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Old 13.07.2022, 10:42
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Buying a car from Germany or France

Hi all,

The CHF / EUR exchange rate has become really low (there is another thread on housing about this). Logically, its a good moment if you want to buy a car to get it from abroad correct ? I know there is paperwork to do, but there are companies to help on that. Does anyone have any particular locations or recommendations beyond autoscout.de where they like to look ? and am i right in my thinking here, it is going to be the right location to look right now ?

thanks

Last edited by keyboardandmouse; 13.07.2022 at 12:31.
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Old 13.07.2022, 11:49
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

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Hi all,

The CHF / EUR exchange rate has become really low (there is another thread on housing about this). Logically, its a good moment if you want to buy a car to get it from abroad correct ? I know there is paperwork to do, but there are companies to help on that. Does anyone have any particular locations or recommendations beyond autoscout.de where they like to look ? and am i right in my thinking here, it is going to be the right location to look right now ?

thanks

Mike

Yes check on autoscout or mobile.de.
I have bought a car in DE and imported it myself - only help I got was that dealer in DE (not in border region) organized export plates + paper work for me - then I drove car back to CH and got through the remaining procedure.
When you look for cars, always look if VAT is refundable (on used cars bought from dealers it usually is, on new it always is from tha I understand) - it can be cheaper to buy more expensive car with refundable VAT than cheaper without (as in from private person)
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Old 13.07.2022, 12:58
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

You need to buy a car that has been matriculated (with German plates) for at least 6 months before the import or you get hit with CO2 tax which can be nasty....


The German dealer will get you plates and 3rd party insurance for 30 days.



It's fairly simple to do, when you get the the border there are plenty of custom brokers who will do the German/Swiss import papers, costs around Chf 200.-- but without this properly filled in you cannot advance, so money well spent !


The German VAT is refunded electronically, the Swiss side you pay 4% (?) vehicle tax + 7.7% VAT by credit card, maestro, cash, TWINT after which they stamp the papers and off you go.


Go to your local vehicle testing place (main one usually not the "branch offices" give them the papers, they give you an appointment for a check, which is basically bullshit after which you get your grey card and Swiss plates. They return the German plates for you.


Do wait to do this, remember insurance is only 30 days from when you drive off with the car



Make sure you take tools to remove the German plates and affix the Swiss plates, you'll need number plate holders from Jumbo or similar, make sure you know if you want a long plate or a shorter fat one, some cars look better with one or the other.
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Old 13.07.2022, 14:50
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

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You need to buy a car that has been matriculated (with German plates) for at least 6 months before the import or you get hit with CO2 tax which can be nasty....


The German dealer will get you plates and 3rd party insurance for 30 days.



It's fairly simple to do, when you get the the border there are plenty of custom brokers who will do the German/Swiss import papers, costs around Chf 200.-- but without this properly filled in you cannot advance, so money well spent !


The German VAT is refunded electronically, the Swiss side you pay 4% (?) vehicle tax + 7.7% VAT by credit card, maestro, cash, TWINT after which they stamp the papers and off you go.


Go to your local vehicle testing place (main one usually not the "branch offices" give them the papers, they give you an appointment for a check, which is basically bullshit after which you get your grey card and Swiss plates. They return the German plates for you.


Do wait to do this, remember insurance is only 30 days from when you drive off with the car



Make sure you take tools to remove the German plates and affix the Swiss plates, you'll need number plate holders from Jumbo or similar, make sure you know if you want a long plate or a shorter fat one, some cars look better with one or the other.
Brilliant responses both the above. thanks a million.
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Old 29.08.2022, 12:56
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

Hello

I'm moving to Zurich in Jan-Feb 2023 and I'm considering swtiching cars but not sure what is most viable option operationally. I'm based in Poland and usually bought cars from authorized dealers in Germany (1-2 years old), who I assume sell the cars with refundable tax (it wasn't in my interest previously since VAT in Poland is 23% and in Germany 19%).
Given the previous posts here, it seems like the most viable option would be to wait until I'm registered in Switzerland by my employer and then drive to Germany to buy a car (another 1-2 years from authorized dealer).
Understand I will have to pay the gross price (with VAT) and pay additional 11.4% (Swiss customs and taxes) upon crossing the border. Also, the refund of the German VAT is something I can claim later, correct?

Now, are there any other significant taxes / payments I would have to incur in order to register the car in Switzerland? Someone mentioned CO2 tax ( im looking for 2.0 diesel engine, production from 2020-21)?

On the other hand, I can buy a car now in Poland (from the dealer) but understand that since I will be arriving in January and 6 months have not passed yet, I will have to pay additional tax and customs min. 11.7% and may not be able to get the VAT refund from Poland ?

Appreciate any views / opinion on this.
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Old 29.08.2022, 13:44
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

I think you got this pretty correct. For a car which has been registered at least 6 months before the import the CO2 tax is 0. You have to ask the dealer if they will reimburse VAT. It is up to them and voluntarily. If they sell the car in commission from a private seller there might be no VAT to be reimbursed. See if the car has "MWSt ausgewiesen".

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On the other hand, I can buy a car now in Poland (from the dealer) but understand that since I will be arriving in January and 6 months have not passed yet, I will have to pay additional tax and customs min. 11.7% and may not be able to get the VAT refund from Poland ?
You would have to pay Swiss VAT (7.7%) and car import tax (4%) on the cars value 2 year after the import.

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If the requirements listed in form 18.44 for assessment as household effects are not met, you can apply for a customs permit form 15.30 under certain conditions. With this, you may continue to use the vehicle duty unpaid for a maximum of two years after your relocation. You must apply for Swiss number plates at the cantonal vehicle licensing office after one year at the latest.
https://www.bazg.admin.ch/bazg/en/ho...ts--etc--.html

I do not know how customs calculates depreciation, but for regular tax it is 40% every year, which would mean the car has a taxable value of 36% of its value at import time.
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Old 12.09.2022, 22:02
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

I did this a lot over the past 20 years in Switzerland, so in case of any question, please send me a PN, you require some forms and certifications, which are not easy to get if your beloved in the EU bought car already passed the ch-border and is already here in Switzerland :-)
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Old 12.09.2022, 22:05
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

....and be careful with German (private) car dealers...not all are fair enough and nice ;-)
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Old 14.09.2022, 15:20
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

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I did this a lot over the past 20 years in Switzerland, so in case of any question, please send me a PN, you require some forms and certifications, which are not easy to get if your beloved in the EU bought car already passed the ch-border and is already here in Switzerland :-)
So the best option would be to go to mobile.de and check the VAT refund and only look thru those listings no ?
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Old 21.09.2022, 10:36
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

Hi Alex, No, you should ask the car dealer if he agrees for VAT refunds BEFORE you visit him for aa car you are interested into, it is up to the car dealer unfortunately to decide if he even reverts you the VAT money or not, even if you have the german customs stamp on your car dealers invoice... it is tricky, I can help you if you would like to writing the correct words in german to potential car dealers
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Old 23.09.2022, 16:38
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Re: Buying a car from Germany or France

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Hi Alex, No, you should ask the car dealer if he agrees for VAT refunds BEFORE you visit him for aa car you are interested into, it is up to the car dealer unfortunately to decide if he even reverts you the VAT money or not, even if you have the german customs stamp on your car dealers invoice... it is tricky, I can help you if you would like to writing the correct words in german to potential car dealers
Thank you for the intention,
For now I am currently scanning the market and waiting for the car marketplace to "crash" a bit --> energy crisis and all
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