1

There is a post on Tripadvisor from 2016 which claims the following:

I hired a Swiss hire car from the airport at Basel on the 30th April. I was asked to sign a waiver that as of 1st May EU domiciled persons could only drive to their place of residence in a rental car. As my hotel was in France I asked what were the consequences. I was told that I needed to sign the waiver and as such if the car was seized by EU customs that I was liable for fines and the cost of recovery.

As of 2018, what are the exact regulations on driving a Swiss rental car inside the EU if you're an EU resident? This has practical implications for many EU residents as Switzerland is a popular tourist destination and many would be inclined to rent a car when they arrive.

  • Are you actually interested in the specific wording of the regulations, or in their implementation? These don't always coincide. – origimbo Jul 22 '18 at 20:49
  • @origimbo I'm interested in both – JonathanReez Jul 22 '18 at 20:50
  • Eeek! We live in the Black Forest near Basel. This is another reason to tell visitors to make sure they always hire from the French side, not the Swiss side. – Martin Bonner Jul 23 '18 at 9:46
2

The letter of the law on the matter still seems to be the following section of the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 of 28 July 2015 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards detailed rules concerning certain provisions of the Union Customs Code

Use of means of transport by natural persons who have their habitual residence in the customs territory of the Union

(Article 250(2)(d) of the Code)

  1. Natural persons who have their habitual residence in the customs territory of the Union shall benefit from total relief from import duty in respect of means of transport which they use privately and occasionally, at the request of the registration holder, provided that the registration holder is in the customs territory of the Union at the time of use.

  2. Natural persons who have their habitual residence in the customs territory of the Union shall benefit from total relief from import duty in respect of means of transport which they have hired under a written contract and use privately for one of the following purposes:

(a) to return to their place of residence in the customs territory of the Union;

(b) to leave the customs territory of the Union.

This broadly fits with your quoted section, and leaves EU resident rental drivers potentially liable to a bill for import duty to the full value of the car if they attempt to drive a Swiss-licensed car across the border headed to a location other than their usual residence and happen to be stopped at the border.

Various sources [1,2] suggest car-hire firms may offer EU residents EU-registered cars to avoid potential problems. As to how this works in practise, you'll need someone with local knowledge, since the reports are confused at best.

  • Sometimes a rental firm needs a car to be moved to its home country and if the person renting has the nationality of the country where they start renting, there is or used to be a form which could be used for the 'own country' part of the trip. (My information is older than the law quoted in the answer, so might be out of date.) – Willeke Jul 23 '18 at 15:34

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