The Swiss Motorist’s Lot
Living in Switzerland, as I have been for the last five years, I would like to inform you about the motorist’s lot over here. When I came here there were no speed limits on open roads and motorways. Then somebody had the bright idea of slapping a 100 k.p.h. (62½ m.p.h.) limit on all main roads excluding motorways. Predictably, not long after we were subjected to a 130 k.p.h. (81 m.p.h.) limit on all motorways. Of course this was only an experiment (I seem to have heard that before). Now there is talk of a 100 k.p.h. limit on these roads as well.
We were also pursued by the police, who instead of chasing criminals prefer to chase motorists (perhaps it is easier). As regards petrol prices, just a few words. After this year’s so called petrol crisis, the prices started to drop again and promptly the Government added 10% import duty on all oil and petrol products. Road Fund Tax works on a h.p. rating system. While I was in possession of a 1200 c.c. NSU I was paying £30 a year. I now have a 4.7-litre Mustang and pay £120 a year. If, however, you own more than one car, you only pay Road Tax for the one with the greatest h.p. rating, and for the others only a nominal sum is asked (this varies from Kanton to Kanton). This system works, as you only have one set of number plates which you transfer onto the vehicle you want to drive.
Insurance works on the same h.p. rating system as the Road Tax, but it will take you 7 years to build up a 50% bonus. For the Mustang I pay £60 a year with the full bonus, for 3rd party, fire, theft and passenger insurance.
Liestal, Switzerland L. W. SUFRYN