Cost of living in Switzerland: VW Golf GTI 4x4
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The VW is the highest selling car in Switzerland. It's also an extremely hard-wearing car that is particularly well-adapted to the Swiss terrain. The value of a Golf on the used-car market is 10% higher than any other comparable vehicle (a 1980 Golf GTI can still sell for 3,000 Swiss francs). We have chosen a 4x4 model with a 2.3-liter V5 engine as a representative example of a car used in Switzerland.

The official price is 36,760 CHF. If you pay cash, you can generally get a discount of around 5%.

The average cost for yearly maintenance is 600 CHF for major servicing and 300 CHF for minor servicing.


Here are the average prices of insurance premiums for this vehicle, based on a 500-CHF deductible:

Type of insuranceAnnual cost
Third-party liability 1,000 to 1,200 CHF
Restricted coverage
1,400 to 2,000 CHF
Fully comprehensive 2,000 to 2,500 CHF

We also suggest that you take out an insurance policy to cover your passengers in the case of an accident for approximately 120 CHF per year, as well free legal protection in the case of dispute for approximately 100 CHF per year.

Registering a vehicle

You will first have to pay the amount of 150 CHF to obtain your license plates. Then you will pay an annual cantonal tax calculated on a pro rata basis on your vehicle's engine capacity. For a Golf GTI 4x4, this tax comes to 329 CHF.


Gas in Switzerland is less taxed than in neighboring countries (France, Italy, Germany). Many people who live near the border of these countries come to Switzerland to fill their tanks. Gas prices follow fluctuations in crude oil prices, but generally remain in the 1.10 to 1.40 CHF/liter range.

The price of gas in Switzerland: 1998-2000 variations


There are no tolls in Switzerland, but each year you must purchase a 40-franc road tax disk (like a license tag), which authorizes you to drive on the highways.


In the downtown areas of major Swiss cities, there is generally a charge for parking (1.50 CHF/hour). An hour of underground parking in Geneva costs 2 CHF. But careful! Parking tickets can quickly put a hole in your pocketbook: a 40-franc fine for going over the time limit and a 120-franc fine for unauthorized parking!

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