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Car Tax and Insurance

Switzerland - Car Tax and Insurance

Road tax (Verkehrssteuer), also referred to as licence plate tax, is administered in Switzerland at a cantonal level and varies depending on your vehicle's engine capacity. Some cantons will have information online which will help you to work out what the charge will be for your car. You will be billed annually, although as it is paid for each calendar year you will make the payment for the first part-year on registering the vehicle.

There is an additional motorway tax to pay in Switzerland, which uses a windscreen sticker called a vignette (G: Autobahnvignette, F: Vignette autoroutière). These are also administered on an annual basis, although a vignette can be bought in December and will be valid throughout the next calendar year and until the end of the following January in the year after that. The current cost as of 2011 is CHF 40 and you can buy the vignette at the border controls, in service stations, the post office, from the TCS, or from your cantonal road traffic office. You cannot buy a vignette for a shorter period than a year, even if you are only in Switzerland for a short time. The vignette is considered invalid from the moment that it is removed from the original vehicle and so cannot be transferred. You will be fined if you use motorways without having the vignette displayed, in addition to being obliged to buy a vignette from the traffic police.

All drivers in Switzerland must have third-party car insurance in order to legally drive. This covers injury and damage caused by you to others while driving. If you wish, you may extend your cover to insure against theft and fire or to be fully comprehensive. You can also add legal cover and insurance against damage while parked.

If you would prefer to deal with your insurer in English, Zurich Connect and Axa both offer English-language motor insurance documentation. Insurance premiums are not as competitive as in other countries and drivers are more likely to be influenced in their choice by how helpful a company is, but you can use a comparison service such as comparis.ch to help you to decide. Be aware that your nationality will be a factor in the calculation of your quote. Swiss insurers also operate a no-claims bonus system where your premium will be lowered if you have not made any claims on your cover.

Useful Resources

AXA Winterthur
Motor insurance service (available in English)
General Guisan-Strasse 40, P.O. Box 357, CH 8401 Winterthur
Tel: +41 (0)52 261 11 11

Zurich Connect
Online motor insurance service (available in English)
Tel: 0800 22 66 22
Email: service@zurichconnect.ch

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