Switzerland Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving in Switzerland

Switzerland drives on the right and you can use the photo licence of any country to drive here, providing it’s written in Roman alphabet. Drivers from other countries need their own licence plus an international driving permit. Speed limits range from 120kmh on motorways, 100kmh on expressways,  80kmh on other roads and 50kmh in urban areas.

Switzerland has two types of multi-lane main roads : motorways (referred to in Switzerland as Autobahnen in German, autoroutes in French, autostrade in Italian) and expressways (Autostrassen in German, semi-autoroutes in French, semiautostrade in Italian). Motorways have a central reservation separating traffic flow and an emergency lane. Expressways may not have these features. All these roads are prefixed with an ‘A’ and all are toll roads. There are over 20 A roads in the country with two of the most important routes being-  the A1 running from east to west across the country from St. Margrethen in St. Gallen through to Geneva in South West Switzerland, and the A2 which is the main north–south route from Basel heading south toward Olten, Sursee, Luzern, Stans, Altdorf, Erstfeld, Göschenen, Airolo, Biasca, Bellinzona, Lugano and ending at Chiasso.

All main roads in Switzerland require payment via a vignette system. (There are additional charges for the the Grand St. Bernhard and Munt la Schera Tunnels.) Unfortunately, vignettes can only be purchased for a period of 12 months, whcih makes it quite expensive if you’re just passing through the country. The cost in 2020 is 40CHF which is roughly 40 Euros. Vignettes can be purchased in Switzerland at border crossings, garages, petrol stations and post offices. They can also be purchased abroad with more information on where to obtain them here.

Roads are usually in excellent condition but expect steep, winding roads in the mountains, where driving conditions will deteriorate after rain or snow. Swiss road safety standards are high and drivers generally abide by traffic rules and regulations which are strictly enforced. In winter you may need snow chains, winter tyres or even a 4WD if heading to remote areas.  Driving abroad in Switzerland is usually stress free and even city centre traffic generally moves freely and roads are well sign posted.As you’d expect for an alpine nation, Switzerland has some great scenic drives including the 2500metre altitude Great St. Bernard Pass, starting from Martigny ; the Furka pass between Gletsch and Andermatt and the Gotthard pass between Andermatt and Biasca.

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Switzerland Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget, have branches here . Also usually features on Car rental broker sites and Web discount sites such as Expedia.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Switzerland. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com

Switzerland Self Drive Rules
Most Rental companies allow cars to be driven into other mainland Europe countries including UK and will generally allow one way rentals to neighbouring countries. There may be restrictions on taking cars into some Eastern European countries.


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