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Matterhorn Zermatt Mountain Switzerland
Matterhorn Zermatt Mountain Switzerland
Bernina Express
Bernina Express
Geneva Water Fountain
Geneva Water Fountain

About Switzerland (CH)

Switzerland, located in central Europe, is a federal state with Bern as the administrative capital and Lausanne the judicial centre.

Although a relatively small country, Switzerland has one of the most diverse cultures and physical geography of Western Europe. The country is bordered by the Alps to the south and east, and Jura to the north and west, with the with the Swiss Plateau wedged between the two mountain ranges.

Switzerland is best known for its superior alpine ski resorts, beautiful lakes and famous rivers - the Rhône and the Rhine - all offering spectacular scenery. Regardless on your base, you can choose from numerous day trips, whether it be the mountains, rivers, lakes, nature parks or towns and villages. Places like Zermatt, Interlaken or the ancient city of Lucerne should be on any visitor’s list. All are between 2 and 4 hours’ drive from Zurich.

  Getting around

Driving in this country is not difficult, and the roads are very well maintained, even in the countryside. Since has so many mountains and remote regions, it is sometimes necessary to arrange a car rental in Switzerland

If you wish to attempt driving in the mountains, you must be well-prepared.  Plan ahead and use a good GPS as you would not want to get stranded overnight on a snowy mountain pass.

All Swiss motorways are subject to toll fees. Vehicles must be in possession of a Vignette (toll sticker), but if you rent a car in Switzerland these will already be fixed to the vehicle.

  Choosing your car

The Switzeralnd car rental suppliers include all the major brands such as Hertz, Budget, Avis and Europcar. This Switzerland  car hire booking site makes it easy to choose from a selection of cars — whether you need a family sedan, SUV or minivan.  You can also add extra benefits to your Swiss car rental, such as a GPS or child seat. However, to ensure cheap car rental in Switzerland are the best rates, we recommend that you book online in advance.

It is also important to read and understand the conditions of your car rental before signing, to ensure you are adequately covered for the trip.

  Tips and advice for renting a car in Switzerland


Traffic fines in Switzerland are generally heavy. Driving 10 km/h over the speed limit in a town can costs CHF 250.


Most petrol stations close at night, but you can still use the pumps and pay by card.  In larger cities, and on the motorways, some are open 24 hours.


Expect snow on all Swiss roads during winter. Winter tires are essential. It is also compulsory to carry chains during winter, which must be used when driving in snowy conditions.


Generally, everything is closed on Sundays and public holidays, and some are even closed on Mondays as well.


Some (but not all) places in Switzerland will accept Euros, but they will most likely give your change in CHF.


Switzerland has some of the best drinking water. You can drink from any tap or fountains you will find in every town and city, as well as sometimes along mountain trails. 

Are you driving a rental car in Switzerland?

Urban Speed Limit


30 kph  | 18.6 mph
Rural Speed Limit


50 kph  | 31.1 mph
Motorway Speed Limit


110 kph  | 68.4 mph
Fuel Price




Road Driving


Driving Age


18 years of age
21 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services


Documentation requirements



Here's some more in depth Switzerland driving rules and guidelines for car renters:

If you’re planning a road trip in Switzerland, you’ll find it has well-maintained roads. However, because of its large population in a small area, you’ll frequently run into traffic. Driving in the Alps can be more difficult, as not all roads are paved and the mountain driving involves sharp inclines and curvy roads. Nonetheless, the sections below will help keep you safe while driving in Switzerland.


Certain documents should always be carried in your vehicle. These are:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance; if not, then need to purchase insurance from the rental company
  • International Driver’s Permit (IDP) from your home country
  • Proof of ownership

Age Restrictions

The legal age to get a license in Switzerland is 18. However, if you plan to rent a car, check with the rental company for the minimum age.

Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations

  • You will drive on the right hand side of the road
  • You must have your headlights on at all times, even in daylight hours
  • You should not pass another car on the right side
  • Always carry license while driving
  • Obey all posted traffic signs and lights
  • Children under 12 years of age and 150 cm in height (about 5 feet) must be in a safety seat
  • Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt

Speed Limits and Fines

Speed limit signs will be posted in km/h. Following speed limits must be adhered in all cases:

  • 120 km/h (47 mph) on superhighways
  • 80 km/h (50 mph) on regular highways
  • 50 km/h (31 mph) in towns

Fines start at 20 francs on highways and 40 francs in town. If you are going more than 16-25 km/h (10-16 mph) above the speed limit, depending on where you’re driving, you can be summoned to court; you can be fined, and you may not be able to drive in Switzerland for a period of time.

Drunk Driving

For most drivers, the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level is 0.05g/100ml. The penalties increase with the level of alcohol in your blood and whether you caused an incident while driving. At 50 to 79 mg, you will be warned and fined, though if you cause an accident, the fine will increase; you can even be jailed for up to 3 years. With higher levels of alcohol in your system, you can be suspended from driving.


Because urban areas are highly populated, parking is heavily regulated with parking zones; some parking spots are privately owned (often marked in yellow). It’s generally ok to park in a white zone, though usually you will need to pay at a meter. In blue zones, you’ll need a parking disk to leave on your car to show when you left it. Generally, you can purchase these at post offices.

Switzerland is a bit congested for driving; in fact, it has a wonderful public transportation system in place if you’d rather not mess with the traffic. However, if you must drive, check with local laws to make sure you know what rules to follow while you are there.

Switzerland Driving Ideas Guide

If Switzerland is your vacation destination, just remember that although it’s in Europe the Swiss franc, not the euro, is the used currency.  The mountainous terrain will be a workout for your reliable Swiss car rental, and many of the Swiss accommodations you’ll discover are absolutely beyond.  Going up!


There are a lot of picturesque Swiss towns in this storybook-like country, but Lucerne just seems to have it all going for it: a comfortable size, mountainous backdrop, lovely meandering waterway and quaint streets.  A cable-car trip up the highly visible Pilatus or Rigi that lie at Lucerne’s doorstep should be high on the to-do list.   Stroll through the sans vehicle old section, Altstadt, with its watchmakers and cafes to fully savour the Swiss precision that makes this town so charming. Walk over one of Europe’s oldest covered bridges and landmark, Chapel Bridge, for the mere reason of getting to the other side and to enjoy the setting of this town on Lake Lucerne.  For a reason of its own, when the sun sets here it seems to bring out a whimsicalness that is quite spellbinding.

An unforgettable road trip from the town, especially during the spring, is a drive down “cherry road” that goes past cherry tree orchards and kirsch-making operations, and driving around the entire lake is also doable and worthy that takes a minimum of three hours to complete.

The nearby town of Schwyz, 45 km (28 miles), is interesting as it has the oldest wooden building in the country, Haus Bethlehem (1287), and is where the iconic Swiss Army knife originated.  If you ever wondered how the country got its name, this town is the cause.


Music lovers will undoubtedly have heard of the Montreux Jazz Festival held every June to July, and a trip to this town will demonstrate the spectacular venue.  Nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva in the western part of the nation and dubbed the Montreux Riviera, don your walking shoes and strut the town’s promenade that goes through the next town of Vevey and ends up at an island castle (Chillon Castle), now a museum.  As it is the playground of some major celebrities and entertainers, you never know whom you might meet.

As is Montreux, Lausanne is on Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Léman) and relatively nearby at 30 km (19 miles).  It’s a lovely town to walk through with the main promenade passing through three parks, past marinas and with the Gothic Cathedral of Lausanne presiding over the town below.  Less than half an hour away is a working salt mine, Bex salt mines, that offers underground tours in a narrow gauge enclosed train.  There’s even a chandeliered mine restaurant.


Presumably one reason you chose Switzerland for a vacation is the mountains, and Zermatt is as good as you’re going to get.  Situated in the southern portion of the country, near the Italian border, the famed Matterhorn overlooks the town that itself is at an altitude of 1,620 meters (5,315 feet). Skiing in the surrounding mountains is possible year round, and when the sun goes down the clubs and bars are full of action.

It’s not possible to drive to Zermatt, instead cars are left in a parking area and a train covers the remaining distance of about 12 minutes duration.  The town is extensively served with cog railways, ski lifts and compacted snow roads known as pistes all offering incredible vistas and mountain views.  Make sure your camera has a full charge before venturing out.  Not only is this a world-famous ski area, but also mountain hiking is very popular with seasoned hikers doing the trek from Mont Blanc to Zermatt, a journey of several days.

Wherever you travel in Switzerland, when you rent from Cheaperthancars and stay in hotels through Cheaperthanhotels, you know that you are truly maximizing your vacation budget.  We really do believe that the less you spend, the more fun you will have on your Switzerland visit.

Your Cheaperthancars Team


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Frequently asked questions about renting a car in Switzerland

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1. What is the best time of year to book a rental car in Switzerland?

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2. Is it possible for one way rentals in Switzerland?

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3. Should I rent a round trip or one-way rental in Switzerland?

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4. Which location should I rent my car from in Switzerland?

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5. Do I pay more fees and taxes for renting a car at the airport in Switzerland?

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6. What insurance do I require for driving a rental car in Switzerland?

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7. What is the best way to save money on rental car insurance in Switzerland?

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8. Should I prepay my rental car booking in Switzerland?

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9. What are the largest numbers of vehicle seats available for a rental car in Switzerland?

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10. What types of sports and special cars are available in Switzerland?

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11. Can I take my rental car across borders in Switzerland?

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12. How do I inform the rental company I will be crossing a border from the Switzerland?