8 things you need to know before relocating in Switzerland
Taking that first major step and deciding to move to Switzerland can be daunting, especially when it comes to relocation. To help soon-to-be new arrivals, and long-term residents hoping for a fresh start, Movu.ch - a company which offers stress-free relocations with free and transparent comparisons of moving and handover cleaning quotes - has these eight pointers.
Relocating can be a major source of stress, especially if you're moving to a country where you may not be familiar with all the regulations. To help alleviate some of your concerns, we've listed the things you need to know when moving within, from or to Switzerland.
1. The cost of a Swiss moving company
Relocating with a moving company within Switzerland may be more expensive than in other parts of Europe. For example, if you're moving out of a three-room apartment to a new place within 50 kilometres, you should budget an average of 1.500 Swiss francs.
For international moves, the cost of a moving company will be higher due to the distance between your current and new home - the primary factor that determines the final quote. As a rough guide, if you’re moving out of a three-room apartment to a place 400 to 500 kilometres away - Switzerland’s immediate neighbours - you should budget around 4.000 to 4.500 francs, and for relocations 800 to 1.000 kilometres away (rest of Europe), you should set aside around 5.000 to 6.000 francs.
2. Booking a parking space in big cities
Finding a parking space for your moving truck can be challenging - especially in big cities like Zurich or Geneva - and may cause inconvenience or lead to a fine if your relocation company is forced to park illegally. If the truck is causing any obstruction, there's a high risk of it being asked to move by the police, which can complicate the entire relocation process.
To avoid such hassles, you may need to book a parking spot for the moving truck. In some cities, you must book the parking spot up to 10 days prior to the moving date through the police or municipality.
3. March and September are the high-traffic moving seasons
In Switzerland, March and September are the main months for moving, and most relocations happen at the end of the month when most rental contracts end or during each canton's official "move-in" days for vacant houses and apartments. If you plan to hire a moving company for these periods, it's best to book and schedule your move a few weeks in advance to ensure that you secure the best quality / price ratio.
4. Sunday is a “day of rest” in Switzerland
While you can move any day of the week, it's important to keep in mind that moving companies do not work on Sundays as it's considered a “day of rest” in Switzerland. If you still need to move on a Sunday, you can do so with the help of friends. Also, be sure to respect a few Sunday rules like not starting too early and respecting the lunch break.
5. You can take a day off for your move
You have the right to take a day off from work to facilitate your move. The day off can be taken on the day of your move, but the leave can also be used to prepare or unpack your belongings if you're moving on a weekend or holiday. Therefore, you should make sure to discuss the specific date and arrangements with your employer to avoid any misunderstandings.
6. Handover cleaning has high requirements in Switzerland
In Switzerland, it is very common for tenants to be required to clean their apartments thoroughly before moving out. However, the cleaning standards can be very high, and expats may not have anticipated the amount of time and effort required to meet these standards.
For example, the handover cleaning includes removing all dust from the baseboards and window sills and cleaning or replacing the filter on the dishwasher. For this reason, it is recommended that tenants confirm the exact list of items that need to be cleaned with their landlord or real estate agent to avoid any unwanted deductions from their rental deposit.
7. Insurance during your move
Even with professional moving companies, accidents and damage can occur during the move. To ensure peace of mind, it's crucial to verify that the moving company has both transport and liability insurance coverage.
It’s also important to fully understand the details of the insurance coverage, including the specific conditions, deadlines, and limitations associated with filing a claim. By carefully reviewing these details in advance, you can ensure that you are fully protected and can receive appropriate compensation in the event of any damage or loss.
8. Change of address
One important task to complete when you move is to update your address with various entities. Here are some key places to inform:
- You must inform your former municipality that you're moving away within 14 days, and if moving within Switzerland, you must inform your new Gemeinde that you are moving in.
- If you have a driving license, you need to inform the road traffic office.
- Notify your bank, insurance companies, doctors, and any subscription services.
- Consider notifying the post office to prevent important mail from being lost or delayed.
Relocating in Switzerland can be a daunting task, especially for expats who are unfamiliar with the country's regulations. However, by following the eight tips outlined in this article, you can help alleviate some of the stress and ensure a smooth relocation process.
With Movu.ch, you can compare prices for free and easily find a professional company that offers the best price / quality ratio, so you can have peace of mind knowing your move is in good hands.