Switzerland is known for its picturesque landscapes, efficient public transport and high quality of life. At the same time, the cost of living, including the cost of owning a car, is relatively high. Therefore, some consider the possibility of saving money by living in Switzerland but driving a car with a foreign license plate. But this brings with it a number of significant challenges that need to be considered.
Why a foreign number plate is tempting
Having a foreign number plate while living in Switzerland can be financially appealing for several reasons.
Low initial costs: importing, i.e. importing and registering a car in Switzerland, can be expensive due to high import duties and registration fees. Keeping the foreign number plates avoids these costs.
Low insurance prices: In some cases, foreign insurance prices are lower.
Low road taxes: Taxes in Switzerland are often based on power in kW, unladen and gross weight, energy efficiency class and CO2 according to WLTP. As a result, a car registered abroad can offer tax advantages.
Although these potential cost savings are tempting, there are a few things to consider and legal requirements to take into account when driving a foreign-registered car in Switzerland.
Here's what to consider when driving a car with foreign plates
Legal problems: One of the biggest restrictions is the legal aspect. This is because Swiss law generally requires people registered in Switzerland to register their vehicles in Switzerland if they live there for more than 6 months. Using a car registered abroad beyond this period can lead to fines and other legal measures.
Import regulations: Importing a foreign car involves complex customs and import regulations. These include, for example, meeting safety and environmental standards.
Taxes: Vehicles registered abroad can lead to double taxation under certain circumstances.
Insurance: If a vehicle registered abroad causes a traffic accident or damage in Switzerland, this can lead to high costs or time-consuming clarifications with the insurance company.
Costs for traffic violations: If a car is registered abroad in the event of a traffic violation, this can lead to unexpected processing costs from the various authorities in the case of fines.
Although it is appealing to save money by driving a car registered abroad in Switzerland, it is important to know and consider the legal and administrative guidelines and restrictions associated with this decision
In general, Swiss laws and regulators are designed to ensure safety, tax compliance and fairness for all motorists. Failure to comply with the law or import regulations can result in fines, legal problems and, in some cases, confiscation of a car.
If you live in Switzerland and drive a vehicle registered abroad, you should definitely consult with a legal expert and the relevant authority to understand the applicable laws and requirements.
In most cases, it is recommended that residents register their cars in Switzerland to prevent potential problems and ensure compliance with all regulations.
Ultimately, while saving money is important, it should not be done at the expense of legal and financial consequences. A legally completely unobjectionable solution is a car subscription. Carvolution takes care of all the administrative steps, from the redemption to the insurance.
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