Are you planning a move to Switzerland soon? Knowing exactly what you need to do to ship your car internationally can be intimidating. In addition, following the legal obligations you need to fill can feel overwhelming if you're new to this kind of shipping.
Shipping a car to Switzerland is a lot easier than you may have expected. With a complete step-by-step guide like this one, you will be fast on your way to gathering what you need for a successful international shipment.
Select a Shipping Location
Before you do anything, you must know precisely where you will need your car shipped to in Switzerland. This helps auto transportation companies pinpoint time and cost expectations and what they need to get your shipment there as soon as possible. Some companies may not be able to deliver your car to a specific location and will have to know this so they can make arrangements for closer shipments that are not far off from your desired location.
Search for a Shipping Company
Your search for a transportation company should begin relatively fast. However, depending on the type of shipping method and carriers you select, the company you want to work with will not have the equipment ready in time for shipment if they are completely booked.
To find the right company, start thoroughly researching companies in your area that offer international shipping services. When you find several companies with the right equipment for shipping your car to Switzerland, you need to compare timeframes, methods, and prices. The company you select should closely fit the budget you have set as well as your timeline. Shipping methods can vary to help save you money, but the big thing is choosing a company that you trust to ship your car smoothly and on time. Shipping dates are likely to be guaranteed unless something major changes during the shipment process.
Gather Necessary Documentation
Once you nail down your shipping location, you should begin getting your car's documents in order. There are certain documents your auto transport company will need for their data.
These documents are:
- Personal ID & your passport
- Proof of Ownership (can be the title or bill of sale)
- Proof of origin from the manufacturer
- Vehicle registration
- Bill of Landing
Depending on your company, you may need more documents, but these are the basics you need to have ready for every transportation company. In addition, these generic documents are required to transport a car into most international countries.
Determine Cost & Duration of International Shipping
Are you operating under a time crunch? Shipping your car internationally is not a quick-moving process. It takes a while to process your documents, not counting the actual shipment and prep work.
As soon as you know, you will need to ship a car to Switzerland, start searching for a company to work with. Based on the specific part of Switzerland you need your car shipped to, the time for shipment can vary. For example, some places in Switzerland take 5 to 6 days to ship while others take up to 30 or more.
The cost to ship your car to Switzerland can also vary for several variables we will later discuss. The average cost to ship a car to Switzerland can be between $2,000 to $4,300 or more. Costs and figures will be discussed with your auto transportation company once you nail down who to work with. If you need to stick to a budget, that should factor in the shipping method and carrier you select.
Select Shipping Method & Carrier
After you select the company you want to work with, you then get to decide on a shipping method and carrier for your car. Of course, the method and carrier you select will also play a factor in the total price. For instance, a larger vehicle will cost more to transport than a smaller, standard car, and selecting the "RoRo" (roll-on, roll-off) method is cheaper than others. You will also have the option of shipping by boat or plane. Ground shipping is always the cheaper option, so this is the best method for your shipment if you have a strict budget.
Complete Paperwork & Prepare Car
Once you have your method nailed down, it's time to finish all the paperwork you can. Some companies save final paperwork signings for when your shipment is delivered. When you're finished signing paperwork, you can begin to prepare your car to be shipped.
Prepping your car for shipment means cleaning it out of all of your valuables and belongings. If your vehicle has a trunk, that needs to be cleaned out as well. It's also important that you reduce the gas tank to ⅛ and wash the car before you drop it off. After you wash the car, take pictures from all angles and up close to use as proof in case any damages were to happen during the shipment practice.
Finally, you should make a spare key before dropping off your car if you don't have one already. You will likely need to hand over your original key to the transportation company, so having an extra will be a good idea if the key is lost.
It's finally time for you to drop off your car! But, of course, when you arrive at this part of the process, everything is easier from then on out.
Dropping off your car is exciting, but you should bring someone with you to take you back home after. This part of the process allows you to reduce your stress and focus on anything else you need to do for your international move.
Settle Information With Switzerland
Your company will likely inform you of anything you need to do about registering your car and getting it plated in Switzerland or any other legal matters you need to take for the move. Switzerland is a very environmentally country and has an anti-pollution test they may make your car undergo once it overseas. You will need to register your car to be imported at a customs office, and you should bring with you the following documents:
- Invoice/or sales contract
- Vehicle ID
- Personal ID
- Import Customs Declaration
- Proof of origin from the manufacturer
Track & Retrieve Car
Most auto transport companies will give you a tracking number to locate your vehicle at all times during the shipment process. This allows you to understand your pacing and have comfort in knowing where your car is at all times.
When it comes time to retrieve your car, remember to bring with you the final payment and final paperwork if your company requires it. If you are unable to make it to the delivery location on the delivery date, you must relay this message to your driver as soon as possible, so they know to deliver the car to who is filling your spot. International delivery times are typically guaranteed dates unless something massive occurs during shipment.
When you retrieve your car after shipment, the first thing you should do is inspect the car for any damages. Typically, major damages do not occur during international shipping except for the occasional scratch and scuff to the body of the car. Nevertheless, you should inspect your vehicle thoroughly and report any damages to the driver. If you notice anything after delivery, most companies have a time window where you can report the damages. After that, you will file a claim through the company and be contacted after your claim is processed. In order to win your claim, the pictures you took before drop-off will suffice in most cases. Since these companies are typically insured, replacements are handled through the company, and you will likely speak to one of their insurance representatives. After that, it's all about making sure your car was successfully shipped to Switzerland and you are enjoying your new location!