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Old 01.11.2017, 04:39
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Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

My non-techie boss fired me today after a year of pulling rabbits out of hats for not turning other peoples' crappy/dangerous microcontroller hardware+firmware into "industrial strength" transportation infrastructure IoT products fast enough to please him. He's making a mistake, will figure that out rather quickly, and beg me to return.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking of taking a 90-day vacation. I've lived in Europe before and been to CH numerous times, but never owned a vehicle there.

I found this 2-day-old post of a 64,000km car with fresh MFK an hour drive from Zurich Airport:

http://www.tutti.ch/thurgau/fahrzeug...m_17988001.htm

Stop laughing! I've been driving/maintaining these (Ford sold them here 1987-1993 as "Festivas") in Alaska, Seattle, and D.C. for 17 years and know them inside-out. I have about a dozen of them in three locations right now with from 120,000 to 180,000 miles on each. Parts are readily available from "McParts" stores.

I'm looking for a way to do the legwork prior to my arrival so I and my 15-year-old sophisticated Russian Blue feline "Comrade" (an experienced traveler already with EU microchip and fresh vaccinations) are "mobile" on arrival. My grade-school French is fair-to-poor and my self-learned-from-grammar-books German has been forgotten.

Is there any realistic reason I should shy away from this? I'd be willing to buy it sight unseen with fresh MFK. Is there a neutral third party (like escrow agent) that I could work with -- for a fee, of course -- to conclude the deal remotely and perhaps even set up insurance/title/registration, and even park it somewhere safe until I arrive in perhaps a few weeks?
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Old 01.11.2017, 08:40
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

your main problem could be to register and insure it without being a resident. not sure how that works and if possible at all.
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Old 01.11.2017, 08:47
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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your main problem could be to register and insure it without being a resident. not sure how that works and if possible at all.
As I read this you can't plate it without at least a residence permit.
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Old 01.11.2017, 09:20
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

That seems odd ...

I remember many years ago my parents flew to Sweden, bought a brand new Volvo, drove it all over Europe for the summer, and had it shipped back to the U.S. Obviously, they didn't have a local address and didn't work while there.

So CH wouldn't want all that tax money on all the hotel and other bills I would run up while playing tourist? I would of course not be working.

The car is a good deal. Americans would pay at least twice the seller's asking price for such a low-mileage near-perfect car. Could I buy it and stash it in a self-storage facility while sorting out registration & insurance?
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Old 01.11.2017, 09:31
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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That seems odd ...

I remember many years ago my parents flew to Sweden, bought a brand new Volvo, drove it all over Europe for the summer, and had it shipped back to the U.S. Obviously, they didn't have a local address and didn't work while there.

So CH wouldn't want all that tax money on all the hotel and other bills I would run up while playing tourist? I would of course not be working.

The car is a good deal. Americans would pay at least twice the seller's asking price for such a low-mileage near-perfect car. Could I buy it and stash it in a self-storage facility while sorting out registration & insurance?
Ummm, you do realise Sweden isn't Switzerland, right?

"All that tax money"... you're considering buying a car for 1600 Chuffs... rather than rent a car. I may be mistaken, but something makes me think that you're not likely to be dropping all that much money while you're here.

Internet car ads always look like a good deal.

Even presuming that you can find a self storage facility who will deal with you despite your having no fixed address here in CH, wouldn't it be smarter to determine if it's possible to sort out the details about registration and insurance _first_?
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Old 01.11.2017, 09:33
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

What if I register my one-man U.S. full "C" corporation under which I often provide services "corp-to-corp" as a "branch office" in Switzerland, then have the corporation purchase the car?

I did that in the UK in years gone by, staying in long-stay B&Bs, but never purchased a vehicle (but did register my corporate-owned DiBlasi folding-suitcase moped to get around the Coventry area). Obviously, I didn't take my suitcase out onto the M45!
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Old 01.11.2017, 09:37
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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What if I register my one-man U.S. full "C" corporation under which I often provide services "corp-to-corp" as a "branch office" in Switzerland, then have the corporation purchase the car?

I did that in the UK in years gone by, staying in long-stay B&Bs, but never purchased a vehicle (but did register my corporate-owned DiBlasi folding-suitcase moped to get around the Coventry area). Obviously, I didn't take my suitcase out onto the M45!
What corporation? As a US american in Switzerland? You´d need that permit again and hire someone in Switzerland to be part of that corporation
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Old 01.11.2017, 09:37
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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What if I register my one-man U.S. full "C" corporation under which I often provide services "corp-to-corp" as a "branch office" in Switzerland, then have the corporation purchase the car?
that would make sense if it was about a Bugatti. in your situation, I'd just rent a car.
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Old 01.11.2017, 09:48
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Ummm, you do realise Sweden isn't Switzerland, right?

"All that tax money"... you're considering buying a car for 1600 Chuffs... rather than rent a car. I may be mistaken, but something makes me think that you're not likely to be dropping all that much money while you're here.

Internet car ads always look like a good deal.

Even presuming that you can find a self storage facility who will deal with you despite your having no fixed address here in CH, wouldn't it be smarter to determine if it's possible to sort out the details about registration and insurance _first_?
Well, I wouldn't be spending too many nights in Hiltons, if that's what you mean.

I've been watching comparis.ch and other sites for a while now. The supply of Kia Prides is rapidly dwindling (there haven't been any on comparis for many months now), so I'd like to grab one while I still can. I'm willing to risk having to sell it without having driven it or, worst case, just walk away from CHF 1600.

I've bought most of my Festivas (what they call Kia Prides here) off Craigslist, typically for $1000 or so, driven them home, and never had a problem. They don't put salt on the roads in Anchorage or Seattle, so we don't have to deal with corrosion. Obviously, being able to replace consumables (e.g. brake pads and the like in 15 minutes) myself makes the economics work. I fully understand that only manufacturer-approved parts are allowed in CH and that I can't do work just anywhere.
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:03
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

Several European car manufacturers ran schemes that US citizens could pick up their new cars in Europe, tour around and then export them.
In those cases the manufacturers themselves handled the registration and insurance.
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:12
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Several European car manufacturers ran schemes that US citizens could pick up their new cars in Europe, tour around and then export them.
In those cases the manufacturers themselves handled the registration and insurance.
So that's probably what my parents did -- it was a long time ago.

What about this from the link above:

"Temporary importation of private vehicles
Tourists residing abroad may use their vehicle in Switzerland for a maximum period of one year without declaring their vehicle to Customs."

I see many more of this kind of car for sale in Germany for similar pricing in seemingly similar condition (though perhaps not if Germany's inspection is not as rigorous as MFK seems to be).
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:14
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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So that's probably what my parents did -- it was a long time ago.

What about this from the link above:

"Temporary importation of private vehicles
Tourists residing abroad may use their vehicle in Switzerland for a maximum period of one year without declaring their vehicle to Customs."

I see many more of this kind of car for sale in Germany for similar pricing in seemingly similar condition (though perhaps not if Germany's inspection is not as rigorous as MFK seems to be).
Again, how do you intend to get plates/insurance if you are not resident in Europe?
What Marton said is still done but then again that is fully different from buying a car from Ebay
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:18
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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What about this from the link above:

"Temporary importation of private vehicles
Tourists residing abroad may use their vehicle in Switzerland for a maximum period of one year without declaring their vehicle to Customs."

I see many more of this kind of car for sale in Germany for similar pricing in seemingly similar condition (though perhaps not if Germany's inspection is not as rigorous as MFK seems to be).
Temporary import only applies if the vehicle is already registered in another country. Same for buying a car in Germany: you would have to travel there and also register it there.
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:20
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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that would make sense if it was about a Bugatti. in your situation, I'd just rent a car.
That might be an issue maybe with his 15yr old feline comrade. Unless she's got the KGB training.

I'd rent. And leave the comrade at friend's house for a bit. Might not be so pleasant to be trucked around between continents, in her age, really.
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:24
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

As a resident here you can export a car, and by beginning after the 25th of the month you can drive around for 35 days before leaving. It costs about CHF 350,-- but the export plates are not issued to foreigners nor temporary residents.

I am sure now, the only way is to find a cheap car rental, but public transport is very good here! How do you keep a cat in a hotel?
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:31
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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As a resident here you can export a car, and by beginning after the 25th of the month you can drive around for 35 days before leaving. It costs about CHF 350,-- but the export plates are not issued to foreigners nor temporary residents.
Also people with their domicile aboard can get export plates. It is specifically for poeple buying a Swiss car and driving it back to their home country:

Only people with permit F, N and S can not get export plates as they are legally not allowed to leave the country.

https://stva.zh.ch/internet/sicherhe...EXPO201605.pdf
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:40
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Again, how do you intend to get plates/insurance if you are not resident in Europe?
What Marton said is still done but then again that is fully different from buying a car from Ebay
So are you saying that pretty much every European country prohibits tourists (or non-resident business persons) from purchasing vehicles? What if I wanted to store the vehicle (with my "stuff" inside) in or near CH for future visits?

That's what I do with the car I have in DC -- I keep it in a $100/month secure storage unit a 10-minute taxi ride from the terminal. I can fly coast-to-coast with just a carry-on for as long as necessary. No $100+/day costs for car rentals, no having to pay for daily excess insurance for someone else's $30,000 car (high-end credit card issuers will only cover a rental for 30 days), and all the other "fees" those guys love to tack on.

Yes, I realize that DC is not a country (nor is it a state!) and USA is not CH.
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:44
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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So are you saying that pretty much every European country prohibits tourists (or non-resident business persons) from purchasing vehicles? What if I wanted to store the vehicle (with my "stuff" inside) in or near CH for future visits?

That's what I do with the car I have in DC -- I keep it in a $100/month secure storage unit a 10-minute taxi ride from the terminal. I can fly coast-to-coast with just a carry-on for as long as necessary. No $100+/day costs for car rentals, no having to pay for daily excess insurance for someone else's $30,000 car (high-end credit card issuers will only cover a rental for 30 days), and all the other "fees" those guys love to tack on.

Yes, I realize that DC is not a country (nor is it a state!) and USA is not CH.
Correct, Switzerland is not the USA. And Europe and Switzerland have a lot of different rules and laws.
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:47
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

For OPs situation. Community knowledge is good, but honestly no one has really first hand experience in this regard.

First step: contact various cantonal "DMV" and ask them if you could register a car as a visa free max. 90 days stay tourist. Contact details can be found here: www.strassenverkehrsaemter.ch

Once you have the green light from that side it is time to find a Swiss insurance provider which would give you coverage without a permanent Swiss address.

The logistics of buying a car are very simple. But I do not think any seller is so keen to sell to someone aboard, which does not come and see the car, and wires money from aboard. You may be lucky. A standard procedure is: See car, hand over money, get keys and gray paper. A written sales contract is optional. From that point the car is legally yours. We do not have this "title" thing. A car is regarding sales and ownership like a bread, a pencil, or a chair.

Then ring your insurance agent, give details of gray card, walk to "DMV", get the plates, get new gray card, mount plates, drive, pay all the bills.

PS: An other option is to get a long term visa w/o the right to gainful employment. That for sure should allow you to register and insure a car.
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Old 01.11.2017, 10:48
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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So are you saying that pretty much every European country prohibits tourists (or non-resident business persons) from purchasing vehicles? What if I wanted to store the vehicle (with my "stuff" inside) in or near CH for future visits?

That's what I do with the car I have in DC -- I keep it in a $100/month secure storage unit a 10-minute taxi ride from the terminal. I can fly coast-to-coast with just a carry-on for as long as necessary. No $100+/day costs for car rentals, no having to pay for daily excess insurance for someone else's $30,000 car (high-end credit card issuers will only cover a rental for 30 days), and all the other "fees" those guys love to tack on.

Yes, I realize that DC is not a country (nor is it a state!) and USA is not CH.
Unlike the USA, UK and many other European countries, residents in Switzerland must register at their local city hall. This has a number of advantages, and once registered you are part of an exclusive club.

To buy a car you need to be a registered resident (unless you buy to export as mentioned above)...
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