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New EU law affects hire car users in Switzerland

A new EU regulation designed to combat car and customs fraud has unwittingly had an impact on the car hire industry, particularly in Switzerland. It is now an offence to drive a non-EU registered hire car into an EU country if you are an EU resident. The exceptions are if you are driving home, using it for work purposes or on your way to a non-EU country. Most UK holidaymakers picking up a car in Switzerland and planning to tour neighbouring countries would fall foul of the law.

If you are arranging a trip to Switzerland and you would like to cross the border then it is essential that you notify your hire car company of your plans. Some are able to provide you with an EU-plated vehicle to facilitate travelling to another country. Be wary if you are asked to sign a waiver as this can mean you are taking on all responsibility should the car be stopped at the border.

Failure to notify the hire car company can result in disappointment at the desk. To make sure your holiday plans do not go awry, speak to the hire car company and discuss your needs with them.

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