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Old 07.04.2009, 22:19
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Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterparts?

Just wondered what you guys think about this, as everytime I start looking at cars and their prices and start comparing to the UK prices for almost identical cars (apart from the steering being on the RHS) I find them to be a lot more expensive, I mean i'm not talking about a few hundred franks here and there, it's almost double the price!!! given the current exchange rate, and if I use GBPCHF @ 2.4 say it doesn't help neither it is still about CHF2000 to CHF3000 for a car that say costs around CHF15000.

any thoughts? I have lots of examples, and it's putting me off buying a car here completely!
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Old 07.04.2009, 22:33
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

You do not need to go as far as the UK, you will find the same price differences just over the border in Germany or the other EU countries around.

This 2-3 k CHF is the premium the shops can charge, simple as that. The market is protected by obsolete and useless laws and rules from long ago. When I moved here from the EU, I was supposed to prove that my "German Honda" would be the same as a "Swiss Honda" paying a lot for all the tests and paperwork. As soon as the difference is above the 2-3k CHF, some dealers would import EU cars as the effort to do the work would pay off. My car is for example a imported EU car from a dealer that specialized on this. He is still a bit higher than the prices you get in the EU (naturally), but beats most of the local market.

If you search autoscout a bit, you will recognize that there are a couple of dealer always showing up at the bottom end of the prices offered...
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Old 07.04.2009, 22:37
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

Until the scandal of high car prices in the UK was publicised a couple of years ago - and there were CHF2.40 to the pound, Swiss on the road prices of new cars were some 15% to 20% below the UK's...
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Old 07.04.2009, 22:58
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

Interesting views guys, I heard about the prices being cheaper in Germany, however I have no experience or knowledge of websites etc to compare....

not sure about the high car prices scandal in the UK?? could you shed a bit more light on that abfab?
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Old 07.04.2009, 23:07
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

www.mobile.de
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Old 07.04.2009, 23:38
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

Thanks for the link Treverus....

had a quick look and even with my poor German I could still work out that the prices are cheaper than autoscout.ch!! and I know those sort of sites have slightly inflated prices anyway! same with autotrader.co.uk as it's really the ideal price they want for it rather than the price they're willing to accept! and just to think that the price that is ideal for someone to get in germany or england is yet cheaper than here just amazes!

well i know where to get my car that's for sure! for now i'll just wait and see...

thanks again :-)
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Old 08.04.2009, 00:12
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

If you want to cry, look at US prices for similar cars. CH motorcycles cost too much, too (from a US perspective).

It reinforces the notion that "CH" means Consumer Hostile.
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Old 08.04.2009, 05:40
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

http://www.uk250.co.uk/frame/905/guardian-the.html

Interesting?

Edit, can not link the article but there's a bit on cheap UK cars on right hand side
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Old 08.04.2009, 06:23
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

You mean all that unsold stock in the UK that was imported at a different exchange rate?

There are huge price differences between UK garages already because some are selling cars imported last month, other last year.

From parkers

Personally, (last time I looked when buying my Japanse car) I think prices are reasonable here (if you stay away from VW, BMW, Mercedes etc) and cheaper for servicing than Blighty (which is rip off).
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Old 08.04.2009, 07:47
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

My experience is that cars here in CH are a lot less expensive than in my homeland of The Netherlands...
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Old 08.04.2009, 17:08
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

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Interesting views guys, I heard about the prices being cheaper in Germany, however I have no experience or knowledge of websites etc to compare....

not sure about the high car prices scandal in the UK?? could you shed a bit more light on that abfab?
Where have you been? This was news for years - it's only the colapse of the pound and public outcry that changed the situation:

tackling "the scandal" of Britain's high car prices. (2002)

Over the last two years, the price of cars in Britain has been the subject of inquiries by UK fair trade regulators and the European Commission. (2002)

In recent weeks, a European Commission report showed that the UK is still one of the most expensive places in Europe to buy a new car. (2001)

Even a 15-year old school boy knew of the sandal...
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Old 08.04.2009, 21:59
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

Thanks for the links Abfab, I agree with most of it as well, I think I was referring more to second hand cars, I know the brand new prices are outrageous in the UK!! but of course the drop in the value of the Great British Pound has swayed that a little bit! and Indeed driving in the UK is very expensive!! the goverment makes more money out of fuel duty then the producing countries, the people refining the stuff, and the people selling it! at about 35p of fuel duty + VAT!! they really are pushing their luck! not to mention road TAX, congestion charging, Speed cameras every where, Bus lane cameras introduced in November 2007!! charging motorcyclist to park in certain parts of London! Insurance prices that are outrageous!!! (depending on your age of course)

and to my surprise (well not much surprise)! I saw a report on parkers that from the 1st of April, most of these manifacturers have decided to increase their prices by on average about 3% I mean it beggars belief!
I mean is this going to push inflation up? probably not as noone is going to be stupid enough to buy these cars at the current price let alone the inflated price!! In fact I see a rise in the used car prices or at least being able to hold their current price!!
where in switzerland the prices are expected to fall more rapidly due to the effects of deflation, and the strenghing CHF.

http://www.parkers.co.uk/News/Motori...r-price-rises/
and since the VAT rate is expected to go up to it's normal level of 17.5% at some point later on this year! the prices are gonna be up by about 6%

The funniest and most ironic of all was Honda and motorcycle prices as I was looking into buying one. They actually raised the price on a Honda Hornet 600 ABS version by about £500 and the bike in the UK could have been purchased before the first of April for £5400, that is an increase of about 10%!!! and then they turn around and offer 0% finance with little to no deposit! clever! charging us interest upfront! NOT!

Ah well I can cry all I want, I just think that the consumer markets are going crazy! the generally accepted theory of supply and demand doesn't seem to apply here! it's more like how much could I squeeze out of these customers!! and I think the more people start to notice this, the less likely they are to make any purchases, and the more the economy will struggle! if we dont have a fair economy specially in Europe where you travel a couple of hundred miles and the same product could be purchased for a lot less! then it's gonna get worse and worse!!

Rant of the day over lol
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Old 09.04.2009, 11:30
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

Has anyone taken the route of buying a new car in the UK (tax free for export) and then registering in Switzerland? As a new car there shouldn't be any issues with certificate of conformity or the MOT test.

Of course it is harder to get a LHD car in the UK (unless you are open to make / model) but the savings are significant taking into account the current exchange rate.
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Old 09.04.2009, 11:39
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

I get that we have an economic downturn but what is with the new onslaught of "Switzerland is too expensive" threads?

On a more serious note, ok, so it's more expensive, just out of curiousity - if you had the same job abroad (aka "where everything is cheaper") as you had here, would your salary enable you to buy the same product as you are finding comparatively expensive here or would it still be too expensive? Also, would you have the job in the first place?

If both are answered with yes, then I concede that some things are overblown. However, they are often not things that you would call a basic necessity... I was, for instance, shocked at how expensive food shopping is in France, especially considering the SMIC of EUR 1200.-
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Old 09.04.2009, 12:12
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

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On a more serious note, ok, so it's more expensive, just out of curiousity - if you had the same job abroad (aka "where everything is cheaper") as you had here, would your salary enable you to buy the same product as you are finding comparatively expensive here or would it still be too expensive? Also, would you have the job in the first place?

If both are answered with yes, then I concede that some things are overblown. However, they are often not things that you would call a basic necessity... I was, for instance, shocked at how expensive food shopping is in France, especially considering the SMIC of EUR 1200.-
I agree on the point that life on minimal wage in some EU countries is not fun. And no, I could not afford the same stuff in other countries as my Swiss salary is comparatively high. However, your point is not valid when it comes to cars:
I accept happily that salaries are high here including mine, so services like a hair dresser or restaurant will cost more.
But should I really happily accept that multinational car manufacturers fix prices in parts of Europe in order to be able to compete in the US market (or invest heavily in China or can spend a lot on hookers as the VW board did...) ?

I have no problem that there are higher sales costs here, but the price differences are not really easy to explain through that. The pricing strategy is to max revenues and I do not like to feel like the cash cow...
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Old 09.04.2009, 12:42
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

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Until the scandal of high car prices in the UK was publicised a couple of years ago - and there were CHF2.40 to the pound, Swiss on the road prices of new cars were some 15% to 20% below the UK's...
Abfab îs absolutely right. I bought a second hand car in January 2008 and at that time the pound was worth around 2.5CHF. The Swiss car was actually around £1500 cheaper than the exact same model in the UK. Now that we have the exchange rate at around 1.6CHF per pound, UK cars have become a better deal. There's a few things to remember:

1) UK cars have become slightly cheaper because of the global panic/crisis. The are simply cheaper than they were as people are not buying.
2) Big cars like 4x4s hold their price in Switzerland as many are actually used for their ability to go off-road/through snowy conditions. (Not like in the UK where we used to see these 4x4 Chelsea tractors outside schools gates and shopping centre car parks) Over here, a 4x4 is useful and as such holds a strong price. I noticed recently that a Mitubish Shogun in the UK is almost half the pricce of the same vehicle out here.
3) Think about the poor people of Denmark. My colleague paid around 60,000CHF for a Citroen c4!!!!! An Audi A4 starts at around 140,000CHF!!!

Food for thought.
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Old 16.04.2009, 14:33
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

I'm jipped. I thought if i searched on the German sites they would be cheaper then here but noo. The cars are still 5-10k gbp cheaper in the UK. Forget the left hand drive, I'll just go to blighty and get one..
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Old 16.04.2009, 16:00
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

It only looks cheap because the Pound has been crushed.
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Old 16.04.2009, 17:01
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

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I'm jipped. I thought if i searched on the German sites they would be cheaper then here but noo. The cars are still 5-10k gbp cheaper in the UK. Forget the left hand drive, I'll just go to blighty and get one..
You could try getting some quotes from firms like this:

http://www.1stcarimports.co.uk/

( I have no affiliation with them, just came across the website )

No harm doing what I call some research, after all cars are not a cheap purchase, whatever country you live in! ( Just my opinion )
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Old 16.04.2009, 17:37
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Re: Why are motor vehicles prices' obscenely more expensive than their UK counterpart

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Has anyone taken the route of buying a new car in the UK (tax free for export) and then registering in Switzerland? As a new car there shouldn't be any issues with certificate of conformity or the MOT test.

Of course it is harder to get a LHD car in the UK (unless you are open to make / model) but the savings are significant taking into account the current exchange rate.
We purchased a new UK spec car from the factory in Europe. That was 2003, and with L Permits we thought we were going to be either back in the UK or Australia after a year. The UK model included loads of things that were extras on the Swiss model, so it worked out cheaper too. We still needed to get the fog light side and the headlights swapped. Paid the import taxes after 2 years of living here on the value of the car then.
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