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Old 17.01.2020, 09:48
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Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

Hi,
Am I allowed to drive a car on a non-swiss plates (in this case DE or PL plates) in France, when i have swiss licence plate? Car will be either rented from a rental company or borrowed from a friend (in any case, owner of the vehicle will not be traveling with it).



My friends are going to France for skiing and will pick me up in CH. I know that I'm not allowed to drive this bus in Switzerland, but am I allowed to drive it in France? I heard some weird stories about such cases. Anyone knows how it is? Appreciate your help in advance!


Best regards
majki
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:03
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

Take a look on the back of your license, it has all the things that you can drive, if your bus isn´t on it then you can´t drive it even if you could outside of CH.
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:19
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

This is not an issue of a bus or not. To make it shorter, let's assume that it's fiat punto, ok? Am i allowed to drive DE plates car in France with Swiss Driving License?
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:25
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

Why not? A Swiss license is valid outside of CH in any case, also the CHian driving license is regarded as a EU license. That´s why I can still legally use my CH license even after having left CH in 2013.
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:43
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

I assume you are referring to tax and registration.

- It does not matter which country handed you your drivers license, it matters in what country you are registered and in what country the car is registered.

The basic rule is very simple: You are not allowed to drive a car in your own country if it is not registered in that same country.

So if you live in Switzerland and have a Greek drivers license you are allowed to drive a Swedish car in Portugal, just don't drive it in Switzerland.

There are some exceptions possible like having the owner along in the car, or get a short term allowance from the local tax-agency
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:44
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

Yes you can, outside of CH you can driver cars registered in ANY country.

This restriction exists only in a country where you are a resident to deal with people who would always drive non-imported cars. (Same is true in Poland / EU)
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:48
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

Your driving license is of no importance (apart that it should be valid for the vehicle you are driving). Also your nationality is of no importance.

It is not a traffic law issue but a customs and tax law issue.

What maters is your place of residence. As a general rule you cannot easily drive a foreign plated car in the customs area where you have your place of residence. That would be a tax and duty violation.

If you want to do that you should get prior approval from customs, might have to do some paperwork, and pay some fee or tax. If you do not follow this procedure the car might be impounded and you face heavy fines which are a multiple of tax and duty you evaded (considering a regular import procedure). In some cases this can surpass the cars value. In Switzerland it is up to 5 times the evaded tax and duty, which translates to ~60% of the cars value. If Italy also also specifies up to 5 times it would be 166% of the cars value. In addition you would also have to pay the applicable tax and duty.

On the other hand driving a car which has license plates from the customs area you intend to drive is generally no issue.

In conclusion, a Swiss resident can drive a French plated car in the European customs area. Most of France is part of the European customs area (exception is for example the duty-free access road from Basel to the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse).
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:52
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

Personally, I think insurance will be your biggest worry. I know that in Portugal I am not allowed to drive my partners parents car because I have a Swiss license. Rentals are fine obviously but personal cars arent. This is due to rules in the insurance policy they have, which I guess might change from person to person and country to country
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:54
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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Personally, I think insurance will be your biggest worry. I know that in Portugal I am not allowed to drive my partners parents car because I have a Swiss license. Rentals are fine obviously but personal cars arent. It sure to rules in the insurance.

What insurance?

You mean 3rd party? I actually am covered by my normal 3rd party insurance in CH to drive cars of family etc (not a car insurance but normal liability insurance)
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Old 17.01.2020, 10:57
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH license

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Following your way of thinking, there should also be no problem when i borrow my car (registered in Switzerland) to my colleague from Germany (with german driving license) and let him drive to Germany for a weekend, right?
No. I repeat:
As a general rule you cannot easily drive a foreign plated car in the customs area where you have your place of residence. That would be a tax and duty violation.

The only place which is Germany and is also part of the Swiss customs area is Büsingen am Hochrein. So, yes technically he could drive to Germany, but only to Büsingen.
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Old 17.01.2020, 11:02
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

Thank you all for your answers. I will ask them to check with insurance company then.



I just heard one story the other day. My colleague (living in Switzerland) borrowed his car (CH registered) to his friend from Germany. This friend drove the car abroad and got a serious problems as it was treated as a car smuggling.


Once more - thank you for your help! Appreciate it!
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Old 17.01.2020, 11:06
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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What insurance?

You mean 3rd party? I actually am covered by my normal 3rd party insurance in CH to drive cars of family etc (not a car insurance but normal liability insurance)
Me too. But it will not be enough. My Axa policy wasn’t enough for me anyway, most countries don’t even know what liability insurance is so won’t recognise it. Only your car insurance policy and the car owners policy will count. In my experience anyway. Dont forget that you are talking about using a car from a private individual and not hiring from a company. This is very different. Just call up your car insurance and ask. Also you friend will have to too.
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Old 17.01.2020, 11:29
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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I just heard one story the other day. My colleague (living in Switzerland) borrowed his car (CH registered) to his friend from Germany. This friend drove the car abroad and got a serious problems as it was treated as a car smuggling.
True, as he is a resident of the European customs area and more or less anything outside Switzerland is European customs area.

An European resident could drive a Swiss registered car, without any special formalities, to the following places which are abroad but still part of the Swiss customs area:
  • Liechtenstein
  • Büsingen am Hochrein
  • To the EuroAirport using the duty free road.

In the past an EU resident could have also driven a Swiss registered car to Campione d'Italia, but it is now (since January 1st 2020) officially part of the EU customs area, although not part of the European VAT area (Council Directive (EU) 2019/475 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-cont...LEX:32019L0475) Driving there might be "only" a duty violation. Still risky as car duty in Italy is 11%.

Driving to Livignio might still be possible as it is not part of the EU customs area. But I wouldn't risk it. The Guardia di Finanza is not know to be particular easy going, quite the contrary.
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Old 17.01.2020, 11:35
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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Just call up your car insurance and ask.
Swiss car liability insurance is tied to the car and plates.

The car usage cover clause in your private liability insurance (if you have it) acts only like an casco cover / collision damage waiver. It is not a, and cannot replace, the mandatory car liability insurance. In most cases your Swiss private liability insurance does not even offer enough coverage that it would be valid as a mandatory car liability insurance. For example in Germany you need a coverage of at least EUR 7.5M.

Furthermore, each country has special laws and rules what is accepted as car liability insurance for it own plated cars. For foreign plated cars the Council of Bureaux Green Card system agreements and EU Motor Insurance Directives sets the details
https://www.cobx.org/article/54/inte...nal-agreements
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...en_card_system
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Old 17.01.2020, 12:04
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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Swiss car liability insurance is tied to the car and plates.

The car usage cover clause in your private liability insurance (if you have it) acts only like an casco cover / collision damage waiver. It is not a, and cannot replace, the mandatory car liability insurance. In most cases your Swiss private liability insurance does not even offer enough coverage that it would be valid as a mandatory car liability insurance. For example in Germany you need a coverage of at least EUR 7.5M.

Furthermore, each country has special laws and rules what is accepted as car liability insurance for it own plated cars. For foreign plated cars the Council of Bureaux Green Card system agreements and EU Motor Insurance Directives sets the details
https://www.cobx.org/article/54/inte...nal-agreements
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...en_card_system
Just for clarity, are we talking about personal liability insurance or the liability part of car insurance? Neither policies state EU coverage for me.

BTW, I have it in writing from my AXA local agent that my girlfriend who is português and non resistente, can drive my Swiss car. Assuming the opposite would be the same?

Also, when I was talking about insurance I meant the insurance current on the vehicle you will borrow too and not only yours. For example in my case, I cannot drive my partners Portuguese car because I am not a resident in Portugal but if I were then I could as the Portuguese insurance is valid for all drivers of the car if resident in the country in question. This applies to my dads french car and his french insurance policy too. However, I am currently allowed to drive my mums car in the UK as her insurance states that the can be driven if both parties have insurance, but the coverage is then downgraded to 3rd party insurance. I also have this in writing from my mums UK insurance and Swiss Axa.

Anyway, if renting then you will be fine, if borrowing then I would check with your current personal insurance company and also ask your friend to check with his insurance company.

Last edited by ormesome; 17.01.2020 at 12:38.
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Old 17.01.2020, 12:24
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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Hi,
Am I allowed to drive a car on a non-swiss plates (in this case DE or PL plates) in France, when i have swiss licence plate? Car will be either rented from a rental company or borrowed from a friend (in any case, owner of the vehicle will not be traveling with it).

My friends are going to France for skiing and will pick me up in CH. I know that I'm not allowed to drive this bus in Switzerland, but am I allowed to drive it in France? I heard some weird stories about such cases. Anyone knows how it is? Appreciate your help in advance!

Best regards
majki

Bus? Like a VW transporter or Toyota Hiace?



The most common B type driving license is limited to no more than 8 passengers plus the driver. This is a EU standard and Switzerland also adopted it. So, don't forget the number of passengers.
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Old 17.01.2020, 12:34
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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Just for clarity, are we talking about personal liability insurance or car insurance?
Both.

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As far as I know, the private liability casco you talk about is for excess when hiring a car? Isn’t that that the cover covers? If I am driving my friends Swiss car, isn’t it the car insurance that coverrs me?
Depends. Swiss car liability insurance covers any driver, that is the Swiss law (with a few exception when the car was stolen). If you cause damage to a third party it is covered by the cars liability insurance.

If you damage the car it depends if the cars has cacso coverage. If it has casco coverage you have to read the fine print if it covers any driver. Unlike car liability insurance where coverage is set by the law, the parties are free to agree the casco coverage details and exclude some risks like no-named drivers.

If you have personal liability insurance with a car usage clause it will pay the non covered casco damage of your friends car. Furthermore, it also covers the loss of non-damage bonus and insurance premium hikes.

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BTW, I have it in writing from my AXA local agent that my girlfriend who is português and non resistente, can drive my Swiss car. Assuming the opposite would be the same?
AFAIK understand it the rules in UK correctly it is possible that not any but only specific named driver get liability coverage.

So the question you have to ask and details to be checked are:
Is any driver covered by the cars third party liability insurance? (For Swiss plated car the answer is yes)
Has the car casco insurance? (It is not mandatory so assume the answer is no)
Is any driver covered by the cars casco insurance? (Read fine print or ask insurance as it can be excluded)?
Has the guest driver other insurance which might pay instead of the casco insurance?
Has the guest driver other insurance which might pay for a non-damage bonus loss?
If the guest driver has such insurance coverage, check what are the details, coverage, and what is excluded.
If the guest driver has no such coverage, and the car has no casco coverage, can the guest driver bear the cost of a total loss?
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Old 17.01.2020, 12:45
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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Both.


Depends. Swiss car liability insurance covers any driver, that is the Swiss law (with a few exception when the car was stolen). If you cause damage to a third party it is covered by the cars liability insurance.

If you damage the car it depends if the cars has cacso coverage. If it has casco coverage you have to read the fine print if it covers any driver. Unlike car liability insurance where coverage is set by the law, the parties are free to agree the casco coverage details and exclude some risks like no-named drivers.

If you have personal liability insurance with a car usage clause it will pay the non covered casco damage of your friends car. Furthermore, it also covers the loss of non-damage bonus and insurance premium hikes.


AFAIK understand it the rules in UK correctly it is possible that not any but only specific named driver get liability coverage.

So the question you have to ask and details to be checked are:
Is any driver covered by the cars third party liability insurance? (For Swiss plated car the answer is yes)
Has the car casco insurance? (It is not mandatory so assume the answer is no)
Is any driver covered by the cars casco insurance? (Read fine print or ask insurance as it can be excluded)?
Has the guest driver other insurance which might pay instead of the casco insurance?
Has the guest driver other insurance which might pay for a non-damage bonus loss?
If the guest driver has such insurance coverage, check what are the details, coverage, and what is excluded.
If the guest driver has no such coverage, and the car has no casco coverage, can the guest driver bear the cost of a total loss?
Sorry I edited my post before you replied. Interesting answers, thank you. The question still stands though, are we, as Swiss license holders with car and personal liability insurance, allowed to drive cars that aren’t Swiss, are insured but in a different/foreign EU country.

I do have full casco with personal liability insurance with car cover.
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Old 17.01.2020, 13:14
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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are we, as Swiss license holders with car and personal liability insurance, allowed to drive cars that aren’t Swiss, are insured but in a different/foreign EU country.
The Swiss license doesn't matter, only your Swiss residence does.

If you are Swiss resident, you may only drive non-Swiss registered vehicles outside of Switzerland.

Likewise for EU.

Tom
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Old 17.01.2020, 13:18
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Re: Driving EU car outside of CH with CH licence

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Sorry I edited my post before you replied. Interesting answers, thank you. The question still stands though, are we, as Swiss license holders with car and personal liability insurance, allowed to drive cars that aren’t Swiss, are insured but in a different/foreign EU country.

I do have full casco with personal liability insurance with car cover.
Depends in what country you live, and from what country the car is from.

Once more: It is totally not relevant which country gave you your license.
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