Importing your car to Switzerland: what you need to know

Guide byAutociel

Here's a sum up of what you need to do if you want to import your car to Switzerland. 

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  • You may bring a car into Switzerland free of tax and duty if you have owned and used it for at least 6 months as it is considered to be part of your personal effects.

  • The imported car must be registered in Switzerland within one year of you taking residency in Switzerland.

  • If you import a car duty free for your personal use you will be liable for paying duty if you sell it within one year of your arrival.

Need to know-s

The car must be mentioned in the inventory of your personal effects and its passage through customs certified at the point of entry into the country.

If you have owned your car for less than 6 months at the time of your residency registration, you will be liable for Swiss tax/duty. You will need to provide official documentation confirming the value of the car, its country of origin and a certificate of compliance with Swiss standards.

Foreign license plates may be used for maximum one year.

Basic car registration fee, license plates and technical check generally cost around CHF 300.

Take into account the costs of importation and any potentially necessary vehicle modifications to comply with Swiss specifications and pollution / CO2 requirements. These factors can be costly for cars designed

 

How to proceed

Request your household goods mover to include your car with your personal effects declaration and provide customs forms for importation, even if you are personally driving it into Switzerland.

Ensure you have the following standard list of required documentation for importation and registration:

  • Expert report 13.20A (form obtained from customs when clearing the car)

  • Customs authorisation 18.44 (form obtained at customs or from the moving company if the car is part of your household goods)

  • Technical data from vehicle (user manual)

  • Vehicle license (registration card)

  • Number plates

Costs involved

  • Import duties, if applicable, depend on the specifics of your car.

  • Possible modification costs for Swiss technical compliance depend on the specifics of your car and can be very costly.

  • The exchange of licence plates costs approximately CHF 300.

  • Annual Swiss road tax based on your engine capacity and the canton of residence and lies between CHF 100 and CHF 1000. 

  • Mandatory third-party liability insurance varies depending on the specifics of car and driver (see insurance provider for details).

  • Swiss motorway vignette is mandatory and costs CHF 40 per year. 

Exchanging your driver’s license

From the date of your registration, you have 365 days to exchange your foreign driver's license into a Swiss driver's license.

Driver's licenses which do not conform to the standard Latin alphabet must be officially translated into either German, French, Italian or English.

A test drive is required when the existing license is issued by a country which is not a member of the EU or EFTA. Exceptions to this rule are Australia, USA, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore. People with a license from these countries are not subject to a test drive.

An eye test from a certified Swiss optician is needed in order to exchange your license. Foreign eye tests are not valid.