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What types of insurance do I need?

My first car

Put on the brakes too late? Grazed another car when parking? A flat tire on your way to your vacation? Something can always happen in road traffic. And repair and towing costs can quickly end up being very expensive and drain the budget of young drivers.

If you own a car in Switzerland, then you have to have liability insurance by law. This insurance covers damage that you cause to other people or their property if you cause an accident. In addition to liability insurance, you can also take out partial or comprehensive accidental damage insurance to protect your vehicle against theft, accidents, or other damage.

Good to know: Young drivers benefit with our car insurance and the safe driver bonus from 15% discount and an exclusive prevention program.

What insurance do I need for my first car?

Motor vehicle liability insurance is mandatory: You’ll need to have a motor vehicle liability insurance policy in order to register your car with the local road traffic office. Without this insurance, you are not allowed to drive your car. This liability insurance protects you if you injure other people or hit animals or objects on the road while you are driving. 

Partial  and comprehensive accidental damage insurance are voluntary: With comprehensive or partial accidental damage insurance, damage to your car is also covered. Partial accidental damage insurance covers damage that occurs through natural events, such as hail or fire, or that arises due to animals, theft, or malicious damage. Comprehensive accidental damage insurance additionally covers damage that you cause to your vehicle yourself, for example, if you run into a sign when parking. 

Partial or comprehensive accidental damage insurance?

Whether partial or comprehensive accidental damage coverage is worth it for you depends on the current value of your first vehicle and your financial situation. If you have a newer vehicle that is expensive, then accidental damage insurance makes sense. Accidental damage insurance is also important if you would have a hard time finding the money to pay for repairing the damage. 

Partial accidental damage car insurance

Regardless of whether someone intentionally broke off your sideview mirror or a marten gnawed its way through your car’s wiring, partial accidental damage insurance covers damage to your vehicle that wasn’t caused by you or by other drivers, such as fire, animal damage, theft, or glass breakage. 

Comprehensive accidental damage insurance for vehicles including collision coverage

You don’t notice the brake lights of the car in front of you until it’s too late, and before you know it you’ve crashed. It is precisely situations like these where comprehensive accidental damage coverage pays off. In addition to all the benefits of partial accidental damage insurance, comprehensive accidental damage insurance covers damage that you cause to your vehicle yourself. 


Good to know: By participating in the safe driver bonus, you benefit from a 15% discount – regardless of which coverage you chooseYoung drivers up to the age of 26 can save a significant amount on their AXA car insurance. 

You can find more information on the whether to choose “partial or comprehensive accidental damage insurance” in our blog.

How does car insurance work?

What types of insurance are mandatory and which types are good to have? How is the car premium calculated? Why do young drivers generally pay higher car insurance premiums? What's the no-claims discount all about? Find out this and much more in our explanatory video. Play the movie!

Do I need traffic legal protection insurance?

Traffic legal protection insurance helps you, for example, if you run into difficulty when buying your first car. If your flight to your vacation destination is canceled. Or if you get a ticket for going to fast on an e-scooter. Do you drive a lot or rely on your driver's license for your job? Here, too, it can be a good idea to take out traffic legal protection insurance.  

Your advantages with AXA

  • 1

    myAXA client portal: Manage documents, upload invoices, or change your personal data – whenever and wherever you want. Say goodbye to paperwork!

  • 2

    We are Switzerland's number one insurer: We provide excellent services, personal advice, and individual insurance protection.

  • 3

    Save on premiums: Young drivers under the age of 26 benefit with our car insurance and the safe driver bonus from 15% discount.

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FAQs and tips about buying your first car

  • Which questions should I ask before buying a car?

    Before you start looking for your first car, you should first consider what exactly it is that you need and want. Your budget plays a major role in your decision. Nevertheless, other factors such as what the car will actually be used for should also be taken into account:

    • How much do I want to spend on the car?
    • How often do I drive? 
    • How many kilometers do I drive per year? 
    • Do I often drive in city traffic or regularly in the countryside?
    • Do I often drive in the mountains and in snow?
    • How much room do I need in the interior? 
    • Do I have or need a parking space?
    • Could my life situation change in the near future?
  • What should I watch out for when I buy my first car?

    When buying your first car, there are a few important factors to keep in mind:

    1. Budget: Think about how much money you can and want to spend on buying the car. Keep in mind ongoing costs such as insurance, taxes, maintenance, and repairs.
    2. Vehicle type: Think about what kind of car you need. For example, do you need a big car for the family you have planned or a small car for city traffic?
    3. Odometer reading: Look for the odometer reading of the car since it can be an indicator of the car’s condition. A low odometer reading general means that the car has not been driven much and will have less wear and tear.
    4. Condition: Check the car’s condition thoroughly. Look for any possible damage, rust, or other defects. A test drive can help you better assess the condition of the car.
    5. Purchase agreement: Make sure that you conclude a purchase agreement that includes all the important details of the purchase, such as the purchase price, condition of the car, and any guarantees.
    6. Insurance: Consider in advance what type of car insurance you need and conclude it before you buy the car.
    7. Registration: Make sure that the car is registered correctly and you have all the necessary documents.

    More information can be found in our blog article: “Buying a car – 7 mistakes to avoid

  • Is there a discount for young drivers?

    With AXA, you benefit from a 15% discount: Young drivers up to the age of 26 can save considerably on their premiums with AXA’s  car insurance  by taking part in the safe driver bonus program.

  • What should you do if you’ve had an accident?

    Rear-ending someone, hitting a wild animal, or damaging your car while parking: No one wants to be involved in an accident, but it can happen before you know it.

    If you are involved in an accident, it’s important that you know what to do and who to call. If you rear-end someone, here’s what you need to do.

    If you are involved in an accident while driving: You can report it here. Or you can call us at  0800 809 809. We would be happy to help. 

    You can find more information in our blog: “Car accident – and what now?

  • Which rules are there for young or new drivers?

    Special rules apply in Switzerland for drivers under the age of 25 (young drivers) and for those over the age of 25 who have had a driver’s license for less than two years (new drivers).

    Since 2005, there has been a so-called two-phase license: After passing the test, young and new drivers have a provisional license for three years.

    Within the first year, they must pass the obligatory training day (WAB 2.0 course) to get their definitive license. Cautious driving is also a basic requirement. After all, if young or new drivers commit gross violations against road traffic laws during the probation period, they will lose their license.

  • What are the best cars for new drivers?

    The following list offers you an overview of the most popular cars for young and new drivers*:

    • VW Polo
    • Fiat 500 
    • Ford Puma
    • Hyundai i20 N
    • Mini Cooper SE
    • Peugeot 208
    • Toyota Yaris
    • Renault Twingo
    • Audi A1 30 TFSI
    • Suzuki Ignis

    These compact models are low cost to buy and maintain, offer a relatively high level of driving comfort, and have a sufficient level of safety features.

    *Source: (2022 in German)

  • How do I register my first car at the local road traffic office?

    Registering your first car isn’t really that complicated! First, you have to take out motor vehicle insurance. Then the insurance company submits the digital certificate to the responsible road traffic office. After that, you take your car to that office of have it registered by the dealership.

    To do so, you need either the original of the current vehicle registration or – if your car is new – the test report. 

    To register an imported vehicle, you need proof of duty payment. For this, the customs office issues a test report Form 13.20 A, which you have to submit to the cantonal road traffic office.

  • Which documents do I need to register my first car?

    In Switzerland, every vehicle must be covered by liability insurance for road use. The responsible road traffic office thus issues the vehicle registration and license plate only after it has received the so-called digital certificate of insurance (elektronischer Versicherungsnachweis (eVn)).

    You need the following documents to register your car: 

    • ID: Swiss passport, ID card, or foreigner’s ID
    • Original vehicle registration document or, for an imported vehicle, an original test report Form 13.20 A
    • Digital certificate of insurance from your insurance company
  • How much time do I have to register my first car?

    The digital certificate of insurance is valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issue. This serves as verification that liability insurance is in place. If you need more time to take over the car, you should contact your insurance company. They will then send a new certificate.

  • What does it cost to register my car?

    The costs for the license plate and vehicle registration will be invoiced to you by the responsible road traffic office. They vary by canton, but are roughly CHF 20 to CHF 50. It’s best to ask for information from your local road traffic office to find out what the exact costs are.

  • From when does the liability insurance start to apply for my first car?

    You are insured as soon as your car has been registered with the road traffic office and you have received the new vehicle registration and license plate. Details of your exact insurance coverage can be found in the insurance contract.

  • When are you classified as a young or new driver in Switzerland?

    There are no exact age categories for young and new drivers. In Switzerland, however, drivers aged under 25 are generally classified as young drivers.

    If you are over 25, but have had your driver’s license for less than two years, then you are also deemed to be a new driver. There are special rules with regard to the driver’s license and insurance provisions for both groups.

  • When is it a good idea to have accidental damage insurance?

    Accidental damage insurance can be especially worthwhile if you own a new or expensive car, since the repair and replacement costs can be very high in the event of a claim. If you use your vehicle for work or often have to drive long distances, then accidental damage insurance can also be a good idea, as the risk of accidents and damage is higher.

    Accidental damage is also important if you would have a hard time finding the money to pay for repairing the damage. 

  • When is it enough to have car liability insurance?

    Liability insurance is sufficient in the case of older cars. But if your car is new, partial coverage for accidental damage is recommended as a bare minimum. If you lease a car, you’ll only be given the keys if you can show you have comprehensive accidental damage insurance. 

    Motor vehicle liability insurance: You’ll need to have a liability insurance policy in order to register your car with the local road traffic office. The liability insurance policy takes effect when you, as a driver, cause damage to other road users, animals, or property. 

    Partial accidental damage insurance: Voluntary partial accidental damage insurance enables you to protect yourself financially against the consequences of third-party damage to your car by natural events or unknown persons, including hail damage, glass breakage, or theft. 

    Important: If a person known to you damages your vehicle, they are liable under their liability insurance.

    Comprehensive accidental damage insurance: Comprehensive accidental damage insurance can do everything partial accidental damage insurance does and also covers the cost of damage you yourself have caused. If you have a collision and your vehicle is damaged beyond repair, you will be covered by the comprehensive accidental damage policy. Comprehensive accidental damage insurance is highly recommended in the case of a new or leased car.

  • Is there a deductible for young and new drivers?

    With AXA, there is no obligatory deductible for young or new drivers.

  • What if I cause damage with my friend’s car?

    You ran over a mailbox with a friend’s car? This is a third-party driver claim. In the event of an accident, the keeper of the vehicle must notify their insurer of the damage caused. It will first of all process and settle the claim, before billing the costs to you/AXA.  Third-party driver damage is included in personal liability insurance (supplementary insurance).

    Example: “You drive into a garden fence”

    Car repair

    AXA pays the following costs:

    • With accidental damage insurance, the deductible and any loss of bonus within the accidental damage insurance
    • No accidental damage insurance: The entire cost of the repair

    Garden fence

    The costs are apportioned as follows:

    • Motor vehicle liability insurance for the borrowed vehicle; repair costs incurred  
    • AXA: Potential loss of bonus under the motor vehicle liability insurance of the keeper of the vehicle  

    Important: The deductible from the motor vehicle liability insurance of the keeper of the vehicle is not insured. This must be paid by you or by the keeper of the vehicle themselves. 

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