SuperSpark shares his Swiss knowledge (and it’s not cheesy)

Heidi from Heidelberg wanted to know from SuperSpark, our travelling whizz on all matters motor, how vehicles are managed in Switzerland.

Heidi writes:

Dear SuperSpark,

I heard you travelled overseas recently? As my name would suggest, I have a keen interest in Switzerland. But unlike my namesake from there – and as a petrolhead – I am more intrigued with the way their vehicles are managed. Care to share any exciting finds?

SuperSpark replies

Dear Heidi,

I recently did some international travelling indeed and Switzerland was one of my destinations. I was fascinated by many things motor over there – and being a petrolhead myself, I am happy to share some interesting snippets with you:

If you are fortunate enough to afford and own two vehicles in Switzerland, you only need to register one vehicle. You can then make use of that same number plate when you drive the second vehicle!

Your comprehensive insurance cover is paid with the registration of the vehicle, which means you are insured irrespective of the vehicles you drive. Insurance is expensive, though. Take as an example a four-year old Honda Civic (5-door), which can cost you R4 000 per month for license registration, number plates, and insurance.

Breakdowns included
In the case of a breakdown, a call to the local road agency will provide assistance. I mentioned that the insurance cover is expensive, but on the flipside, these breakdown costs are already included in the license registration insurance cover.

It is compulsory for each vehicle to have two sets of wheels/tyres – one set for winter conditions and one set for summer. These may not be changed by the owner, but only by a technician from the Swiss road agency (similar to our AA). By doing this the Swiss ensure that all vehicles are fitted with roadworthy wheels/tyres during the different seasons (Now that’s a job-creation idea!).

If you travel from one country (Switzerland) to another country i.e. Italy, Germany or Austria, you need to apply for the necessary permits, which include toll fees and an identification sticker that must be affixed to your vehicle so that your vehicle can be identified on the highways (as an aside: travelling in Germany on the Autobahn was an exhilarating experience – and yes - I went for it!).

In terms of fuel, I can assure you that we still live in the land of milk and honey. Our Honda Civic i-CTDi (diesel, 50-litre tank) cost us between R18.72 per litre to R19.98 per litre to fill up.

Fuel attendants – was ist das? None around – you swipe, the machine does the rest – it is all done electronically. No more extra Rands and cents on your statement – just round figures. No tips either, so at least we saved a little… ha ha ha!

Hybrids                                                                                                                                                                The Swiss are geared for sustainable energy motoring. We drove a BMW Hybrid and when we stopped to recharge on Apfelstrudel, it could also recharge in the shopping centre parking lot – you just swipe your credit card.

All in all, what a great experience! I would love to share more, but I got my SuperSparkMobile out on the road… it’s the IDA Roadshow!


PS: I am sharing some photos!


The Honda...

A taxi...

The SuperSpark wrestle...

Charging the BMW Hybrid at the charging station in the shopping centre's parking lot...

Mom's taxi...

Nifty! The charging station in the shopping centre's parking lot...
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