrsambt?
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Old 27.07.2016, 17:14
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

I'm pretty sure that when I moved here from Germany, I de-registered in Germany, but drove my car on German plates (and insurance) for a couple of months till all the paperwork here in Switzerland was sorted out. When I got my Swiss plates, I just took the German ones to the German consulate in Geneva and they dealt with the paperwork.
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Old 27.07.2016, 17:58
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

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Thank you all very much for your replies!

I've been trying to get a temporary insurance for driving around in Switzerland on Dutch plates, but this is only permitted provided that I don't de-register myself as a Dutch inhabitant. And I will officially move to CH, so that's not gonna work.

The minimum I can do if I want to keep the car, and restore it before it goes up for Swiss plates and Swiss MFK is get an export insurance for 15 days, and when I get to CH, park the car on a private parking lot until I'm ready to restore it, and get it registered after restoration.

It's also a financial issue, I'd love to keep driving this type of car, but a similar car costs around 8000 CHF currently, whereas I could do the repairs for about 2000 CHF...

A final question... I contacted the Dutch Mazda importer to ask for the COC (certificate of conformity) which is required by the Strassenverkehrsambt, or so I've heared. Turns out, because my car was built before 1996 (in 1993), there were no COCs in existence. The only thing the importer can send me, is a technical data sheet of the car. Will that be sufficient for the Strassenverkehrsambt?
Be aware that just parking the damned thing, without being able to work on it will cost you 100-130/month if you are anywhere near Zurich. A space where you can work will cost even more and they are bugger me difficult to find. If you just park it, and it has no reg or plates, how do you intend to get it to where you intend to work on it? Garage owners are not in the habit of lending out their garage plates (amongst other things because it is illegal), so even if you find a nice dorfgarage who would let you use his lift (good luck with that), he would still have to come with his plates and transport your car, which he will (rightfully) bill you for. Short answer, bringing it but not registering it will cost you something in the order of 2000CHF for a year (parking +4x picking it up) this presuming you find a nice dorfgaragist who likes Dutchmen and Mazdas, but you still haven't turned a wrench or purchased a part! From a financial standpoint, your best bet is to bring a car that will pass the MFK with you.

As to the COC, they weren't around in '93, even the Swiss won't ask you for a laser printed copy of the original dead sea scrolls. My experience is only with classics, but there as long as you can prove that that model, with that engine etc etc was legal here in Switzerland back in the day (they can check this internally) then you're in. In one case about 10 years ago I was involved with importing an MGB V8 - this car was not certified back in the day, but they did discover that someone had registered one in Basel, from that point on all we had to do was prove that it was a factory original V8 (fortunately we had a heritage certificate which showed the chassis number and proved that the car was built as a V8, the inspector compared the numbers, job done.

Take a weeks unpaid vacation before you leave Holland and get the car right, then bring it with you.
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Old 11.08.2016, 11:33
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Re: Temporary insurance for foreign car after moving to CH

Hello everyone,

Thank you all so much for your replies, tips and comments. I'm regretting to tell you that I have sold the car anyway. I simply can't invest the time in fixing it up, as I'm finishing up my masters at the moment.. Also, I don't want to have to spend my spare time on doing so because I want to be able to focus fully on my new job, and rest when I'm not at work..

I'll get a car in Switzerland in a while... Or I might import a better example.

Anyway, I have lots of questions regarding tuning cars in CH, but I'll create a different topic for that, if the questions are yet to be answered in this forum.

Best regards,

Jochem
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