IMPORT AND EXPORT OF LEFT HAND DRIVE CARS IN SWITZERLAND
Insignis has spent many years supporting clients looking to import or export a tax free left hand drive
car to Switzerland. Whilst Switzerland sits outside of the EU the EFTA agreement between Switzerland and the EU has similar rules as to EU based imports. Essentially you will not have to pay import duty if the vehicle is bought from an EU originating country.
Many people be them Swiss Nationals or those moving to Switzerland will look at buying LHD cars from other European countries and with particularly low levels of VAT compared with the rest of Europe it can make for a comparatively cheap option.If you were to consider importing a new left hand drive car into Switzerland from the EU then the vehicle would not attract import duty but would attract a 4% consumption tax and then the 7.5% VAT. If you already own the vehicle for at least 6 months there would be no other taxes just local registration fees.
The process for exporting a tax free LHD car is fairly simple. Initially you would need to make an appointment with the Swiss Customs at the border controls. They will check proof of identity, cars origin and ownership and issue a technical certificate for the vehicle. There is a small fee for this. You will then need to visit your local Canton who will handle the registration of the vehicle again a simple process assuming you have all the correct documents. Our experience of Swiss Customs and the Canton’s is very good and they have always been helpful.
There are some exceptions for payment of VAT too. This includes exceptions through marriage to a Swiss resident, diplomatic use and inheritance. We are often asked about whether it’s possible to operate the vehicle on foreign plates or duty free and it has to be said the Swiss system is more generous than most allowing migrants with a residence permit to operate the vehicle tax free for up to 2 years.
Like any consideration regarding buying a tax free lhd car for import into Switzerland it comes down to economics. You need to look at the full cost of the vehicle. Tax Free price plus the consumption tax and VAT as well as looking at the costs associated with needing to physically pickup the vehicle from outside of Switzerland to take back over the border. More often than not a company like ours car offer significant savings but always compare it to local pricing and exchange rate fluctuations.
If you are a Swiss resident looking or you are moving to Switzerland then we are on hand to assist you with every detail relating to your tax free left hand drive purchase so please feel free to contact us at anytime to discuss the details of a potential purchase.