Auto Import Switzerland – Guide
Auto Import Switzerland (symbol image)

Are you planning to import a vehicle into Switzerland? With the help of our "Auto Import Switzerland" checklist, this is no problem. This guide will take you by the hand during import and will tell you the individual points in a comprehensible way. We address all the steps that need to be taken, from purchase to customs clearance to approval. With this guide you will not only learn the individual processes, but we also have some tips on how to save money.

Now directly to the tax calculator Auto Import to Switzerland

Buying a vehicle abroad (preparation for auto import Switzerland)

There are a few things to keep in mind when buying the vehicle abroad. If you are flexible here and use the right tricks, you can save money later. At first glance, some offers may seem lucrative, but on closer inspection you can even import a better car for less money.

Choice of vehicle / CO2 emission

There are now many platforms on the Internet through which you can find attractive offers for a new vehicle. Two platforms for used and new vehicles are e.B. and if you want to buy the vehicle in Germany. Should it be a new car or is a used vehicle enough for you? The offers for new cars abroad are cheap. But note that vehicles that were registered abroad for less than 6 months at the time of purchase are subject to a CO2 levy. A supposed bargain can therefore later become a much more expensive purchase than assumed, after adding the import duties and the CO2 levy. Vehicles with a small engine and thus less CO2 emissions are usually CO2-free. But SUVs, sports cars or other vehicles with a lot of horsepower can quickly become expensive here (see Federal Office for Roads).

Our tip: If you want a relatively new vehicle with a large engine, make sure that the 1. placing the vehicle on the market at least 6 months ago. This saves you money. If you still want to buy a CO2-dependent vehicle, we have explained a savings tip for you in point 4.2. Calculate now online whether your vehicle is subject to CO2 tax: to the CO2 tax calculator

Choice of seller / VAT refund

When you're on online automotive platforms, millions of deals are waiting for you. But which seller and which offer should you choose here? Does this really matter whether the car is sold by a dealer or is it not also done by a trusted private person?

Yes, it matters, because you can save a lot of money here. Relatively young, second-hand vehicles in particular are often sold by dealers subject to VAT. These are e.B. demonstration cars, rental vehicles, leasing returners, company cars, etc. If you see in the vehicle tender that the "VAT is deductible" or the offer is "incl. 19% VAT", then you can get a refund of the German tax later.

So if you bought a car for 11,000 euros from a private person, you would not get a tax refund, as you did not pay german tax either. If you bought the same car from a VAT dealer for 11,900 euros, you would get a refund of 1,900 euros. Even if the car is more expensive at first glance, you are generally cheaper. Please note, however, that you will not receive VAT back from merchants who do not show VAT. This is due to the fact that this is a special case (not taxable).

Export of the vehicle (import car from Germany)

There are a few things to consider when preparing for the transfer so that you do not have any problems later on in customs clearance and in the case of a police check.

Preparation of the export accompanying document (ABD)

Before you can import the vehicle purchased in Germany into Switzerland, you must first export it from Germany. For this purpose, a so-called export accompanying document, also called ABD, must be prepared. You can either create it yourself or have it created by a customs agency. Once the export clearance has been issued by the customs office, the vehicle may be exported from Germany.

Export labels and insurance

In order to transport the vehicle on its own axle, it must be marked with a number plate. However, it is not allowed to use a Swiss control plate. It must therefore be a specific export label. You can get this for a fee directly from the registration office in Germany at the place of the seller of the vehicle. At the same time, insurance must also be taken out. Thus, you and other road users are adequately protected in the event of an accident. The cost of the export license plate is approximately 20-100 EUR, depending on the registration office and insurance.

Alternatively, the vehicle can also be transferred with the regular German number plate of the seller, as long as there is insurance cover for the driver.

Another alternative is the transfer without license plates and insurance, e.B. on a trailer or on a car transpoter. If you would like an offer, please contact us.

COC / EC Certificate of Conformity

When purchasing the vehicle, you should usually receive the original COC paper from the dealer. COC stands for Certificate of Conformity = EC Certificate of Conformity. You will need this document later in order to be able to admit the vehicle in Switzerland. If the document is no longer available, you can order it directly from the manufacturer. Alternatively, there is also the possibility to redeem the vehicle without COC. However, this requires other documents and information. You can find out more directly from the Road Traffic Office of your canton, e.B. in this letter from the Lucerne Road Traffic Office.

Import of the vehicle (Auto Import Switzerland)

When importing the vehicle, you will be charged the cost of import duties and the cost of the customs agent's service. Below we have compiled the formula for you.

Import Duty Calculation – Auto Import Switzerland Cost Calculator

Depending on the vehicle, a weight duty is initially required. This is usually 12.- CHF per 100 kg weight of the vehicle. For a smaller and therefore lighter car, there are therefore fewer duties, as the weight is lower. On average, it can be assumed that approximately 150-200 CHF of customs duties are incurred per vehicle import.

In addition to the duties, 4% car tax is added to the value of the vehicle. With a vehicle price of 9,000 EUR = equivalent to approx. 10,000 CHF, 400 CHF automotive tax would be incurred.

Tariffs and the car tax as well as the value of the vehicle will then be charged a total of 7.7% VAT. At the above value, this would be 200 CHF inches + 400 CHF automotive tax + 10,000 CHF vehicle value = 10,600 CHF x 7.7% VAT = 816.20 CHF. The total import duties would therefore be 200.- + 400.- + 816.20 CHF = 1416.20 CHF

Here is another calculation example: The purchase price of a vehicle is 22,000 euros. Converted into CHF, this would be x1.1 = approx. 24,200 CHF + 200 CHF customs duties = 24,400 CHF. In addition (24,200 x 4%) = 968 CHF = 25,368 CHF. Plus 7.7% VAT on 25368 CHF inches and automobile tax and vehicle value = 1953.35 CHF. The total import duties are therefore 1953.35 CHF VAT + 1168 CHF customs/automobile tax = 3121.35 CHF.

Import customs clearance

We are happy to pay the import duty for you. For this purpose, we use a special customs software, which is directly connected to the customs system.

Registration of the vehicle

Before you can enter/redeem the vehicle, you must have paid the import duties. You can then make an appointment with the Road Traffic Office. There you will then have to present the form 13.20A, which we have created for you with the import customs clearance.

MFK after the car import Switzerland / vehicle redeem

In order to be able to redeem the vehicle in Switzerland, you must always have a complete acceptance test carried out by the MFK (motor vehicle control). After the vehicle is fit for traffic, you will receive the new control signs.

Co2 levy / savings tip

In order to save CO2 levies, there are so-called CO2 exchanges. There, the quota of low-emission vehicles can be purchased to introduce higher-emission vehicles. Find out more on the ASTRA website: List of CO2 exchanges