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Old 03.04.2021, 15:43
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U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

We are moving to Zurich from the U.S. and plan to bring our 2016 Honda Pilot EX-L there.

Does anyone know what modifications are needed to be able to register it in Switzerland? Thanks!
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Old 03.04.2021, 17:48
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

You need to do a complete European homologization (most expensive part is probably exchanging the lights).
Is it worth it for such car?
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Old 03.04.2021, 18:32
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

sell it and buy a different car when you get here.

Even if you go through all the hassle of importing it, they are not sold in Europe. Therefore nobody will ever want to buy it from you here when the time comes to sell it.
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Old 03.04.2021, 19:16
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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sell it and buy a different car when you get here.

Even if you go through all the hassle of importing it, they are not sold in Europe. Therefore nobody will ever want to buy it from you here when the time comes to sell it.
And you will have challenges finding someone to service it. It’s probable you could find someone, but expect to pay ‘tip-top’ price.
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Old 03.04.2021, 23:01
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

sell it and buy a car here.

it's a boring car - not worth spending thousands and days of time on getting it legal and then still being stuck with car that will be hard to sell here.
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Old 04.04.2021, 00:25
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

As many here already have said: don't bring this car from US to Switzerland.

It will cost an arm and a leg (1/4 of the new car price for starter would be a ball park asesment) to modify it, to ship and get it through customs and register it here. And the annual cost will be much higher, then you will get for almost any similar car made for CH and EU. Due to the big engine (3500cm3) and the bad Energietikette (it would be E at best, more likely G) and poor emissions (anything above 130g/km is undesirable), just the annual vehicle tax (in Zurich) will be more than 600 CHF. It is much better to have a lower volume turbo charged engine for that matter, since the same car with 2000cm3 turbo engine would cost you half of that annually. And a hybrid would be less than half of that half.

I left a 5.4L snake to age in CT for a reason. Will have to wait just 9 more years, if ever, to get it here as a "historical vehicle" (unless it will rust into dust due to the lack of TLC).
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Old 04.04.2021, 14:53
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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You need to do a complete European homologization (most expensive part is probably exchanging the lights).
Is it worth it for such car?
Thanks for the suggestion. Out initial thought is that since I have a relocation package and 2 kids (and we are used to driving around/road-trip in the US), we will bring it over.

Maybe it is not worth it.
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Old 04.04.2021, 14:54
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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sell it and buy a car here.

it's a boring car - not worth spending thousands and days of time on getting it legal and then still being stuck with car that will be hard to sell here.
I found that the new car in CH is much more expensive than it is in the U.S.

For instance, a Benz/BMW is almost 60% higher priced..
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Old 04.04.2021, 15:50
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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As many here already have said: don't bring this car from US to Switzerland.

It will cost an arm and a leg (1/4 of the new car price for starter would be a ball park asesment) to modify it, to ship and get it through customs and register it here. And the annual cost will be much higher, then you will get for almost any similar car made for CH and EU. Due to the big engine (3500cm3) and the bad Energietikette (it would be E at best, more likely G) and poor emissions (anything above 130g/km is undesirable), just the annual vehicle tax (in Zurich) will be more than 600 CHF. It is much better to have a lower volume turbo charged engine for that matter, since the same car with 2000cm3 turbo engine would cost you half of that annually. And a hybrid would be less than half of that half.

I left a 5.4L snake to age in CT for a reason. Will have to wait just 9 more years, if ever, to get it here as a "historical vehicle" (unless it will rust into dust due to the lack of TLC).
Thanks for your kind message. I was doing my calculation, for us transporting the car is free (paid through relocation package), so it is just homogenization and registration of the car, and of course, plus the other fees/taxes that you mentioned.

I found that it is a lot more expensive to buy a car in CH, compared to the U.S. We have 2 kids, and sometimes our family also visits, so we usually have a 7/8-seat SUV to travel. I did some quick check, for instance, buying a Tesla Model X costs 105k/130k Swiss Franc there vs. 85k/115k USD in the U.S., and the price difference of other brands is even bigger.

So I thought, OK, probably we should ship the car to CH since it is free, and the Japanese car is pretty low maintenance (basically just need to do the oil change, even I can do it myself) and live with that.

What do you think? Other suggestions?
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Old 04.04.2021, 16:06
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

The local prices are higher, especially for vehicles with high emissions.

There are very few intersections between Mercedes/BMW US and CH lineups due to vastly different markets and ecological norms (e.g. in 2021's BMW X-series lineup in CH most of the cars are either hybrid or M-series, very few just "normal" Xs). I honestly tried, but failed to find a single similar X1 for a direct comparison, but the prices of the basic models on both markets are not that different (34500 CHF vs 35400 USD for the essential X1 sdrive model, and you can get a plug-in-hybrid for as low 39100 CHF). Those are different cars, but the smaller engine may be a better choice for a normal road use.

For models offered in US a CH dealer would have to pay an sensitive CO2 penalty (e.g. more than 8000 CHF for 2021 BMW X1 xDrive28i).

I can't advise about 8-seaters, not much experience. May be a Mercedes EQV or VW Caravelle would be a good idea, but has no personal experience with that.

Last edited by evop; 04.04.2021 at 16:17.
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Old 04.04.2021, 16:31
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

Buying a new car is an absolute waste of money. The market for used cars here is amazing and you can find something 3-4 years old already depreciated by 50%.

Why people feel they need to drive around in an 8-seater is beyond me. I bet that 80% of the time, it will be one person in the car.
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Old 04.04.2021, 16:36
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

How much would it cost your company to ship your car? Why not ask them for a lease/company car as part of the package instead?
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Old 04.04.2021, 16:50
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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The local prices are higher, especially for vehicles with high emissions.

There are very few intersections between Mercedes/BMW US and CH lineups due to vastly different markets and ecological norms (e.g. in 2021's BMW X-series lineup in CH most of the cars are either hybrid or M-series, very few just "normal" Xs). I honestly tried, but failed to find a single similar X1 for a direct comparison, but the prices of the basic models on both markets are not that different (34500 CHF vs 35400 USD for the essential X1 sdrive model, and you can get a plug-in-hybrid for as low 39100 CHF). Those are different cars, but the smaller engine may be a better choice for a normal road use.

For models offered in US a CH dealer would have to pay an sensitive CO2 penalty (e.g. more than 8000 CHF for 2021 BMW X1 xDrive28i).

I can't advise about 8-seaters, not much experience. May be a Mercedes EQV or VW Caravelle would be a good idea, but has no personal experience with that.
I appreciate your suggestions. I have started to change my mind, will think a bit more and talk to my family about it. Thanks!
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Old 04.04.2021, 16:58
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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Buying a new car is an absolute waste of money. The market for used cars here is amazing and you can find something 3-4 years old already depreciated by 50%.

Why people feel they need to drive around in an 8-seater is beyond me. I bet that 80% of the time, it will be one person in the car.
You are right, I agree that a second-hand car is a good option.

You are also right that most of the time it is not an efficient use of the big SUV, so we also have a sedan. The SUV was often helpful when we go on a road trip here in the U.S. with two babies (2nd row occupied), and a good amount of stuff in the cargo, and also when our family members visit (2 more people). But I have heard a lot about public transportation at CH, which is a big difference from the U.S.
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Old 04.04.2021, 16:59
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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How much would it cost your company to ship your car? Why not ask them for a lease/company car as part of the package instead?
I am going to ask them to deduct the cost of shipping a car from my moving (furniture, car, etc.) and to see what it comes down to.

I will check if I could use the money towards a rental/leasing car. Great suggestion, thanks!
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Old 04.04.2021, 18:01
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

There's plenty of 7-seaters available in a very wide price range, I don't think you will have an issue finding something that is OK for you esp. if you go for a recent used car.
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Old 04.04.2021, 18:06
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

cost of shipping is about $1000 - i.e. negligible (or about 2 dinners out in switzerland).

the cost comes from the time and money spent making it legal when you probably don't speak the dialect needed to get on the right side of the people with the power to make that happen. then the ongoing running costs. figure 1000 / year registration and 1000 / year insurance. it will need a safety check each year (or two years) here which basically require it to be like new. so you won't get away with just old changes. it need zero play in the suspension bushings, perfectly operational shocks, good tires etc. its a far cry from the joke of an inspection in the US.

its also so big that its virtually unusable here. get a used smaller car here and when you're additional family visits, just rent another car for the week....
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Old 04.04.2021, 22:57
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

Also consider the possibility of renting a big SUV when the family comes for a visit. Then you can manage with one vehicle most of the time.
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Old 05.04.2021, 06:59
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

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You are right, I agree that a second-hand car is a good option.

Don't automatically rule out new cars. My company has discounts with most of the main car companies of between 20-30%, plus I've always been able to haggle a couple of more % off. When I looked at the used car prices it made more sense to buy new. Also bear in mind the warranty and free servicing on new cars. There are also a lot of great (0.9%) lease deals out there.


I would check if your company also has similar deals with these car companies.
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Old 05.04.2021, 08:13
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Re: U.S. Honda Pilot [car] Move to Zurich

This is the pilot equivalent here: https://www.de.honda.ch/cars/new/cr-v/overview.html

Also Subarus n Hyundais are relatively cheap here.
https://www.subaru.ch/subaru-kaufen/...e-sonderserien

Keep in mind that a problem with a large SUV is not just the cost of gas here, which compared to the USA is about double the price, but that of parking. Most parking spaces here are just large enough for a VW Golf.

If your just a family with 2 kids you may also want to consider a wagen. Switzerland has loads of em.
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