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Old 21.07.2022, 00:16
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can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

As the title suggests, I'm contemplating importing my current vehicle (more than 1 year old) into Switzerland from the US, and keeping it there to use when I am in-country "on holiday" for the months I'm visiting. When I'm not there, it will be parked in an underground garage ("tiefgarage") in a space reserved (and owned) by me.

I have already stopped by the motor vehicle agency in-person (whether a non-resident can be issued a plate, and keep a car full-time in Switzerland), but was not provided with a definitive answer. I guess most people don't keep a "holiday car"?

Any insight would be great. Thanks.
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Old 21.07.2022, 06:37
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

Far as I'm aware, you'd need Swiss car insurance and for that you probably need a Swiss residence permit which you won't have. Same for getting licence plates for it, you need the permit and a Swiss address - I don't think the address the parking space is in would count. My guess is the car would also have to pass the Swiss vehicle check which may or may not be problematic depending on the model/specs.
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Old 21.07.2022, 07:34
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

Yes, it is possible.

My daughter did it, though she's Swiss, but I also know non-Swiss who have done it.

You just need a fixed Swiss address where it is kept, which you have.

Tom
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Old 21.07.2022, 08:38
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

Are you living here already? If not, can you even import a car if not resident?
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Old 21.07.2022, 08:38
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

Agree, having a fixed address and insurance is probably necessary.

But, please, do a search here about importing a car. If your make/model is not normally available you have to jump through hoops to get a carte gris.

What about mobility or something similar.
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Old 22.07.2022, 01:46
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Agree, having a fixed address and insurance is probably necessary.

But, please, do a search here about importing a car. If your make/model is not normally available you have to jump through hoops to get a carte gris.

What about mobility or something similar.
I have meticulously searched, no one else in my exact situation.

And yes, being the most die hard car enthusiast in the US (half kidding), I've done all the technical research about importation into Switzerland. They required headlight washers, but ONLY on xenon bulbs, and ONLY if it's 30 watts or less (per bulb). Also, despite EU regulation that mandate yellow turn signals, being not part of the EU (thankfully), Switzerland will allow the use of red turn signals (standard on US cars) without additional modification.

It helps my car was manufactured in Italy, so many things are European (can change everything to km/h in the menu, etc).
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Old 22.07.2022, 01:47
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Yes, it is possible.

My daughter did it, though she's Swiss, but I also know non-Swiss who have done it.

You just need a fixed Swiss address where it is kept, which you have.

Tom
Glad to hear. Did they issue her Swiss plates? And if so, was it temporary importation plates (valid for 1 year), or actual resident (permanent) plates?
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Old 22.07.2022, 01:52
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Are you living here already? If not, can you even import a car if not resident?
Anyone (of any nationality) can import cars into Switzerland to use on their holiday, for a period of up to 6 months. I've had plenty of friends ship very special/unique/loud exotic cars to explore the many mountain passes for a few weeks. Up until now, I find it easier to just rent from Avis or Sixt, both of which have very nice Porsche, AMG, etc
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Old 22.07.2022, 08:24
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Anyone (of any nationality) can import cars into Switzerland to use on their holiday, for a period of up to 6 months. I've had plenty of friends ship very special/unique/loud exotic cars to explore the many mountain passes for a few weeks. Up until now, I find it easier to just rent from Avis or Sixt, both of which have very nice Porsche, AMG, etc

Can you really afford those sorts of cars ?
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Old 22.07.2022, 09:34
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Can you really afford those sorts of cars ?
Can you really not? INKSPE.
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Old 22.07.2022, 10:59
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Yes, it is possible.

My daughter did it, though she's Swiss, but I also know non-Swiss who have done it.

You just need a fixed Swiss address where it is kept, which you have.

Tom
That's interesting Tom because the Office in Camorino refused to register our cars until we were in the database as having registered in our comune. Before that was done, no dice!
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Old 22.07.2022, 12:08
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Yes, it is possible.

My daughter did it, though she's Swiss, but I also know non-Swiss who have done it.

You just need a fixed Swiss address where it is kept, which you have.

Tom
Interesting. When I de-registered from CH I'd already exported my van but not my bike. The STVA wrote to me within 2 weeks of my deregistrartion and insisted I export my bike and return the plates as I was no longer Swiss resident. I tried to argue my wife was, and I would use the bike when I came back for visits. They were very definative in that only Swiss residents can register vehicles, so my only option was to transfer ownership of the bike to her, export it, or hand back the plates.
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Old 23.07.2022, 15:49
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Yes, it is possible.

My daughter did it, though she's Swiss, but I also know non-Swiss who have done it.

You just need a fixed Swiss address where it is kept, which you have.

Tom
I have a property in Switzerland but am no longer a permanent resident. I keep a car there for our use when we visit and bring it back to the UK once a year for MOT.
Worked really well for years until Brexit hit and we were not allowed into the country and UK forbad us leaving the country to travel.
The MOT ran out and in the end we had to get the car trailered back to the UK at great expense. Some kind soul reported the car to the Police as it was parked for so long- surprisingly they were fine about it and took no action..
I was told that we were unable to apply for swiss plates..
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Old 23.07.2022, 16:02
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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I was told that we were unable to apply for swiss plates..
By whom? The law says that the car needs Swiss plates if it is here for more than 12 months. This can only be reset if the car is out of country for at least 3 months. I am quite sure there are possibilities if one has a holiday apartment or house.
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Old 23.07.2022, 17:19
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

I believe the issue is more of getting insured here, which is necessary to get Swiss plates.
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Old 23.07.2022, 18:52
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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I was told that we were unable to apply for swiss plates..
You would first need to import it, not easy if you are not a resident.

Tom
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Old 23.07.2022, 18:55
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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That's interesting Tom because the Office in Camorino refused to register our cars until we were in the database as having registered in our comune. Before that was done, no dice!
My daughter registered her sister's car in her name, a few months before she moved to the US for 5 years. My other daughter was living in BE or AG at the time, can't recall.

As a Swiss, while not registered as living here, she remained registered here for voting purposes.

Tom
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Old 24.07.2022, 15:11
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

Yeah, well lots of luck shipping a car these days from the US. Our Audi RS6 took more than 6 months to get here, and when it did it was obvious that it had sat in humid rainy Savannah for a few months with the windows down *in the summer*. We had to drive to Rotterdam to collect it.
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Old 27.07.2022, 23:48
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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I have a property in Switzerland but am no longer a permanent resident. I keep a car there for our use when we visit and bring it back to the UK once a year for MOT.
Worked really well for years until Brexit hit and we were not allowed into the country and UK forbad us leaving the country to travel.
The MOT ran out and in the end we had to get the car trailered back to the UK at great expense. Some kind soul reported the car to the Police as it was parked for so long- surprisingly they were fine about it and took no action..
I was told that we were unable to apply for swiss plates..

Although I SHOUT loud on some various EU forums re 12 month UK MOT, presume you were caught out with Covid restrictions at that time.


Separately, may I ask who you used to trailer the car back to UK, as have read about people searching to do that?
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Old 28.07.2022, 21:08
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Re: can a non-resident keep a car permanently in the country?

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Although I SHOUT loud on some various EU forums re 12 month UK MOT, presume you were caught out with Covid restrictions at that time.


Separately, may I ask who you used to trailer the car back to UK, as have read about people searching to do that?
Yes, couldn't enter CH or leave the UK.

The car was trailered back to the UK by Ontime Automotive Ltd. www.Ontime-Auto.com. They were fantastic from start to finish. Huge special transporter (covered) - the Disco shared the journey back with 3 brand new electric Mustangs on the way to a motor show!
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