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Driving in Switzerland – Recommendations, Tips and Tricks

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18. You will be charged an additional fee for the use of the Great St. Bernard tunnel. The length of this tunnel is 5.8 km. The tunnel starts in the canton of Valais and connects Switzerland with the Aosta valley located in Italy. The cost of travel in one direction is approximately 29 francs for one car. Drivers can also buy a pass for 10 trips that will cost them 117.5 francs.
19. The tunnel of Munt la Schera is also a paid one. This tunnel connects the canton of Grisons with the Italian valley of Livigno. The length of the tunnel is approximately 3.4 km. There is the reverse motion there as the width of the tunnel is only 2.5 meters. The cost of one ride in the tunnel is 15 francs for cars.
20. On highways, the maximum permitted speed is 120 km/h. The speed control is carried out by special radars. The police often patrol the roads using ordinary cars without any markings, so it is not recommended to risk and break the rules.
21. Stopping on the highway and parking the car on the road border is allowed in exceptional cases only, for example, in case of an acute health problem or a break. If the driver stopped because he had ran out of fuel, he will have to pay a large fine for violation of the traffic regulations.
22. Several special rules must be remembered in respect of driving through tunnels. If there is a traffic jam in a tunnel, it is prohibited to stand motionless with the engine running. If special services staff asks you to leave the tunnel quickly, you need to obey their order immediately. The keys should be left inside the car, and you should leave the tunnel through the emergency exit.

Hints on Car Hire in Switzerland

When choosing a car for your Switzerland trip, don’t forget to check and compare the franchise amount (indicated in the rental conditions) for all cars considered in your selection. The franchise may vary from 200 to 2000 euro/dollars even for cars of the same class. A thorough comparison will allow you to choose the option with the lowest franchise.

During your booking, we will offer you to take a full coverage of the franchise ('No Risk' or 'No Excess' package). If you book a car without full coverage, it is recommended to take it at the pick-up time - this will substantially reduce your financial liability in Switzerland for the whole rental period.

During your car pick-up in Switzerland, do not forget to check what to do in breakdown-, accident- or theft-cases. Most of our offers include 'Breakdown Assistance' package. Besides this, every rental office would be happy to assist you with this package.

Prior to the car return, please check your voucher for the fuel conditions. If it is indicated that a driver shall return the car with a full tank, do not forget to refuel it on the way back, this will save you from additional charges at the rental office.

If you are looking for a car hire in Switzerland, we advise you to check actual rental offers. Just use the orange search form at the top. We guarantee that you would not be able to find better rates anywhere else!
23. In the territory of settlements, the maximum allowed speed (if there are no other signs) is 50 km/h. Outside the settlements, the maximum permitted speed is 80 km/h. In addition to the standard set of documents (the driving license, the vehicle certificate and the insurance), foreign drivers should always carry a passport. The absence of any of these documents is considered a serious violation.
24. The transportation and use of radar detectors is considered one of the most serious traffic violations. Even if the device is not working, you will still have to pay a heavy fine, and the device will be certainly confiscated. Moreover, you are likely to be imprisoned for this violation.
25. It is prohibited to talk on the cell phone without using the headset. The use of other electronic devices that may distract the driver’s attention from the road is also prohibited.
26. On some mountain roads, drivers are likely to see quite unusual signs that depict a horn. Such signs indicate that postage cars and buses have the advantage on the road.
27. In order to drive a vehicle, foreign drivers are required to obtain the international driving license. The EU driving license is valid in the country.
28. The local police are very strict when it comes to traffic regulations. Having exceeded the speed of just 5 km/h, you are likely to get a substantial fine. It is not recommended to argue with the police because in this case the amount of the fine may increase substantially.
29. The average cost of one hour of parking is 2 francs. The pay is charged in the period from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, some parking lots are free.
30. The parking lots, which are located in the city, are usually marked with different colors. The parking zone of the blue color means that the maximum parking time is 90 minutes, and in parking lots, marked with red, the car can be left for no more than 15 minutes. Free parking areas are marked with white.
31. Car drivers should also remember that parking cars in residential areas is prohibited. Secured parking lots are the most expensive, so tourists who hope to save are recommended to look for parking away from the city center.
32. Drunk driving is one of the most serious violations with one of the largest fines. The minimum size of the fine is approximately 380 euro. Wrong overtaking may result in a fine of 150 euro, and passing the red light – no less than 160 euro.
33. Despite the fact that there are no radars on the mountain roads, speeding is still not recommended. It is really not easy to drive in the mountains because absolutely every road has numerous steep slopes, rises and turns.
34. Drivers should always have the warning triangle as they will need to use it in case of a breakdown. If your car doesn’t work properly, you need to turn the parking lights on, set the triangle and call the roadside assistance by dialing 140 (the number is available round the clock).
35. It is possible to use numerous free parking lots only in case you have a special parking dial plate because the time of free parking is limited and strictly controlled. It is possible to purchase the dial plate in any shop for car owners or at any petrol station.
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