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Old 06.01.2020, 16:29
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Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

Quick question!

Iím in a full time job, B-permit. I have a car on lease, 1.5yrs into my 4yr contract with a buy out clause at the end of the 4yrs. I will defo buy it at the end. Now, what are the complications in the following scenarios:

A) leave St Gallen and move to another canton? Just register in a new canton and get new plates? Obviously change insurance details etc....

B) leave Switzerland? Do I have a grace period with insurance and the plates? How quick do I need to be to pay off the car? Will the company (cashgate) even know I have left? I donít intend on being fraudulent and will pay the car, not give back early but the scenario of having to buy the car outright is scary so was hoping the lease wasnít tied directly to the visa. Bearing this in mind would Cashgate be informed my visa was cancelled if I left?

Thanks all
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Old 06.01.2020, 16:38
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

A: No problem just change plates and inform the parties involved.

B: Your contract will have a clause forbidding you to export the car and/or move your residence to outside Switzerland without contacting the lease company, read your contract since it will contain vital information about this.

Also you have signed to inform them of all changes relevant to the contract.
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Old 06.01.2020, 17:21
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

I had a ford on lease when i left Switzerland. I asked Ford if they wanted to buy it back and they said no. I said can I take it to Scotland and then bring it back when the lease is up.

They said as long as it's insured and tax paid etc. then they don't mind.
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Old 06.01.2020, 17:44
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

Case A

My leasing contract says something like this: "The lease taker must notify the lease giver without delay of any change of name, change of residence and change of employer." This also appears on the Fahrzeugausweis which has the following note: 178 HALTERWECHSEL VERBOTEN, CHANGE OF VEHICLE HOLDER PROHIBITED. So you need to notify the lease giver about the address change within Switzerland.

Case B

The contract says something like "If the lease taker intends to relocate his domicile abroad or to go abroad for more than two months, the lease giver shall be entitled to terminate this contract as of the date of departure. A final settlement shall be made in accordance with the table....."

My contract has a penalty for anticipated termination of the contract. Not sure if others are similar.

The point here is that the contract has such terms that the bank may prefer to terminate the lease before you leave Switzerland. Of course it's possible to drive across the border without telling them, but you'll not be able to register the car in the new country. Not sure if the gemeinde will tell Cashgate that you don't live anymore in CH, but surely you'll still have to pay the Swiss car insurance which may be more expensive than just terminating the lease contract before you leave.
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:29
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

Thanks for the replies. Some good info there, appreciate it.

Just a bit worried that the visa is connected to lots of services and these will then be informed that I donít live here once the visa is cancelled. The systems seem way more connected than in other countries. I donít mind going to another country and taking my time to figure things out and then sorting out the car and insurance as long as I have some leeway.

My contract has a table with the amount I have to pay in fees if I return early. Iím not even sure if this will happen yet but itís good to know how much I will have to pay just in case I give it back. It seems much easier to bring a car from the UK to Switzerland than the other way around. I brought my A3 here with full 365day insurance abroad and drove it for 10months so I was hoping the same existed for the opposite scenarios.
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Old 07.01.2020, 12:17
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

It's actually quite easy to re-register the car in another country, as long as you have the grey card. The no change of owner clause will be meaningless to the registering authority. However, before you can register it, you will have to pay customs and import duties, which are calculated on the new price of the car. I thinks it's 10% + 20% VAT but I may be wrong on the 10%. Remember CH is not part of EU so Swiss VAT paid is irrelevant. This can be reduced or eliminated if part of a personal import for moving from CH to UK.

However, it is illegal from the Swiss (and also UK when discovered) point of view, and will be considered theft. The Swiss police using diplomatic channels can then pursue a criminal case against you in the UK.

So do not do it. Plans can and do change, and if moving canton or job, no problem, but if leaving the country I'd just try and negotiate with the leasing company explaining the circumstances (and you won't be the first case they've had) and pay whatever is due, thus keeping your good name here. You could also perhaps try and find someone to take over the lease and car in agreement with the leasing company, and that may be better for you financially.
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Old 07.01.2020, 12:37
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

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It's actually quite easy to re-register the car in another country, as long as you have the grey card. The no change of owner clause will be meaningless to the registering authority. However, before you can register it, you will have to pay customs and import duties, which are calculated on the new price of the car. I thinks it's 10% + 20% VAT but I may be wrong on the 10%. Remember CH is not part of EU so Swiss VAT paid is irrelevant. This can be reduced or eliminated if part of a personal import for moving from CH to UK.

However, it is illegal from the Swiss (and also UK when discovered) point of view, and will be considered theft. The Swiss police using diplomatic channels can then pursue a criminal case against you in the UK.

So do not do it. Plans can and do change, and if moving canton or job, no problem, but if leaving the country I'd just try and negotiate with the leasing company explaining the circumstances (and you won't be the first case they've had) and pay whatever is due, thus keeping your good name here. You could also perhaps try and find someone to take over the lease and car in agreement with the leasing company, and that may be better for you financially.
It is quite easy to re-register the car, except it's illegal. Thanks for that.
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Old 07.01.2020, 13:15
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

I’m not really wanting to register the car until paid off, I know that that would be illegal. There’s a period of time allowed normally where you can do this legally. I would just like a period where I have some leeway to either buy out the car after I get financially settled in a new country or run it to the end of the lease and then return to Switzerland to either buy it or hand back.

Anyway, does anyone know to what extent our visas are connected to other services? Are they all interconnected?
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Old 07.01.2020, 17:37
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

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It is quite easy to re-register the car, except it's illegal. Thanks for that.
Perhaps I didn't make it quite clear. Just to clarify. It is easy to re register a car, so if the OP goes down that route, having paid off the lease, he should be aware there could be duties to pay.

If he was thinking of doing it without permission from the lessor or having paid off the lease, then it would be possible but illegal.
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Old 07.01.2020, 18:50
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

If you don't keep the car in Switzerland, you will need to re-register it where you live after a year .

If you live in the EU, you can't drive a Swiss registered car.

Tom
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Old 07.01.2020, 19:14
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

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If you don't keep the car in Switzerland, you will need to re-register it where you live after a year .

If you live in the EU, you can't drive a Swiss registered car.

Tom
Yup, this is what I know. However, what is the legality of it from firstly a Swiss point of view and secondly from the view that it is on lease?!those are the two big questions.
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Old 07.01.2020, 19:46
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

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Yup, this is what I know. However, what is the legality of it from firstly a Swiss point of view and secondly from the view that it is on lease?!those are the two big questions.
In short:

Breach of contract will very likely cost you money and/or they can demand the full payment. Just read your contract it will tel you what they can do. Other countries don't care if it is a lease, if the lease company was so stupid to let you have all papers you can register it in other countries without any problem in those countries.
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Old 08.01.2020, 10:34
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Re: Car lease scenarios - leave or stay in Switzerland

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Yup, this is what I know. However, what is the legality of it from firstly a Swiss point of view and secondly from the view that it is on lease?!those are the two big questions.
If you live in the EU and rent a Swiss plated car to drive in the EU, there is no problem from the Swiss point of view. It's the EU that can impound the car or subject it to duty.

This has always been the case in both the UK and Holland (probably other countries as well) where it's own citizens drive a foreign plated car in their home country. What changed was when the EU enforced the rule so that, for example, Brits flying into Geneva, would rent a Swiss plated car and drive to Corcheval or wherever for their holiday. Now they can only rent a French plated car.
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