Car hire in Switzerland
Hiring a car in Switzerland
Switzerland is famous for its chocolate and skiing, but the European country has plenty more to offer.
There are a number of cities to choose from to start your journey in Switzerland. The capital city of Bern showcases the rich history of the country, and is also home to many works of modern art.
While Geneva is an ideal destination for fashionistas, Zurich offers an upbeat nightlife and Basel seems more German than Swiss.
Its location also means it is easy to visit a number of other European countries including France, Italy, Germany, Liechtenstein and Austria.
What you need to know
There are many options for hiring a car in Switzerland, with lots of travellers opting to pick up their vehicle from their arrival airport.
Switzerland’s busiest airport is Zurich, but there are also international flights to Geneva airport (GVA) and Bern (BRN) airport.
One way of seeing more of Switzerland could be to pick-up your vehicle from one Swiss airport and then drop-off your hire car at another location.
To prevent extra hassle and expense on arrival in Switzerland, it makes sense to use our booking engine to find the best price and pre-book your car hire needs before heading off on vacation.
Where to pick up your car
If you have booked a car at Zurich airport, the hire centre is located in the Airport Center on level 1 - just follow the signs.
For those arriving at Geneva airport, there are plenty of car rental companies located on the arrival level at the west-end level of the terminal.
The car rental desks can be found at Bern airport, close to the arrivals lounge - making it easy to pick up the keys and start enjoying your stay.
Holiday Autos offers 24/7 support and a multilingual help centre to deal with any potential problems.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Switzerland is a relatively small country but it certainly has plenty to offer visitors.
On arrival you may be surprised by the multi-cultural atmosphere. Switzerland has four official languages - German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Rumantsch.
The country also has very distinct areas, with the mountains appealing to those who love the outdoors, while the big cities offer hustle and bustle and the valleys are a great place to sit back and relax.
Switzerland’s capital is Bern, but there are plenty of other regions to head for, such as the city of Lucerne. Located on the stunning Lake Lucerne, the region is a great base for those who wish to explore the nearby mountains of Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn.
If you plan to visit the world-famous Matterhorn, then Zermatt is an ideal destination as it lies at the very foot of the mountain.
Driving in Switzerland
Driving in Switzerland is straightforward and the majority of routes are well-maintained, although roads in the mountains can be subject to extreme weather conditions.
Motorists drive on the right and drivers keep their car headlights on at all time - dipped during daylight hours.
The speed limit in heavily-populated areas is 50 km/h, but then increases to 80 km/h on other urban roads.
On Swiss motorways the speed limit rises to 120 km/h. There are no tolls as such, but there is an annual charge for anyone using certain roads - so you may need to research your route before setting off.
If you fancy enjoying a longer drive while visiting Switzerland, its location makes it ideal for exploring. The land-locked country is within a short drive of many other European destinations.
The city of Geneva could provide a great starting point, with the French city of Lyon being just over 75 minutes away via the A40 and A42. If you prefer to explore Italy, then you can reach the fashionista capital of Milan within four hours, or Germany’s Stuttgart is under five hours away along the A1 and A5. It is also possible to pick-up and drop-off your hire car at different locations - ideal if you are planning an extended trip and will be doing a lot of travelling.
Top attractions to visit in Switzerland
Switzerland has much to offer and there are numerous destinations to choose from - all of them offering a very different view of the Swiss culture.
Geneva is known as the Capital of Peace as it is home to the headquarters of the Red Cross, as well as the European seat of the UNO.
It is set against the peaks of the Alps and the Jura, and is largely a French-speaking city. However, the large number of international organisations based in Geneva means the streets are filled with voices speaking a whole variety of languages - it really does have a multicultural vibe.
There are numerous attractions in this lakeside city, with highlights including the Grand Theatre and Geneva Opera House, as well as the interesting Musée international de l'horlogerie - a whole museum dedicated to watches and musical clocks.
The third largest city in Switzerland, Basel is located on the Rhine and is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to find out more about the country’s rich past.
Basel is home to some 40 museums, as well as the symphony orchestra and the chamber orchestra.
Make sure to catch a performance or two at the Basel Theatre and the Playhouse - both venues are famous for their calendar of classic and modern productions.
It is also recommended to make time for a cruise along the Rhine. These special guided boats offer a great way to see more of the city and the famous waterway.
Anyone looking for an action-packed stay in Switzerland may want to add Zurich to their itinerary.
The city is home to more than 100 art galleries and 50 museums, as well as the base for many of the country’s top fashion designers.
Zurich offers the most vibrant nightlife in the whole of Switzerland and has a whole host of restaurants and cafes serving local and international cuisine.
During the day, there are plenty of local areas to enjoy a leisurely dip in the numerous lakes in the area or you could hike up the nearby Uetliberg mountain.
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