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Old 01.05.2009, 08:49
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German car, insurance and customs

I have been trying to figure out how, and in which order to get my car to properly to Switzerland, but I am only becoming more confused. I hope someone can help me out on my questions!

1. I live in Germany with a German registered car, moving to Zurich next week. My German insurance company, Allianz, told me that they cannot insure my car as soon as I have unregistered from Germany (from Einwohnermeldeamt). I am unregistered as of 31 May. Can I get a Swiss insurance for my German car? Any tips on companies?

2. Since I plan to stay in Switzerland, sooner or later I have to get Swiss plates there. By then, I have to go to the registration place (KFZ Zulassung) here and return my German plates, right? I do not want to drive all the way back to Germany to do this later. Can I get some temporary German plates or something, that allows me to unregister the car already while I am abroad?

3. About the customs, I will arrive a few days before my moving company brings all the stuff. I will have the car full of stuff already though. Since I go through the customs first, do I have to take care of all customs stuff then? I would prefer to just drive through and having the moving company take care of all paper stuff a few days later.

I would appreciate a lot if I could get some ideas from you on these topics, or tips on where to look closer!

Thanks a lot!
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Old 02.05.2009, 00:06
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

We got insurance for our foreign car with overseas licence plates from Zurich connect. They are only a few companies I found that would insure my car with plates from North America. I'm sure German plates will be just as easy for them.

I believe if you are permanently moving to Switzerland, you have to declare those items when you bring your shipment over and pay duty on things less than 6 months old. That goes for the car also. I also know people who have been living here for years without importing their car. They have to drive the car back to their home country a few times a year and that avoids the car from being deemed exported. These things can be a little tricky.....search for some posts and I think you will find more help.


best of luck
Anwar
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Old 02.05.2009, 00:23
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Returning German plates is no issue: You do not have to return them as they are not a "document" as in Switzerland or other countries. Repair shops in Germany would throw them to the scrap metal when you change your plates within Germany. (A friend of mine had this happen to his Swiss plates when he moved back to Germany which ended in an endless legal thing with him travelling back to CH to report the loss of the plates at the ZH police...)

The difficulties will be more on the importing side: You will need to go through a long and expensive process to get your car street legal here in order to be able to get plates. There are some long threads about "importing a car from the US" on the forum. All the rules apply fo the EU as well.

I personally sold my car in Germany and bought another one here as the money I lost at the dealer was not more than the money and effort to import my old one (it was a "very used" Honda worth 5k EUR...so it depends naturally on the car we are talking about).
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Old 02.05.2009, 00:52
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

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I have been trying to figure out how, and in which order to get my car to properly to Switzerland, but I am only becoming more confused. I hope someone can help me out on my questions!
I went through this process when I moved to Zurich from Munich. Here are my answers to your questions...

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1. I live in Germany with a German registered car, moving to Zurich next week. My German insurance company, Allianz, told me that they cannot insure my car as soon as I have unregistered from Germany (from Einwohnermeldeamt). I am unregistered as of 31 May. Can I get a Swiss insurance for my German car? Any tips on companies?
I'm surprised Allianz are bothered. Anyway, Zurich Connect insured my car on its chassis number on the understanding I would register in Switzerland asap.

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2. Since I plan to stay in Switzerland, sooner or later I have to get Swiss plates there. By then, I have to go to the registration place (KFZ Zulassung) here and return my German plates, right? I do not want to drive all the way back to Germany to do this later. Can I get some temporary German plates or something, that allows me to unregister the car already while I am abroad?
When you go to the Strassenverkehrsamt to register and get your new Swiss plates, they'll take your old German plates off you. I don't know what they do with them - possibly melt them down and reuse the metal?

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3. About the customs, I will arrive a few days before my moving company brings all the stuff. I will have the car full of stuff already though. Since I go through the customs first, do I have to take care of all customs stuff then? I would prefer to just drive through and having the moving company take care of all paper stuff a few days later.
I did exactly this. There's a good chance you won't even see any customs at the border, but if you do, just explain what you're doing, show your passport and your work contract etc. Don't worry about it.
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Old 02.05.2009, 00:56
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

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The difficulties will be more on the importing side: You will need to go through a long and expensive process to get your car street legal here in order to be able to get plates. There are some long threads about "importing a car from the US" on the forum. All the rules apply fo the EU as well
This shouldn't be much of a problem for the OP since his car is already street legal in Germany and the regulations are almost the same. The main thing to watch out for is the emissions test.
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Old 02.05.2009, 07:44
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

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1. I live in Germany with a German registered car, moving to Zurich next week. My German insurance company, Allianz, told me that they cannot insure my car as soon as I have unregistered from Germany (from Einwohnermeldeamt). I am unregistered as of 31 May. Can I get a Swiss insurance for my German car? Any tips on companies?
And you can't simply transfer your car insurance to Allianz Switzerland..?

http://www.allianz.com/en/about_alli...ge1.html?tab=4
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Old 02.05.2009, 08:41
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Just pop the old plates back to the Strassenvekehrsamt in the post. That is what we did with our Swiss plates, when we left Switzerland, one time ago.
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Old 02.05.2009, 10:36
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Hi Mx2000,

Zurich Connect did my car as well, on UK plates. As for customs, I had to fill out this form before arriving - http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...gpKfo&typ=.pdf

And then give it to customs when I crossed the border with my car. I think there's an option to file it later, inside Switzerland, as well.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02.05.2009, 11:39
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Wow, great responses, thanks!

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Returning German plates is no issue: You do not have to return them as they are not a "document" as in Switzerland or other countries. Repair shops in Germany would throw them to the scrap metal when you change your plates within Germany. (A friend of mine had this happen to his Swiss plates when he moved back to Germany which ended in an endless legal thing with him travelling back to CH to report the loss of the plates at the ZH police...)
Sounds good with the German plates. When I got rid of my Swedish car in Germany, I had to saw the plates in half (to save delivery costs ) and DHL them back to Sweden. If I can do the same in Switzerland, or just throw them away, even better.

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I'm surprised Allianz are bothered. Anyway, Zurich Connect insured my car on its chassis number on the understanding I would register in Switzerland asap.

When you go to the Strassenverkehrsamt to register and get your new Swiss plates, they'll take your old German plates off you. I don't know what they do with them - possibly melt them down and reuse the metal?

I did exactly this. There's a good chance you won't even see any customs at the border, but if you do, just explain what you're doing, show your passport and your work contract etc. Don't worry about it.
I do not know why Allianz bother. I have the feeling that my insurance guy got a bit cranky when I told him I have to cancel all my insurances. He was definitely more helpful when I wanted to sign up a few years ago! It is a bit strange though, he told me he cannot insure the car when I do not have my address in Germany. Now I got a letter from them saying that they cannot cancel the insurance to my moving date, since the car is still registered. Or, if I have already moved, I have to tell them my bank account so they can transfer the rest of the money back.

I will call the Allianz headquarter rather than my guy, because if I understand it correctly, they would still insure the car as long as it is registered in Germany. For me, that would be the best, since then I can get a Swiss insurance first when I have Swiss plates on the car. Otherwise I will check with Zurich Connect, as many of you have recommended it!

We will have to drive through the customs outside their opening hours, so if everything is as normal, they will just wave me through. Maybe I will keep a copy of all documents in the car in case they stop me anyway. And I will let the moving company hand in the form a few days later.

But what I do not know is, what actually happens when you declare a car in the customs? Do they need to look at the car, fill in some papers, or what?

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And you can't simply transfer your car insurance to Allianz Switzerland..?

http://www.allianz.com/en/about_alli...ge1.html?tab=4
I will give them a call. Hopefully they are more helpful now than my insurance guy here!

Last edited by Mx2000; 02.05.2009 at 11:43. Reason: Added some text
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Old 14.05.2009, 10:23
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

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This shouldn't be much of a problem for the OP since his car is already street legal in Germany and the regulations are almost the same. The main thing to watch out for is the emissions test.
Hi there , I had a full TUV test done on my car in Munich before I moved here -it's an SUV and I'm wondering just how much more stringent the test is. Would the paperwork I had done in Germany last year on the car not be precisely the same (i.e. emissions test is done there as well). Would it make sense to return to Germany for an update of the emissions test or must it be done here ? If so do you know of any reasonably priced garages who would do same ?

Thanks.
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Old 18.06.2009, 00:44
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

i got the same problem.
i am moving to swiss with my car registered in Germany.
i read some posts here and found that i have to pay tax besides insurance.
anyone has an idea what is tax for car?
and i am also confused about the procedures to bring my car to swiss.
waiting for more precise answers......
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Old 18.06.2009, 08:53
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

I have had some success the last few weeks now. I had to go to the customs in Zurich in order to get the form, called 13.20 if I remember correctly (20 CHF). Shortly after that I got a letter from the Strassenverkehrsamt saying that I have to send in this form, along with the registration papers for the car and a proof of insurance. I signed up for an insurance at Allianz24 and they sent automatically the proof of insurance to the Strassenverkehrsamt. I sent all my papers as well, and now I got an appointment in August for the immatriculation of the car.

Before I go there, I have to get the Abgasuntersuchung and buy smaller plate holders. If anyone can recommend a good garage that does the Abgasuntersuchung, let me know!

junhuaq: If you have owned your car for more than one year, you can bring it in as moving goods, and not having to pay any taxes.
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Old 18.06.2009, 09:17
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Just a tip: bring tools when you go to the MFK. With my car, after the test it was parked somewhere outside. The guy then told me to bring the (dutch) plates indoors for further processing. It took some headscratching and using a screwdriver as a crowbar to get the plates off as I didn't bring any decent tools....
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Old 18.06.2009, 11:37
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

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Just a tip: bring tools when you go to the MFK. With my car, after the test it was parked somewhere outside. The guy then told me to bring the (dutch) plates indoors for further processing. It took some headscratching and using a screwdriver as a crowbar to get the plates off as I didn't bring any decent tools....
Thanks for the tip! But what happened with your dutch plates? Did you get them back, or were they destroyed and the car automatically got unregistered from Holland?
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Old 18.06.2009, 11:48
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

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Thanks for the tip! But what happened with your dutch plates? Did you get them back, or were they destroyed and the car automatically got unregistered from Holland?
I had to hand in the Dutch plates. They told me that they would mail them back to Holland for me. Later I got a letter from Holland telling me that they received the plates and that my car was unregistered from Holland now.
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Old 18.06.2009, 12:30
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

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I had to hand in the Dutch plates. They told me that they would mail them back to Holland for me. Later I got a letter from Holland telling me that they received the plates and that my car was unregistered from Holland now.
Great, that sounds easy. Hopefully it works the same with the German plates, but I think it will.
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Old 19.06.2009, 00:38
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

hi, MX2000,
from the forum, some people says that if the car is with me for 6 months, then i dnot need to pay extra money. is that one year or 6 months?
one more question: how long can i drive my car in swiss with the german plates? i have to travel between germany and swiss in the next half year.


so the general steps are:
first drive the car to swiss and register it, then declare import duty, do the paperwork (insurance, some kind of test and so on) for the car in swiss. then the car is automatically deregistered in Germany?
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Old 19.06.2009, 08:21
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Hi junhuaq,
I read quickly on www.zoll.ch and it seems as it is actually six months if you bring your car as moving goods. If you move here, you can have the german plates for one year. You just have to check with your german insurance so they won't start complaining.

You described the steps correctly. If the car is automatically unregistered from Germany, I can answer you after August, in case everything went fine with my car. But I would guess it happens automatically.

Also, the name of the country is Schweiz in german and Switzerland in english, not swiss.
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Old 14.09.2009, 17:50
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Any update Mx2000?
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Old 14.09.2009, 18:22
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Re: German car, insurance and customs

Yes, I almost forgot about this thread. I now have Swiss plates on my car, and everything went very smooth.

Before my appointment at Strassenverkehrsamt, I went to a small mechanic here and he did a check-up, cleaned the engine and underneath the car, so it was in good shape. Cost around 400 CHF.

At the Strassenverkehrsamt it was very easy. I had all papers so the check-up took around 45 minutes. Then I had to give them the German plates (they were destroyed and Germany was notified. I am still waiting for my money from the German insurance company) and I got my Swiss plates. This took also around 45 minutes.

A few weeks later I got the invoice at around 450 CHF (including new driver's license). So I am fine and have hopefully taken care of all administrative stuff now
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