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Old 13.07.2009, 19:12
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Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

I have moved out to Switzerland last August and brought my UK car with me. It is taxed, MOT'd and insured in England and registered at my parents (and my previous) address.

I am now back in England for 3 weeks and am going to get the MOT, tax etc.. done. I would really like to drive back to Switzerland and keep my car there until Christmas.

I have read the forum and some of the Strassenverkehrsamt website and realise that after 12 months I have to register my car and declare it as an import.

If I fill in the form and declare it as an import at the customs border and pay the 25 CHF- what would the next required step be and in what timescale. I have absolutely no intentions of keeping it in Switzerland in 2010 and my insurance will only run for 180 days anyway.

Is it going to be possible for me to officially start the "import" preocedure and then change my mind and take the car back ? My car is a 1998 fiesta and im sure it would cost more than it's value if i did the whole import and tests etc..

I also need to change my driving licence. How strict are they on the 12 month rule? Would 2 days late be overlooked or frowned upon!?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 13.07.2009, 20:03
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Re: Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

We got busted for breaching the 12 month rule but only after we were flashed for speeding and that brought the matter to the attention of the police. We were fined CHF 400 for this and had to complete the import procedure. In your case for a 1998 Fiasco I wouldn't bother, you will have to also get a "Certificate of Conformity" which certifies that the vehicle complies with EU regulations - you can get this at a main importer for your manufacturer and they will charge you for this - it's a complete and utter rip-off but there's nothing you can do about it. For our Renault built in 2003 the bit of useless paper cost CHF220. Then you have to pay tax on the assessed value of the vehicle - in our case that was another CHF1,700 then you have to conform to the Swiss "MOT" which is a lot tougher than the UK version and you will have to convert your headlights, make sure you speedo also reads in KPH. In short, it's a load of hassle and not worth it. I wouldn't suggest deliberately breaking the law here but if one were to keep a low profile and stay under the police radar one might get away with it
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Old 13.07.2009, 20:11
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Re: Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

Keeping a low profile may not be enough. What happens if you are involved in an accident? Even if it is not your fault, the insurers may refuse your claim, the other party will blame you for driving an unsafe vehicle, the police will penalize you, the migration department may take a dim view, etc.
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Old 13.07.2009, 20:16
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Re: Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

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Keeping a low profile may not be enough. What happens if you are involved in an accident? Even if it is not your fault, the insurers may refuse your claim, the other party will blame you for driving an unsafe vehicle, the police will penalize you, the migration department may take a dim view, etc.

Good point - although the OP mentioned that he's driving on UK papers meaning that provided he could still show a residential address in the UK (in other words not emigrated in the eyes of the Uk insurer) and hadn't exceeded his Green Card allowance he should still be covered under the UK insurance
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Old 13.07.2009, 20:30
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Re: Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

Hi,
yes would all be on UK papers etc..

I would just really like to bring some more of my books and heavier possesions over - which is too much for a flight back.
Also we are currently looking to buy a second hand Swiss car and so would only use my GB car until the end of September. We just need a little bit more money but should definitely be feasible by September!
So, i wouldn't drive my UK car October-December but it would still be in Switzerland as Xmas is the soonest i can drive it back.

If i fill in an import form, how long do they give you to complete all the tests etc...

Thanks
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Old 13.07.2009, 20:37
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Re: Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

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Hi,
yes would all be on UK papers etc..

I would just really like to bring some more of my books and heavier possesions over - which is too much for a flight back.
Also we are currently looking to buy a second hand Swiss car and so would only use my GB car until the end of September. We just need a little bit more money but should definitely be feasible by September!
So, i wouldn't drive my UK car October-December but it would still be in Switzerland as Xmas is the soonest i can drive it back.

If i fill in an import form, how long do they give you to complete all the tests etc...

Thanks
short answer, dunno. This being Switzerland it wouldn't be very long I think. Why don't you try seeing if someone is coming back here with room in a van or car to bring your stuff over? Quite a few folk here make regular trips to the UK. That would save you the hassle unless you really need a car here for every day
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Old 13.07.2009, 21:14
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Re: Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

The other reason was to drive around at weekends looking at cars. The garages are sometimes not in the centres of towns.
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Old 22.09.2009, 22:14
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Re: Uk Car - 12 month rule - would like a bit longer !

If you have been over here for longer than 12 months, but are then not intending to keep the car over for more than 12 months beyond that, then I think you need to apply for "U" suffixed plates

If you go up to the Strassenverksamthingummybobbins (penultimate stop on the number 13 tram direction Uetliberg) they'll give you a loverly bit of paper explaining which plate you need to apply for.

As for UK car insurance, I don't know of any that cover it without a green card, most of which you not only have to pay for but are only valid for a maximum of 90 days per year with a maximum visit of 30 days (the idiots)

It's really not that difficult to get it converted although the chances are you'll need to fork out for new headlight units
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