Moving a car from Switzerland to Italy (not moving residence)

Hi all,

I am an Italian citizen with Swiss resident (and not planning to move). Does someone have experience of what it would practically mean in terms of effort / time / money to move my car to Italy and register with Italian plates? I bought the car in Switzerland and own the car since ~5 years

I’m considering this option instead of selling it in Switzerland to basically use it in Italy and allow relatives to use it while I’m not there (so in case it matters for the answer above I’m happy to consider both the option of maintaining the ownership and selling/gifting it to a relative).

I am aware that I won’t be able to use the car in Switzerland once is has Italian plates (but bonus question: can an Italian resident use the car I own with Italian plates in Switzerland?)


I don’t know about Italy, but here is the experience from a different EU country.
First of all, there will be import taxes (italian) regardless of the option used, you should first find out if it is worthwhile paying or not.

If you decide to do it, I think it is better to gift the car to a local resident, eg parent, or close relative, ie the person on whose house it will be parked in Italy. This saves a lot of hassle (address for receiving regular bills, cheaper insurance (in my experience premiums increase once a residence address abroad is used), more admin if there is an accident - eg my case : person in the EU using my car had a minor accident and it was not their fault. To sort out the repairs I (as the owner) had to sign a bunch of documents, take them to the embassy for a notorization, then post them to the insurance. All this avoided by having ownership & insurance with local person.

The only advantage of keeping ownership is if you don’t trust the person, but in that case where do you plan to keep/park it?

As far as being allowed to drive it in Italy, it depends on the insurance, in some countries the default insurance covers any driver, in others you have to give the names of all drivers but in the end it is very simple to have several people, italian residents or not, drive in Italy.

For driving abroad (outside of Italy) things are complicated. If it is in your name, they will need an authorization from you (that they have permission), the reason there is stolen cars etc, rather than taxes, but aside from that they can drive it in Switzerland. Of course, having the car in their name eliminates this complication, moreover as a bonus, in that case if they visit you in Switzerland you can drive the car yourself as long as they (the owner) is in the car with you.