Frequently asked questions

Interested in buying a car in Switzerland but have some questions before taking the next step? Our FAQs are tailored specifically to expats and diplomats. 


This page contains three sections: Before Purchasing, Financing and Fees & Maintenance. Simply click on the relevant section and question to get started. Can’t find an answer to your query? Get in touch with us directly on +41 31 958 44 44 or [email protected] and our sales representative will be happy to assist.

before purchasing

Is it better to buy or lease a vehicle?

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That depends on your personal situation. Volvo Car Bern provides options both for buying and leasing vehicles. Leasing tends to be more expensive due to interest payments, but offers more flexibility as the vehicle can be returned easily at the end of the leasing contract. This is a good option if you are not planning to stay in Switzerland for the long term. Buying a car is more cost-effective over a longer period and comes with no mileage limit or fixed ownership period – you are free to sell the vehicle whenever you like. 

What models do you offer?

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We have a wide selection of SUVs, saloons and estates – perfect for if you’re in Switzerland with your family, on secondment alone, or planning to travel around Europe while living here. 

Do you have electric vehicles?

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Yes. Volvo Car Bern stocks pure electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid models. Offering superior performance across an extended driving range. Check out the Volvo configuration tool for a comprehensive overview (currently DE only). 

Do you have additional equipment packages to choose from?

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Yes. You can configure your vehicle’s appearance (grilles, alloy wheels, surrounds, roof rack, tailgate, etc.) to suit your taste. There are four different trims to choose from: R-Design, Momentum, Inscription and Polestar Engineered.

Do you have an overview of different models and prices?

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Go to our Volvo configuration tool for a comprehensive overview of the models we have, including SUVs, saloons, estates and hybrids. Please note: this page is currently available in German only. However, the vehicle information (price, emissions, acceleration, horsepower, engine type, etc.) is clearly stated. Click on the model for interior and exterior images. 

What about driver assist systems?

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All Volvo models are equipped with state-of-the-art assist systems to provide you with the best possible support and maximum driving safety at all times. For more information about the individual systems, speak to your Volvo representative.


Can I pay for the vehicle in cash?

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Yes, this is possible. After paying the full amount via bank transfer, you can pick up your vehicle from the dealership or we will deliver it to your door. Paying the full amount as a one-off payment is certainly worthwhile as you are not tied to any repayment plans and will not have to cover the interest on top. Once the vehicle is in your possession, you can use it as you wish and sell the vehicle at any time. 

Are there any disadvantages to purchasing the vehicle outright?

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In comparison to a monthly repayment plan, a full cash payment of a vehicle requires a considerable initial outlay. Fortunately, Volvo Car Bern offers a significant price discount (27%) to expats seeking to purchase a vehicle. Another potential disadvantage is that you become solely responsible for the residual value risk, i.e. the possibility that the vehicle can only be resold at a price below its residual value. 

What leasing options do you offer?

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Volvo Car Bern AG allows you to lease a vehicle for anywhere from 24 to 60 months, which is ideal if you are planning on staying in Switzerland for an extended period, but do not wish to take on the residual value risk that comes with purchasing a vehicle. It is also a good option if you wish to replace your vehicle at regular intervals. 

What fees are involved in leasing a vehicle?

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When you lease a vehicle, you pay a monthly rate via bank transfer. The rate itself is based on several factors: the vehicle’s purchase price, duration of the lease, estimated mileage and up-front payment. You will receive a clear breakdown of the costs you can expect each month, allowing you to incorporate this into your budget accordingly. Please note: the mandatory comprehensive insurance is not included in the monthly leasing rate.

What is the up-front payment for a lease car?

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We do not insist on an up-front payment. You may decide to pay one if you wish and if it suits your financial situation. An up-front payment may account for anything from 0% to 49% of net purchase price of the car. The advantage of an up-front payment is that you pay less in monthly fees overall. 

Will I have to pay any fees at the end of the lease period?

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This depends on the condition of the vehicle. The vehicle’s actual mileage will be compared to the estimated mileage stated in the leasing agreement. In the event of a significant discrepancy, a surcharge will apply. The vehicle will also be checked for damage (cosmetic or structural). If any damage is found, a surcharge may apply. After you have returned the vehicle to Volvo Car Bern AG, you will not be subject to any further obligations.

Are there any disadvantages to a leasing agreement?

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In Switzerland, you must have a comprehensive insurance policy in place to be able to lease a vehicle. However, as an expat or diplomat, you can arrange for a quote that is tailored to your exact requirements. 

Unless you are willing to pay a surcharge at the end of the fixed-term lease, you may be limited by the mileage stated in the leasing agreement – this leaves you with less flexibility if you are planning to use the vehicle for private as well as business purposes. 

Finally, the vehicle remains the possession of the bank and may be repossessed in the event of a breach of agreement. 

Can I end the lease period ahead of time?

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You can, but you will be required to pay a fee to do so. This fee is based on the remaining number of months and the vehicle mileage. Our sales representatives can assist you in case of any issues.

What about short-term rentals? Does Volvo Car Bern offer these?

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We do. We aim to provide a comprehensive service to all expats, which is why we also offer our vehicles for hire for a limited period. This is an ideal option if you are on an extended work placement in Switzerland that may end at short notice. We provide all-inclusive packages as part of our hire car agreements. 

What fees are involved in short-term hire?

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Unlike a leasing agreement, which requires a fixed-term contract, you pay a monthly fee and can return the vehicle at any time (within 30 days). This is our most flexible car hire solution and is perfect if you are unsure how long you will be in Switzerland for and need a quick mobility solution.

What is included in the fee?

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Insurance, all taxes, winter tires, wheel change service and 2,000 kilometers per month. Note: fuel and fees arising from collision damage are not included. 

What are the downsides to short-term car hire?

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The monthly fees are higher than for a fixed-term lease. The vehicle remains the property of Volvo Car Bern, so it may be repossessed if you fail to pay the monthly fee. In addition, a surcharge may apply to any cosmetic or structural damage found when the vehicle is returned at the end of the rental period. 

Fees & Maintenance

How often should my vehicle be serviced?

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The most Volvo cars are required to be serviced at a licensed dealership every 12 months or 30,000 kilometers.

What servicing fees apply?

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This fee depends on the age of the vehicle and its total mileage. The older the vehicle and the more kilometers it has on the clock, the more expensive the service will be. This is why Volvo Car Bern offers its Volvo Swiss Premium package if you purchase a new car – with this package, we will cover the costs for any servicing work required. 

Are there any fees not covered by the Volvo Swiss Premium package?

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Yes. You are responsible for replacing any parts that are no longer able to function due to standard wear and tear. In addition, you cover the cost of brake fluid, air conditioning coolant, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, washer fluid and so on (approx. CHF 300 per year). Volvo Car Bern is on hand at all times to provide you with a quote for replacement parts – simply get in touch.

What are the rules on winter tires in Switzerland?

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There is no legal obligation to fit your vehicle with winter tires in Switzerland. However, in the event of an accident, you may be found liable if you lost control of your vehicle because it was not properly equipped to deal with adverse weather conditions. We therefore recommend that you purchase winter tires when you buy the vehicle. 

Do you provide a winter tire service?

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Yes, we do. A full wheel change is CHF 88.00 per season, while a full tire change is CHF 200.00. We can provide storage for CHF 92.00 (full wheels) or CHF 72.00 (tires) per season. 

What sort of insurance do I need?

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Your Volvo representative would be pleased to advise you on a comprehensive insurance package that is tailored to your exact requirements. In Switzerland, all vehicles are required to be covered by liability insurance (i.e. damage caused by third parties). For leasing agreements, you will also need a comprehensive insurance policy (i.e. for damage caused to your vehicle). We also recommend taking out a policy for damage caused while the vehicle is stationary (e.g. if the vehicle is scraped by another vehicle while parked).

How much does insurance cost?

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This depends on the vehicle, your age and the insurance package you require. Your Volvo representative will help you to find a reasonable rate. 

What sort of tax do I have to pay on my vehicle?

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In Switzerland, vehicle tax varies by canton and car model. The tax rate may be much higher or lower than the average depending on where you live, so be sure to ask your Volvo representative about this.

Overview taxes Switzerland (German only)

Are there any other fees I have to pay as a vehicle owner in Switzerland? 

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To use the motorway in Switzerland, you will need to pay an annual fee of CHF 40.00 for a toll disc that you affix to the windshield of your car. Be sure to display the disc before 1 February, as failing to do could result in a fine of CHF 200.00. This disc is available from garages, dealerships, petrol stations and elsewhere and will be available to order online from 2022. If you're buying a car from Volvo Car Bern, the vignette will be already on the windscreen when you pick up the car.

You will also need to pay a one-time fee for a vehicle registration document as well as license plates (around CHF 100.00 if you have purchased the vehicle; CHF 145.00 if you are leasing it). 

Helpful links

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The main marketplace for cars in Switzerland.

Volvo Car Configurator
Build your own Volvo.
The platform offers everything you need to plan your move and make the most of your stay here in Switzerland.

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