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Old 14.01.2018, 00:15
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Exporting Swiss car back to UK

Hi, we've been offered a used car by a family friend. It's not worth a lot but isn't required any longer.


It's located in Switzerland and we'd like to buy it and to bring it back to the UK but I feel that the whole process will come under the heading of too complicated. I'm happy with the issues around import tax etc. but specifically I'm not sure how to get export plates for it? Plus I only have a UK licence so not sure about the legality of driving a vehicle on export plates and getting insurance for it.


There are a few threads from people who have exported their cars but has anybody bought one (as a non Swiss resident) and driven it to the UK?


I know the answer would be to trailer it but the we'd need to get a tow bar fitted and hire a trailer....the cost of which would be greater than the value of the car!


Sounds too complicated!
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Old 14.01.2018, 00:25
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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Hi, we've been offered a used car by a family friend. It's not worth a lot but isn't required any longer.


It's located in Switzerland and we'd like to buy it and to bring it back to the UK but I feel that the whole process will come under the heading of too complicated. I'm happy with the issues around import tax etc. but specifically I'm not sure how to get export plates for it? Plus I only have a UK licence so not sure about the legality of driving a vehicle on export plates and getting insurance for it.


There are a few threads from people who have exported their cars but has anybody bought one (as a non Swiss resident) and driven it to the UK?


I know the answer would be to trailer it but the we'd need to get a tow bar fitted and hire a trailer....the cost of which would be greater than the value of the car!


Sounds too complicated!
Export plates include 3rd party insurance, so legally it's not a problem. Trailering a car over boarders is more complicated legally speaking.
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:48
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

with export plates it would not be so complicated. putting it on a trailer would
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Old 14.01.2018, 22:09
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

Not every canton will issue export plates. Check with your canton first!
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Old 15.01.2018, 23:22
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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Not every canton will issue export plates. Check with your canton first!
I don't think he has a canton... OP mentions being a non Swiss resident... which I take to mean being not located in Switzerland.

Regards


Ian
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Old 15.01.2018, 23:26
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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I don't think he has a canton... OP mentions being a non Swiss resident... which I take to mean being not located in Switzerland.

Regards


Ian
Check where the car is, in which canton, and then check if that canton will issue export plates. Ok?
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Old 16.01.2018, 22:44
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

It's in ZH and they do issue export plates so it seems. Might be slightly easier than I thought...just need to get it de-registered, put plates on and present it to customs on the way out of the country.


We'd prefer to actually leave it in country and use it when we're there but being non resident presents its problems with that too!
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Old 16.01.2018, 22:53
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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It's in ZH and they do issue export plates so it seems. Might be slightly easier than I thought...just need to get it de-registered, put plates on and present it to customs on the way out of the country.


We'd prefer to actually leave it in country and use it when we're there but being non resident presents its problems with that too!
By getting export plates everything is done. You dont have to present to customs. Car is on export plates. When you get the export plates ask how long you can drive the car in Switzerland. (Im guessing until the end of the month - but ask)

After 15th of every month, export plates are half the price till the end of the month.
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Old 17.01.2018, 08:40
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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Check where the car is, in which canton, and then check if that canton will issue export plates. Ok?
Does not matter where the car is, just find a canton that does issue export plates.
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Old 17.01.2018, 10:51
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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Plus I only have a UK licence so not sure about the legality of driving a vehicle on export plates and getting insurance for it.
As long as the license is valid you can drive any car which has proper customs status, has 3rd party insurance, roadworthy, and has a license plate.

As export plates come with 3rd party insurance and you guarantee that it is road worthy this two bases are covered. If the cars first registration is more than 6 years ago AND last MFK inspection is more than 1 year ago you may a roadworthiness guarantee from a Swiss garage (It might be cheaper, faster and simpler to get a fresh MFK).

Customs status inside Switzerland should also be no issue (if the car was registered in Switzerland). For proper customs status in the EU you must get the right paper work at the border.

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with export plates it would not be so complicated. putting it on a trailer would
Why? The process should be the same or is there a major difference?

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We'd prefer to actually leave it in country and use it when we're there but being non resident presents its problems with that too!
If you have a permanent address in Switzerland, such as a holiday home, it is possible to keep it here on Swiss plates. Be aware that if you have your permanent home in an EU country you might not drive such a car into the EU.

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By getting export plates everything is done. You dont have to present to customs. Car is on export plates.
You will have not present anything at export time to Swiss customs but you will have to present some papers and get the right papers at import time into the EU, at German/French etc. custom point.

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When you get the export plates ask how long you can drive the car in Switzerland. (Im guessing until the end of the month - but ask)
You can drive inside and outside of Switzerland for the very same time (unless its weight is more than 3.5 tons). Usually to the end of the month. If the end of the month is 4 or less day away it will be the end of the next month. You can get export plates only once per vehicle!

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After 15th of every month, export plates are half the price till the end of the month.
Normally only the insurance part of the export plate is halved. And it might depend on the canton where you get the plates.

For example in AG it is CHF ~350 vs CHF ~250. https://www.ag.ch/de/dvi/strassenver...ugen/neu_1.jsp
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Old 17.01.2018, 11:32
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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Does not matter where the car is, just find a canton that does issue export plates.
True. I stand corrected by both, fatmanfilms and my family. Zug did not ussue me export plates for a car in canton Valais because car needed MKF.
That complicated the mater and we put the car on a car carrier lorry.
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Old 17.01.2018, 12:21
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

Just to add a little bit of personal experience -- I dreaded getting export plates for a car I bought in Switzerland and exported to France. I'd taken an entire day off work to take care of all of the administration that I feared lay ahead of me.

In fact, I was in-and-out of the Luzern motor vehicle department in about 10 minutes, new plates in hand and fully insured. It was incredibly straight-forward.

You do need to export the car from Switzerland -- I exported at the main Saint Louis motorway station. You must pre-fill the required forms on the web, but there are plenty of English-speakers available at the Customs office who can talk you through how to fill out the forms (they're not straight-forward) and there are terminals available in the office for you to fill out the forms if you haven't done it beforehand. The export process took about 30 minutes.
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Old 17.02.2019, 18:46
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

Hmm
Im looking to take my Swiss car back to the uk with me in the summer.
Everyone Ive spoken to said drive it to the uk, and then register it as imported there. You can then complete the export process at the same time.
Ive never heard of export plates. Import plates I have seen.
The uk only gives you 14 days to get the car imported and DVLA checked, which for my car means new headlamps and a new speedo overlay. I was planning to get this done whilst the car was on Swiss plates, but in the uk, as with Subaru, parts are a challenge, and can take time to get.
Im in canton Vaud, so can anyone offer a bit of advice on the totally correct process.
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Old 17.02.2019, 18:57
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

Sell it and buy one with steering wheel on the right side, far easier for you and by importing you are only kicking the can down the road when you come to sell it.



A left hand drive will be worth far less in UK then here
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Old 17.02.2019, 19:13
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

Yes were aware of the LHD issue, however, the used car market in Switzerland is so poor that wed only get around CHF 10-12K for it, and this wont buy us much when go to the UK, as the used market is so much stronger.
Were aware wed probably keep it until it died, which will be some time.
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Old 17.02.2019, 19:20
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

And screw around in every car park when you are alone.....it just isn't worth the hastle in my opinion


Plus your insurance will be more expensive
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Old 17.02.2019, 19:43
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

I use the car regularly in the UK and actually have very few issues. Thats why were interested in taking it back.
Id still like to know any experience people have had of actually going through this process would be gratefully received.
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Old 17.02.2019, 20:51
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

What car is it ?
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Old 17.02.2019, 21:19
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Re: Exporting Swiss car back to UK

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Sell it and buy one with steering wheel on the right side, far easier for you and by importing you are only kicking the can down the road when you come to sell it.



A left hand drive will be worth far less in UK then here
Currently LHD cars often sell at a premium in the UK, French Reg old crap at upto 2-3 times the UK RHD price.
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