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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in Switzerland - Driving Nuances

1. In Switzerland, there are three types of roads - highways, main roads and secondary roads. The entrance to the highway is always marked with the green sign. The main road is marked with the blue pointer, and all local roads are marked with white.
2. While driving, it is recommended to keep the low beams always turned on. Low beams must work in poor visibility conditions (at night, in the rain, or when driving through a tunnel).
3. The driver and all the passengers inside the car must fasten seat belts. The violation of this rule will certainly result in a fine. Foreign drivers should also not forget that children under 7 years can be transported in a special child seat only. Children under 12 years can sit on the back seat only.
4. Driving under influence is considered a serious violation, so the punishment is also strict. The maximum permitted blood alcohol content for drivers is 0.5 ppm. The police can offer you to take the breath test as a part of the standard document check – note that you cannot refuse.
5. Roundabouts are rather widespread in large cities. According to the traffic regulations, cars that move in the circle have the advantage. Drivers, who want to enter the circle or leave it, should not forget to accompany their maneuvers with appropriate light signals.

Nuances of Car Rental in Switzerland

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Switzerland usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in Switzerland try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in Switzerland in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in Switzerland. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
6. In Switzerland, motorcyclists and cyclists have become a real danger for car drivers. Motorbike and bicycle riders often appear in the so-called “blind spot” zones, creating potentially dangerous situations. Taking into consideration such a peculiarity of local roads, car drivers should look around more often, especially before making a maneuver. Riders of two-wheeled vehicles are sometimes not seen in the rearview mirror.
7. The public transport has a number of advantages on the road. In many cities, buses and trolleybuses have a specially designated lane that is marked with a special sign. Other cars are not allowed to move on that lane.
8. Pedestrians also have the advantage. It should be noted that not all pedestrian crossings have traffic lights. Even if there is no traffic light, cars are required to stop and wait until the road is free. You can be sure that pedestrians will certainly reward drivers with a friendly smile for their attention.
9. Older people and children often cross the road in the wrong place, but drivers should treat such behavior with understanding. Pensioners and children are treated with particular attention in the country. You will need to give way to them even if there is no pedestrian crossing.
10. There is the so-called “30-kilometer zone” in almost every city in the country. As you can guess from the name, the maximum permitted speed in this zone is 30 km/h. As a rule, such areas are located away from the city center. Drivers are always warned about such zones by special road signs.
11. Drivers, who plan to ride on mountain roads in Switzerland, should not forget that all the roads in the mountains are very narrow and winding. Some of roads are so narrow that two cars can hardly move in different directions there. On mountain roads drivers often have to move backwards in order to give way to an oncoming vehicle, because there is simply no space for the maneuver.
12. When driving on mountain roads, drivers will see special “priority” signs that specify who and when should give way. As a rule, cars that move upwards are given way. Postal buses and articulated lorries also have a special priority.
13. Drivers should be particularly attentive on mountain roads in winter. On some roads, it is only possible to use vehicles equipped with snow chains.
14. The majority of parking lots in Switzerland are paid. As a rule, they are usually equipped with standard parking machines. If you want to, it is always possible to find a free parking lot away from the city center. The limited time of parking remains the main disadvantage of such parking lots.
15. In Switzerland, there are also toll roads. The fee is also charged for using some tunnels. Tourists, who plan to drive on highways, will need to pay the toll only once. The amount of the toll is approximately 40 francs. After this, you can use highways free of charge.
16. The toll payment involves the purchase of the special “Vignette” card. It is possible to buy it at customs, at any petrol station or in a post office. The card should be placed under the windshield. Drivers, who do not have the “Vignette” card, are not allowed to use highways. The validity period of the card is 14 months.
17. The presence of the "Vignette" is strictly monitored. In case of breaking this rule, the driver will have to pay a fine of 200 francs. The punishment also involves the purchase of the card, regardless of the fact whether you plan to use it or no.
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