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Old 30.07.2021, 03:18
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New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

Hi All, as always, thanks for the help.

We will be moving to the area near Geneva in September. My wife is a UN diplomat. We eventually will be getting our CDL, but have heard it can take several weeks.

We would like to purchase a vehicle (new or reasonably new), but won't have a permanent address initially (we will be house hunting, and a car probably makes it easier, as we expect to be in Vaud, not the city).

I looked, and perhaps I've missed it, so a redirection would be welcomed.

What are the steps for buying a car from a dealer here? What should I be aware of as a new arrival?

Your help is appreciated.
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Old 30.07.2021, 09:13
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

you can't until you have a permit. rent one?
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Old 30.07.2021, 09:18
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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you can't until you have a permit. rent one?
Yes, we will rent one initially. However we are still interested in the process as it varies from nation to nation. Thanks.
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Old 30.07.2021, 10:20
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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Yes, we will rent one initially. However we are still interested in the process as it varies from nation to nation. Thanks.
It depends ..

Buy one outright :
Just pay for it, get the grey card (registration document).
Arrange insurance for the car, can be done online etc.
Take grey card to SAN (service des autos in Nyon), get number plate from them and grey card change to your name and address. (cannot be done without insurance)
Fix the number plate to car and drive away.

Lease :
Just go to a dealer and arrange the payment contract.
The will generally do all the other stuff for you!
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Old 30.07.2021, 10:24
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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It depends ..

Buy one outright :
Just pay for it, get the grey card (registration document).
Arrange insurance for the car, can be done online etc.
Take grey card to SAN (service des autos in Nyon), get number plate from them and grey card change to your name and address. (cannot be done without insurance)
Fix the number plate to car and drive away.

Lease :
Just go to a dealer and arrange the payment contract.
The will generally do all the other stuff for you!
that implies you need to lease to get the dealer to do everything for you. which obviously isn't the case. you can pay for the car and the dealer still does everything for you. even insurance if you really can't be bothered to do that yourself.
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Old 30.07.2021, 10:35
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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that implies you need to lease to get the dealer to do everything for you. which obviously isn't the case. you can pay for the car and the dealer still does everything for you. even insurance if you really can't be bothered to do that yourself.
Yes ok ..

Some dealers will do it all for you.. regardless of buy or lease.
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Old 30.07.2021, 14:56
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

As for buying outright... in Switzerland, is it not common to take out a loan, and pay by installment? In both Japan and the USA, we bought cars this way. In Indonesia, they had a crazy long term rental scheme, which worked but the car was a PoS.
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Old 30.07.2021, 15:10
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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As for buying outright... in Switzerland, is it not common to take out a loan, and pay by installment? In both Japan and the USA, we bought cars this way. In Indonesia, they had a crazy long term rental scheme, which worked but the car was a PoS.
Not exactly common. Loans secured on the car are very rare and unsecured loans are expensive compared with „leasing“. Leasing is the German word for what in England would be called personal contract plan (PCP) and you would likely be familiar with the concept. You put down a deposit (or not in some cases), pay a monthly amount for a fixed duration, typically 3-4 years and at the end you either pay a balloon to buy the car outright or hand the car back (or refinance). As the car is owned by the financing company until you have paid the balloon, the interest rates are much lower. You can of course set the balloon to zero and treat it like a loan, except title of the car will not be with you.
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Old 30.07.2021, 15:11
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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As for buying outright... in Switzerland, is it not common to take out a loan, and pay by installment? In both Japan and the USA, we bought cars this way. In Indonesia, they had a crazy long term rental scheme, which worked but the car was a PoS.
Dealers offer finance. If you’ll be accepted as a new arrival in the country is another thing.
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Old 30.07.2021, 15:17
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

There are a number of dealerships that specialize in the cdl market.

Just search “geneva diplomatic car sales”
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Old 30.07.2021, 23:47
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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Hi All, as always, thanks for the help.

We will be moving to the area near Geneva in September. My wife is a UN diplomat. We eventually will be getting our CDL, but have heard it can take several weeks.

We would like to purchase a vehicle (new or reasonably new), but won't have a permanent address initially (we will be house hunting, and a car probably makes it easier, as we expect to be in Vaud, not the city).

I looked, and perhaps I've missed it, so a redirection would be welcomed.

What are the steps for buying a car from a dealer here? What should I be aware of as a new arrival?

Your help is appreciated.
Quote:
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you can't until you have a permit. rent one?
Quote:
View Post
that implies you need to lease to get the dealer to do everything for you. which obviously isn't the case. you can pay for the car and the dealer still does everything for you. even insurance if you really can't be bothered to do that yourself.
Quote:
View Post
As for buying outright... in Switzerland, is it not common to take out a loan, and pay by installment? In both Japan and the USA, we bought cars this way. In Indonesia, they had a crazy long term rental scheme, which worked but the car was a PoS.
Quote:
View Post
Dealers offer finance. If you’ll be accepted as a new arrival in the country is another thing.
Quote:
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There are a number of dealerships that specialize in the cdl market.

Just search “geneva diplomatic car sales”
As many have mentioned, you will need CDL and the address. No problem for leasing on CDL. Regardless of modality, you will be able to buy the car tax free - (i.e. no customs nor VAT) - caveat; you can buy just one car tax free for the time of your wife's contract if she is P4 or lower. If P5 and above, she can basically buy a car every three years tax free.

Another option if you wish to own the car rather than to lease is to check UNFCU. Their personal loans are not that attractive but if you take it as secured, then it comes down to 2%. Still leasing it these days is much more favorable.

Traditionally, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes offer best conditions (and recently Audi) - i.e. diplomatic prices that (used to) be around 30% cheaper than on the Swiss market. More and more however I see that different types of discounts are being offered at regular market so the actual claimed diplomatic sales are no longer that attractive.

For me, the best conditions currently are with Mercedes. For one reason or the other, they keep residual value rather high so it does pay to lease for a period with substantially lower instalment than competition (and possibly with zero downpayment), and then return the vehicle 3 years later. In calculations I did last year, Merc installment was 30% less than BMW, while Volvo was three times higher than the Merc.

To note that BMW used to have their diplomatic sales model applicable to the whole world with the fixed prices in EUR. No longer the case in CH. They switched to Swiss prices, and then calculate it with 25% discount. If you check in France, I think you can still get ‘real’ diplomatic prices (10-20% cheaper than the Swiss model), but the customs clearing will be your own affair (however UN transport department can facilitate it all, so it is not a major hassle).
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  #12  
Old 31.07.2021, 04:52
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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As many have mentioned, you will need CDL and the address. No problem for leasing on CDL. Regardless of modality, you will be able to buy the car tax free - (i.e. no customs nor VAT) - caveat; you can buy just one car tax free for the time of your wife's contract if she is P4 or lower. If P5 and above, she can basically buy a car every three years tax free.

Another option if you wish to own the car rather than to lease is to check UNFCU. Their personal loans are not that attractive but if you take it as secured, then it comes down to 2%. Still leasing it these days is much more favorable.

Traditionally, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes offer best conditions (and recently Audi) - i.e. diplomatic prices that (used to) be around 30% cheaper than on the Swiss market. More and more however I see that different types of discounts are being offered at regular market so the actual claimed diplomatic sales are no longer that attractive.

For me, the best conditions currently are with Mercedes. For one reason or the other, they keep residual value rather high so it does pay to lease for a period with substantially lower instalment than competition (and possibly with zero downpayment), and then return the vehicle 3 years later. In calculations I did last year, Merc installment was 30% less than BMW, while Volvo was three times higher than the Merc.

To note that BMW used to have their diplomatic sales model applicable to the whole world with the fixed prices in EUR. No longer the case in CH. They switched to Swiss prices, and then calculate it with 25% discount. If you check in France, I think you can still get ‘real’ diplomatic prices (10-20% cheaper than the Swiss model), but the customs clearing will be your own affair (however UN transport department can facilitate it all, so it is not a major hassle).
Wow!!! Thank you - this is all fantastic information. I genuinely appreciate it.
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Old 31.07.2021, 12:52
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

UN has its own intranet pages where staff who are moving on are flogging their nearly new cars and other stuff.

The UN HR staff are well versed with supporting the these kinds of questions.

Worth doing a bit of analysis to understand total costs of car ownership throughout your stay in Switzerland.
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Old 31.07.2021, 15:26
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

1. Order the car from the dealer
2. Pick it up at the dealer
3. Get a bill in the mail
4. Pay the bill
Done it that way about 4 times.
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Old 31.07.2021, 16:09
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

I only visited Geneva once and driving there was a nightmare.

I'd try to get along without a car or just short-term rentals via Mobility.
At least, until you know your way around.

Groceries you can have delivered.
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Old 31.07.2021, 16:45
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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I only visited Geneva once and driving there was a nightmare.

I'd try to get along without a car or just short-term rentals via Mobility.
At least, until you know your way around.

Groceries you can have delivered.
Well, if he is planning on living on La Côte, he likely will need a car for taking the kid to/from the School as public transport is quite crap for La Chat. They do have a bus, but it’s not inexpensive. The best shopping is not in the towns but the semi-rural shopping centres; Signy, Chavannes and Littoral…

If they were living in Geneva, I’d agree a car is less than useless.
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Old 31.07.2021, 16:56
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

As mentioned in the first post, we aren't planning on living in Geneva, but rather, nearby, in Vaud, a car is pretty much on the agenda of things to own, whether or not we like it.
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Old 31.07.2021, 19:06
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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1. Order the car from the dealer
2. Pick it up at the dealer
3. Get a bill in the mail
4. Pay the bill
Done it that way about 4 times.
I got told one needs to do 2 trips to the dealer before driving the car away. is this true ?
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Old 31.07.2021, 19:22
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

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I got told one needs to do 2 trips to the dealer before driving the car away. is this true ?
No.

Tom
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Old 31.07.2021, 20:35
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Re: New arrival wanting to buy a car, what is the process?

Well,
Trip 1 Go to the dealer, look around and choose something. Throw money at the salesman.

Trip 2 Go to the dealer, drive away.

Seems about right.
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