- Car Shipping Switzerland
- Ship Your Car To Or From Switzerland
- Typical Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- Cost & Time Examples For Shipping A Car To Switzerland
- Popular Shipping Destinations
- Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle To Switzerland
- Getting Around In Switzerland
- Shipping Of Heavy Equipment & Oversized Cargo To Switzerland
- What Are My Options Through A1 Auto Transport?
- Other Services
- Related Information
Car Shipping Switzerland
Ship Your Car To Or From Switzerland
Typical Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- The average cost of shipping a car to Switzerland from the U.S. is from $2,000 to $4,300.
- Larger vehicles, as well as those shipped from the Midwest or West Coast, generally cost more to transport to the area than standard sized cars and those shipped from the East Coast.
Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car to Switzerland
|Los Angeles to (California port) to Basel||$350||$3,700||5+45|
|Portland, OR to (California port) to Basel||$475||$3,700||6+45|
|Phoenix, AZ to (California port) to Basel||$550||$3,700||6+45|
|Columbus, OH to (New York port) to Geneva||$550||$2,800||5+23|
|Charlotte, NC to (New York port) to Zurich||$575||$2,800||6+23|
|Chicago, IL to (New York port) to Zurich||$675||$2,800||6+23|
|Denver, CO to (California port) to Geneva||$775||$3,700||7+30|
|Memphis, TN to (New York port) to Zurich||$800||$2,800||6+23|
|Miami, FL to (New York port) to Zurich||$925||$2,800||7+23|
|Dallas, TX to (California port) to Geneva||$1,025||$3,700||7+30|
*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.
*Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.
*Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.
*Prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally. Other items may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.
*Using the RoRo (roll on, roll off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.
Popular Shipping Destinations
Switzerland is country right at the heart of Europe with a fairly well planned transportation system that connects with other European countries. Shipping your car into Switzerland is not a lot of trouble if you are a U.S citizen. Cars of U.S citizens entering the country to establish a residence are free of duty. However, you have to provide evidence that you have owned the car for not less than six months. In addition, once you have cleared customs, you will need to register your vehicle at the road traffic office located in your canton of residence.
If you are a tourist, you can import your vehicle into the country without custom documents only if it is for your own personal use. The authorities will need substantial proof that you are a resident abroad for this to apply. On the other hand, if you only intend to stay in the country on a temporary basis, you can still import the car duty-free. But you need to first apply to the local customs authorities for duty-free customs plates.
Tourists and people who come to stay in the country don’t have to register their cars at any road traffic office. They are however required to declare their vehicles at a manned border crossing that processes trade goods. Additionally, there is a compulsory provision in the country that requires all imported vehicles to undergo a technical test at the cantonal traffic office. This should be done before you use the vehicle in Switzerland’s traffic. Switzerland is also one of the most environmentally conscious countries in Europe. So your car is likely to be taken through the anti-pollution test. You can find a simplified version of these requirements here.
Generally, the country’s laws subject the importation of cars, some delivery vans and even minibusses to the automobile duty. This duty is normally calculated at a rate of 4% of the vehicle’s value. The Swiss Customs Administration website has more information on the duty and fees charged for imported vehicles including motorbikes. Make sure you consult your auto transport company for any finer details you need to know about shipping your car to Switzerland.
Click here to learn more about vehicle registration process in Switzerland.
Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle To Switzerland
- Form 18.44 from customs.
- Inspection documents.
- Residency permit.
- Purchase invoice.
- Passport (copy acceptable)
- Bill of lading.
- Proof of insurance.
- Driver's license.
Get a Free, No Obligation to Buy, Auto Shipping Quote.Get my free quote now
or call us to do it for you:
Getting Around in Switzerland
Driving in Switzerland is a little different from how we do it in the U.S. To begin with, the country has a great public transport system and the safest road networks in Europe. Additionally, you have to be at least 18 years old to drive cars and motorbikes. But if you intend to drive a bus, you will have to be at least 21 years.
U.S. citizens and foreigners from numerous other countries can use their national driving license from home for the first 12 months of stay in Switzerland. After the 12 months, they have to exchange their driver’s license for a Swiss one. You can visit this site for more information on licenses.
In case you need a complete list of road traffic offices by Canton, you can visit the Association of Road Traffic Offices in German or French. For more information, you can visit the Federal Roads Office and get Swiss road signs here.
Shipping Of Heavy Equipment & Oversized Cargo To Switzerland
A1 Auto Transport is capable of shipping all types of cargo internationally including various kinds of heavy equipment and oversized cargo. Since we have access to the greatest and strongest shipping equipment and the most current shipping technology, shipping heavy and oversized cargo nationally and internationally is easy for us to do. We also have trained and educated staff members ready to help guide you through the process of obtaining a certificate of import approval from the Customs Department.
As stated above, we have shipped all types of cargo outside of the United States. We are certain that we can successfully have your cargo delivered into Switzerland regardless of what it is. For further insight, here is a list of examples...
- Skid Steer Loaders
- Backhoe Loaders
- Telescopic Handlers
- Asphalt Pavers
- Dump Trucks and Other Large Vehicles
- Pontoon Boats and Yachts
What Are My Options through A1 Auto Transport?
A1 offers a variety of overseas heavy equipment transport services and features. As for our methods of transport for overseas deliveries, we have several significantly great solutions. However, some of these options may not be available to you. The transport methods you’re able to take advantage of will depend on the type of heavy equipment or oversized cargo you are shipping to Switzerland.
A1’s International Shipping Services
- Container Shipping- An enclosed overseas shipping service that offers the most protection. Regrettably, not all oversized and heavy equipment can fit into a 40ft shipping container. If you’re eligible to use this transport method, your cargo will be kept safe from inclement weather conditions.
- Flat Rack Shipping- This is the safest form of open air transport that A1 has to offer. Your cargo is strapped to a metal frame before it is placed atop the ship. If bad weather is a concern, your cargo will get protected with shrink wrap.
- RoRo Shipping- The most cheapest open air transport method. Your equipment or vehicle must have the ability to drive onto and off of the shipping vessel using a ramp.
- LoLo Shipping- An open air service that’s commonly used by those transporting crated equipment or inoperable vehicles overseas. Construction materials such as large pipes, metal frames and heavy supplies may also benefit from this shipping method.
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Frequently Asked Questions
While Switzerland is a land-locked country, it possesses almost a dozen important and fully operational inland ports and shipping centers.
The three most iconic ones are as follows:
Basel Port: The port is nestled in the embrace of the eponymous city and is the country's only seaport that connects directly with the Rhine River. Through these stretches of navigable waters, the goods can be shipped via vessels to the port of Rotterdam. The strategic value of the port is only further accentuated by its ability to handle cargo in bulk. It is a hub of import/export operations and a preferable destination port for car shipments.
Geneva Port: The port is situated in one of the most beautiful, well-known, and peace-loving cities in the world (remember the Geneva Convention?) Geneva Port connects directly with the Rhone River where it feeds Lake Geneva. It is by far, the largest port in the country and can handle tons of cargo imports and exports annually, including automobile imports.
Zurich Port: Situated at the northern shore of the lake that bears the same name, the Zurich Port is part of an extremely busy commerce center. Pinned amid a financial hub for all types of businesses, the port handles a great deal of import/export operations including car shipments.
Putting an exact price tag on such operations is hard considering how many variables come into play, however, as a general estimate, around $2,000 to $4,300 should cover it. This, of course, is only an estimate based on current trends and presuming that you’re not overcharged and that there are no issues with the shipment.
The cost depends on several factors, but the most important variables are the distance traveled and whether or not you get a tax exemption for your import.
You must get a trusted service provider on board because this way, you'll ensure that you don't overpay for anything and that everything goes on smoothly.
The time frame can’t be stated with absolute certainty in the shipping business because there can be unexpected delays at every stage, i.e. poor weather conditions, import processing delays, customs hold up, and so on.
However, the biggest fraction of the time taken for shipments is claimed by overseas travel. This time frame depends on which route works out in your case, for instance, the travel time between the California port and Basel is around 45 days.
In contrast, the travel time for the New York port to Zurich route is half as much, i.e. 23 days.
This means that the original location of your vehicle and the delivery address matter a lot, and of course, the aforementioned estimates only over overseas travel. You need to give extra days for overland distances, document processing, customs clearing, and so on.
You should not delay shipping your vehicle if you need it as soon as possible because it can take at least a month for you to get a hold of your car in Switzerland, and even then there will be stuff to do, i.e. registration.
The shipment prices are not fixed but instead, subject to change, based on the following important factors:
- Your car’s make and model
- Your car’s monetary value, based on the condition at the time of the shipping.
- The most suitable route for overseas transport of the car, i.e. the distance traveled will also affect the cost of shipping.
- The selected shipping method, i.e. container shipping or open-air shipping will also factor in; the former is costlier than the latter.
- Customs clearance is another important stage, if you secure an exemption on the duties and taxes, you’ll get a major slash on your costs.
- Fees for insurance coverage will also affect the overall cost if you choose to get it.
- The materials and equipment used for the transportation will also decide the final price.
And so on…
In most cases, as you may have already noticed, you can manage your car shipment in a way that minimizes the cost. For instance, you opt for open-air shipment and secure an exemption with Swiss customs, you won’t have to pay as much as otherwise.
Then there are discount offers from the logistics services providing company, so be sure to explore the full spectrum before finalizing your decision.
Here’s a list of the documentation you must have on hand when importing your vehicle from the USA to Switzerland:
- Customs form 18.44
- Inspection documents
- Permit of residence in Switzerland
- Bill/Invoice of the sale detailing the car’s specs, origin, and price
- A copy of your passport
- Lading bill
- Documented evidence of your insurance coverage
- A valid driver’s license from the USA
Here is a summary of the car shipment process from the USA to Switzerland to help you get started on the right foot:
- Start with research – you need to know the requirements of car imports in Switzerland and your options, make the best of your time before you relocate. Find out:
- The car import legal requirements in Switzerland.
- Whether your car complies with those requirements in its current state.
- If not, can it be made to comply through modifications?
- Also, create a checklist of documents that you will need for your import.
- Gather your documents – be sure to have all the necessary documentation to avoid any problem with the customs clearance:
- A valid driver’s license
- Your passport (a copy can work too)
- Bill or invoice of sales with details of the car and its cost
- Form 18.44 from the customs
- Inspection documents
- Lading bill
- Insurance documents
- And so on…
- Break down the shipping costs – take your time to analyze every fraction of the shipping costs and the segments that you can skip (i.e. tax exemptions):
- Charges for freighting
- Charges for insurance coverage
- Charges for storage (i.e. in wharves)
- Charges for transportation and delivery
- Taxes and customs duties
- Car preparation fees
- Import processing charges
- Customs broker’s fee
- Vehicle registration and insurance fees
- Logistics services provider’s charges
- Getting in touch with the shipping company – next, you need to decide who your logistics services provider will be, you need someone well-reputed in the business, and the A1 Auto Transport is just that, we have worked with countless clients over the years and ensured their satisfaction throughout.
- Preparations on your end – before the actual shipping process, you need to ensure a couple of things:
- Cleaning the car
- Making sure that the undercarriage is free of any foreign soil (recommended even if not necessary)
- Selecting the arrival and departure ports
- Selecting the shipping method, i.e. open-air or closed-air
- Car shipment across the selected route
- Arrival at the destination port
- Import processing
- Customs clearance
- Road standards compliance test
- Vehicle registration
- Getting insurance coverage
For shipping your vehicle from the USA to Switzerland, you have two major options: closed-air and open-air shipping. The former is also called container shipping, and it simply involves putting the car into a container and then shipping that container overseas.
This affords extra protection to the vehicle, works well with non-runner cars, and you can even keep your personal effects in the vehicle during the shipping process.
However, all of this comes at a bigger cost.
For most people, especially those who're shipping their own car from the USA to Switzerland, a more practical and economic approach is the open-air shipment. This is also called the roll-on, roll-off shipment method. In this method, the car is transported to the carrier, fastened on board, transported, and then driven to the port.
In this shipping option, the car cannot have any of your personal belongings in it during the shipment process.
For most people, this method is preferable because of its lower cost.
Once your car arrives in Switzerland, it will need to pass customs clearance before you can pick it up. The department will make sure that all the details of the car have been truthfully disclosed and they will then determine how much tax/duties will be applicable in your case.
If your case falls in an exemption category, you can declare so beforehand, and the department will verify your claim.
To help ease the process, just keep your documentation up to date and ensure that none of your documents are missing/incorrect because that can cause unwanted delays and problems. You’ll need the following:
- Your invoice with all the necessary details and the price/cost on it
- Vehicle registration certificate from the USA (if it is your car)
- Your passport or any other valid proof of identity
- e-dec declaration for imports
- Proof of vehicle’s origin (from the original seller)
If you have the necessary documentation at hand then the import process should not drag on unnecessarily. Just keep in mind that the customs department may order an inspection as part of their routine, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong.
Usually, the value-added tax or VAT for car imports in Switzerland is 8%, and the customs duties are placed at 4% of the current value of the imported vehicle. Of course, there are other bureaucratic issues to contend with as well if you're not experienced in this area.
You can get extra information from the Swiss customs department about taxes and duties applicable in your case, and these policies can change, so it is better to stay up to date.
As for the second part of the question, no, you don't necessarily have to pay these taxes because there are exemption categories, and if your case falls within such a category, you can import your car tax-free.
Just be sure to get a reliable services provider like A1 Auto Transport to avoid being overcharged for the whole thing and to secure your tax exemption if applicable.
Switzerland implemented a new law back in 2012 that penalizes car owners with extra taxes if their vehicle produces polluting emissions. Of course, all cars that run on fossil fuels have these emissions, but some may emit more polluting gases than others.
Thus in Switzerland, low emission cars get a tax relief that does not apply to high emission vehicles, this is the carbon dioxide emission tax/penalty.
If your car emits more than the threshold level of carbon dioxide emissions then this tax will apply; just have your vehicle inspected for emissions beforehand.
For imports to Switzerland, there are no taxes on “moving goods” which are all the effects that one brings with them to another country while relocating. If you bought your car at least six months before your relocation to Switzerland, it will be considered in this category.
If that is the case, you won’t have to pay any customs duties or taxes on it.
The registration authorities can order a test for road standards compliance if they feel it is necessary. If your vehicle aces those standards, you can keep it in the country, otherwise, you’ll have to make the necessary modifications before your vehicle can be registered.
If your car has an EU Certificate of Conformity, you won’t need to go through these tests/modifications. Remember, your car needs to be registered with the Swiss authorities before you can use it legally in the country.