Car Rental in Basel

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Basel, Switzerland
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700+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Downtown
Compact
Citroen C4 or similar
Citroen C4
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Hertz
$102.44 / per day
Basel Airport
Intermediate Crossover
Peugeot 3008 or similar
Peugeot 3008
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Alamo
$137.51 / per day
Basel Airport
Economy
Peugeot 208 or similar
Peugeot 208
  • 4
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
Budget
$142.60 / per day
Basel Train Station
Standard SUV
Mitsubishi Eclipse or similar
Mitsubishi Eclipse
  • 5
  • 3
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$157.40 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Basel Airport
Mini
Toyota Aygo or similar
Toyota Aygo
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Thrifty
$161.90 / per day
Basel Airport
Standard Elite SUV
Volkswagen Tiguan or similar
Volkswagen Tiguan
  • 5
  • 3
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Europcar
$190.93 / per day
Basel Airport
Full-size
BMW 3 Series STW or similar
BMW 3 Series STW
  • 5
  • 3
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Flizzr
$235.13 / per day
Basel Airport
Intermediate Elite
Skoda Octavia STW or similar
Skoda Octavia STW
  • 5
  • 3
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Enterprise
$359.81 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 03:48 on 2024-06-14. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Languages
French, Italian
Currency
CHF
Drive on
Right-hand side
Country code
+41
Average car rental price
$186 per day
Average car rental length
5 days
Speed limit within town
50 km/h or 31 mph
Speed limit out of town
80 - 120 km/h or 50 - 75 mph
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.05%
Rating
9.9 / 10
Average gasoline price
$2.09 per liter or $7.90 / 1 gallon
Lowest gasoline price
$1.89 per liter or $7.14 / 1 gallon
Highest gasoline price
$2.30 per liter or $8.71 / 1 gallon

Why rent a car in Basel?

Basel is a beautiful city located in Switzerland, and it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The city has a rich cultural heritage, with a number of museums, galleries, and theaters. The city is home to the world-renowned Basel Zoo and the city's Botanical Garden, which is one of the most beautiful in Europe. The city is also known for its art and architecture. Basel has a large number of churches, museums, and galleries, and its historic old town is a great place to explore. The city is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with a number of bars, clubs, and restaurants. Basel is also an important economic center, with a number of multinational companies based in the city. In addition, Basel is also home to a number of universities and research institutions, making it an important center for research and education. With a rental car, you can easily travel to the nearby Alps and other Swiss destinations, or, if your rental car supplier permits it, even pop over the border to one of Basel’s neighbors, Mulhouse and Strasbourg in France or Freiburg-im-Breisgau in Germany. 

Basel

One-Way Car Rentals in Basel

The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Basel and drop off in another city include:

  • From Basel to Geneva - 140 offers from $50.92 per day
  • From Basel to Vienna - 37 offers from $99.97 per day
  • From Basel to Brussels - 37 offers from $95.60 per day
  • From Basel to Zurich - 140 offers from $50.92 per day
  • From Basel to Zagreb - 23 offers from $203.29 per day

Top ways to enter Basel

  • EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg: Located just over the border in neighboring France, but also serving Switzerland and Germany, EuroAirport is the largest airport in the region. The airport has flights by around 20 different airlines, including low-cost carriers like easyJet, Wizz Air, and Eurowings. Although made up of a single terminal, the airport is divided into French and Swiss sectors. If you pick up your rental car in the French sector, ask your rental car provider if they permit you crossing the border with Switzerland - although both countries are members of the Schengen area, some rental car providers nonetheless don’t permit or charge an additional fee for crossing the border. EuroAirport is located just 8 km (5 miles) northwest of Basel and can be reached in 15 minutes.
  • Zurich Airport: The busiest airport in the country, Zurich Airport handled 31 million travelers in 2018. The airport is a hub for Edelweiss Air and Swiss International Air Lines but also has flights by low-cost companies like Vueling. Located 90 km (54 miles) east of Basel, Zurich Airport can be reached in about one hour by car.
  • Geneva Airport: Serving the second-largest city of Switzerland, Geneva Airport handled over 17 million travelers in 2018. The airport offers flights to and from many destinations in Europe as well as the Middle East, East Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Located 250 km (155 miles) southwest of Basel, Geneva Airport can be reached in about three hours.
  • Strasbourg Airport: Serving the capital of the Alsace region and one of the capitals of the European Union, Strasbourg Airport handled 1.3 million travelers in 2018. Although the airport is generally considered to be one of the most expensive ones in France, it is served by low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Volotea. Located just 135 km (84 miles) north, it is also one of the nearest airports to Basel and can be reached in about 90 minutes. If you plan to travel from France to Switzerland in a rental car, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
  • Frankfurt Airport: The busiest in Germany and fourth-busiest in Europe, Frankfurt Airport handled 69 million travelers in 2018. A hub for Lufthansa, but with flights by tens of other airlines, it hosts flights to and from all of the continents of the world. Located 320 km (198 miles) north of Basel, Frankfurt Airport can be reached in about 3 hours and 10 minutes. Like with Strasbourg, if you plan to cross the international border, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
  • By rail: If arriving in Basel by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Basel SBB railway station or Bahnhof Basel SBB (the part of the station serving trains to and from France is known as Bâle SNCF).

City facts

  • Located in the northwest corner of Switzerland, Basel has a temperate oceanic climate with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. The average high temperature is 25°C  (78°F) in July, the warmest month, and 2°C  (35°F) in January, the coldest. May is, on average, the wettest month while January and February are the driest. Basel has an average elevation of 260 m (865 ft).
  • Basel lies on the border with France (Alsace) and Germany (Baden-Württemberg). The city stretches on both banks of the Rhine, which forms a bend before entering the Rhine plain between the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest.
    By road, Basel is 100 km north of Bern, 90 km northwest of Zurich, 260 km northeast of Geneva, 270 km north of Lugano, 135 km south of Strasbourg, 510 km southeast of Paris, 70 km south of Freiburg im Breisgau and 330 km southwest of Frankfurt am Main.
  • Like in the rest of Northern Switzerland, the main spoken language of Basel is German of the Swiss variety. Knowledge of English and French is also very high, especially among the people working in the service industry. Many other languages of the diaspora groups living in Basel like Italian, Turkish, Albanian, Serbian, and Spanish are also spoken in the city on a daily basis.
  • Basel is the third most populous city in Switzerland after Zurich and Geneva and ahead of the capital, Bern.

Top destinations and activities

  • Basel Münster. Built as a Catholic cathedral and later turned into a Protestant one, Basel Münster is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. The first stone of the Gothic church was laid exactly 1,000 years ago (in 1019); later, the church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1366 but was quickly rebuilt.  After this, the southern tower was added. 
  • Basel old town. The old town of Basel is home to Gothic stone and timber-framed houses, 18th-century mansions built by silk merchants and fountains, the oldest of which date from the Renaissance.
    Rathaus. Basel's town hall dates from 1514 and combines Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It was extended around 1608, and the belfry was added at the beginning of the 20th century. The red façade of the building is richly decorated with trompe l'oeil architecture.
  • Basel Zoo. The zoo, founded in 1874, is the oldest in Switzerland and one of the two most visited zoos in the country, together with the Zurich Zoo.
  • Fine Arts Museum. The largest art museum in Switzerland, it hosts works by world-famous masters such as Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Edward Munch, and Claude Monet, among others. The museum is located in a purpose-built early 20th-century building. An absolute-must place to visit, the ticket for the fine arts museum also permits entrance to the nearby Contemporary Art Museum. 
  • Museum of Ancient Art and Ludwig Collection. If artworks created in the last few centuries don’t impress you much, how about those that were created thousands of years ago? The Museum of Ancient Art has one of the largest collections of Ancient Greek art in Europe as well as impressive artifacts from Ancient Egypt and the Fertile Crescent.
  • Laurenz-Stiftung Schaulager. Displaying both classical and contemporary art, this is quite likely the fanciest warehouse in all of Switzerland. Repurposed by a local foundation, it is now a notable cultural and arts space with frequently changing exhibitions. The center is located some distance south of the city center and can be reached by car in about 10-15 minutes.

Traffic and parking

  • Switzerland drives on the right-hand side of the road.
  • The speed limit in Switzerland is 100-120 km/h (62-75 mph) on motorways, 80 km/h (50 mph) on all other intercity roads, and 50 km/h (31 mph) inside urban and built-up areas. Switzerland has some of the strictest laws in the world when it comes to speeding - it is considered a legal offense; exceeding the limits very excessively can even lead to prison time.
  • Switzerland is a very mountainous country. While it has some of the best roads in the world, driving on remote mountain roads can still be a challenging experience as many are very narrow and steep. If you’re driving on an especially narrow round and can’t see around the nearest bend, the law requires you to use your horn in advance. 
  • During the winter months, all cars must be equipped with winter tires and if the snow is especially strong, using tire chains might also be required. All Swiss rental cars will have winter tires and many will also come with tire chains (though do ask your rental car in advance), but these requirements are important to keep in mind if you’re traveling to Switzerland with a rental car picked up in a neighboring country like Italy, France, or Germany.
  • Many mountain passes are closed during the winter months. It’s a good idea to get an up-to-date GPS system that will notify you which roads are accessible and which are not.
  • It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. This law is strictly enforced and the fines are high.
  • The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers. Exceeding these limits can lead to very steep fines or even imprisonment.
  • The car’s registration and insurance documents must be in it at all times.
  • When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
  • Children younger than 12 years of age must have a child seat. Ask your rental car provider about the availability of one if you will be traveling with a young child.
  • The general emergency number in Switzerland, like in the European Union, is 112. You can also call 117 for police, 118 for the fire brigade, and 144 for an ambulance.

Toll roads

Switzerland does not have toll roads as in some other European countries. Instead, a vignette is required to use the motorways of the country. If renting a car in Switzerland, the vignette should already be on the car when you receive it. However, if you rent a car in neighboring France, Italy, Germany or Austria, you will need to purchase a vignette when entering Switzerland (i.e., near the customs checkpoint). Unfortunately, there is only one type of vignette offered, one lasting the entire year (valid until January 31 of next year). This has the unfortunate effect of costing the traveler more than residents on a per-day basis. The cost of the vignette is currently 40 CHF. 

While there are no toll roads, there are two tunnels that are tolled. These are the Grand St. Bernhard Tunnel spout of Lake Geneva near the border with Italy and the Munt la Schera near the Italian border in the far east of the country.

There are also five toll tunnels where vehicles are transported by train. The nearest to Basel is the Oberalp Pass, about 180 km (112 miles) south of the city.

Learn more about the highway vignette system in Switzerland on the official Swiss Customs Administration website and the European toll road website

Ideas for day trips

  • Zurich. The largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is well-known for its financial and banking muscle, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for a traveler to enjoy. A truly sophisticated place, the city is home to many unique museums, impressive churches of different styles, a well-preserved old town, and a beautiful promenade that snakes along Lake Zurich. Located just 87 km (54 miles) east of Basel, Zurich can be reached in about one hour.
  • Bern. Small, pretty, and accessible, Bern might be one of the coziest capital cities in the world. Located on a peninsula surrounded by the Aare river, it has all the attractions of a proper city (think galleries, impressive buildings, and restaurants ) but none of the hustle and bustle that can sometimes overwhelm you in Basel or Zurich. Located 100 km (62 miles) south of Basel, Bern can be reached in 1 hour and 10 minutes, and is very much worth a shot. 
  • Interlaken. Located in the Bernese Oberland region, Interlaken sits right between two of Switzerland’s most picturesque lakes, Brienz and Thun. This is one place that truly feels like the Switzerland you see on postcards - a quaint little town surrounded by navy blue waters with snow-capped mountains in the distance. Take pictures and Instagram away, but do not forget to also try the local cuisine in one of Interlaken’s small restaurants. Located 152 km (94 miles) south of Basel, Interlaken can be reached in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • The Rhine Falls. This spectacular natural phenomenon is located in northern Switzerland just north of Schaffhausen and 95 km (59 mi) from Basel. Considered one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe, the Rhine Falls are awe-inspiring in the spring and summer when the snowmelt increases the water flow. Visitors to the Rhine Falls can take a short boat ride to the base of the falls and experience the power of the water up close. There are also several observation points along the banks of the Rhine, where visitors can admire the falls from a distance. The site is home to several nearby attractions, including a castle, a wildlife park, and many outdoor activities, making the Rhine Falls an ideal destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
  • Thal Regional Nature Park. Although its hilly scenery might be a touch less majestic than some of Switzerland’s most imposing Alps, Thal is one of the nicest nature preserves in the area. Characterized by long, wooded valleys, as well as some seriously bucolic farmland, its network of hiking trails is simply calling you to take a long and leisurely walk. The drive from Basel takes about one hour.

Most popular cars

The most popular rental car in Basel is the Volkswagen Golf, closely followed by the Volkswagen Polo and the Hyundai i10. The most popular rental car types are compact, economy, and standard.

Further destinations

  • Alsace. Located a literal stone’s throw from Basel, Alsace is one of the prettiest regions of neighboring France. Enjoy its lovely capital, Strasbourg, home to one of Europe’s loftiest Gothic cathedrals, Colmar and its charming Little Venice, and the fascinating museums of Mulhouse. The region also offers pretty little towns and villages with fine half-timbered houses (Kaysersberg, Obernai, Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr…), idyllic countryside (Grand Ried, Sundgau, Outre-Forêt, Vosges), and some of the best wineries in Europe. Strasbourg is 136 km (84 miles) north of Basel and you can explore the rest of the region from there. To go from Switzerland to France, you have to cross the international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
  • Geneva. The largest city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Geneva is more than just a diplomatic hub. Travelers love it for its iconic Jet d'Eau fountain, well-preserved Vieille Ville or Old Town, unique neighborhoods, Lake Geneva, and the nearby Alps. Located 255 km (158 miles) south of Basel, Geneva can be reached in 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • The Black Forest. An old forest said to have inspired many of the famous German fairy tales and legends, the Black Forest is a popular travel destination. During summer months, the forest is a perfect place for hiking, rafting, and paragliding, while in wintertime, it's possible to ski and snowboard. On the edges of the forest, you can find lovely German cities like Freiburg and Baden-Baden as well as many smaller towns and villages. Freiburg is just 70 km (43 miles) north of Basel and takes 55 minutes to reach. As with Alsace, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit you crossing the border.
  • The Jura Mountains. The Jura mountains in Switzerland are a mountain range located in the country's northwestern part, easily accessible from Basel. The range is an excellent destination for those exploring nature and enjoying outdoor activities. The Jura offers a variety of activities, such as hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, and paragliding. Plenty of stunning viewpoints and panoramic views can be found along the many trails and paths in the area. The mountains are also known for their many local delicacies, such as cheese, wine, charcuterie, and even chocolate. There are also many quaint villages and towns to explore and historical sites, such as castles and abbeys (Biel, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lac de Joux, Neuchâtel, Porrentruy).
  • Swiss National Park. Located in the southeastern part of the country, this is the only official national park in Switzerland - the rest are designated as nature parks. Although not as high as the Matterhorn - its highest peaks reach about 3,170 m (10,400 feet) - this is a wonderful place to enjoy the traditional Swiss Alpine scenery. The area is home to a number of unique flora and fauna species, so there are a number of rules about how to behave when visiting – learn more about them on the park’s official English language website. A car trip from Basel to here takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Car Rental Prices in Basel

  • Convertibles - from $181 per day
  • Station wagons - from $149 per day
  • Large cars - from $131 per day
  • Medium cars - from $102 per day
  • Premium cars - from $215 per day
  • Small cars - from $127 per day
  • SUVs - from $138 per day

Money-saving tips

Try these simple tips to land a great rental car in Basel:

  • Compare the rates of different rental car providers
  • Book your rental car well in advance
  • Plan your route before you go
  • Know your fuel and mileage requirements
  • Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Basel is the cheapest in April when renting a car is 55% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 73% cheaper than renting a vehicle in June. Come visit Switzerland in the springtime!
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators.

Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Fact checked by
Pierre Guernier
This article was reviewed and updated by Pierre Guernier, the writer and content creator behind French Moments, a family business based on the south coast of England whose primary goal is to inspire visitors to travel and explore France. You can find French Moments online at frenchmoments.eu, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Top 13 Cities near Basel

  1. 72.6 km / 45.1 miles
  2. 78.3 km / 48.7 miles
  3. 85.3 km / 53 miles
  4. 104.4 km / 64.9 miles
  5. 126.2 km / 78.4 miles
  6. 137.2 km / 85.3 miles
  7. 137.9 km / 85.7 miles
  8. 152.3 km / 94.6 miles
  9. 153.3 km / 95.3 miles
  10. 172.5 km / 107.2 miles
  11. 185.5 km / 115.3 miles
  12. 186.1 km / 115.6 miles
  13. 207.1 km / 128.7 miles

Map of Car Rental Locations

What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Basel?

Car rental prices in Basel vary by time of year. This graph shows the average prices per month to help you find the best time of year to rent.
Average rental costs per day in Basel
$62.91
January
$105.57
February
$73.07
March
$63.61
April
$72.78
May
$91.46
June
$128.45
July
$123.44
August
$74.60
September
$84.06
October
$71.86
November
$124.00
December
The cheapest month to rent a car in Basel is January (when prices average $62.91 per day). This is 30% cheaper than the yearly average and 51% cheaper than renting in July (when prices average $128.45).

This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.

What’s the usual rental length in Basel?

How long travelers keep their rental cars for varies from month to month: in July, the average renter keeps their car for 7 days, and in December, they keep their car for 4 days.
Average number of rental days in Basel
5
January
5
February
5
March
6
April
5
May
6
June
7
July
6
August
6
September
6
October
5
November
4
December

What's the most popular month to rent a car in Basel?

Based on the number of searches by our customers, the most popular month for renting a car in Basel is December, and the least popular is July.
Monthly searches in Basel by pick-up date relative to the average
71%
January
69%
February
110%
March
115%
April
91%
May
97%
June
53%
July
57%
August
68%
September
102%
October
174%
November
194%
December

Car Rental Information

Car rental locations 3
Airport locations 1
Popular suppliers Europcar, Alamo, Hertz, SIXT, Thrifty
Popular car categories Vans, SUVs, Small cars, Medium cars
Lowest price $102 per day
Cheapest supplier Hertz

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Supplier Model Doors Luggage Type
Europcar Volkswagen Touran 5 2 Vans
Alamo Volkswagen Polo 4 2 Small cars
Alamo Opel Mokka 5 2 SUVs
Hertz Citroen C3 5 2 Small cars
Alamo Ford Puma 4 2 SUVs
Hertz Ford Focus 5 2 Medium cars
Alamo Mercedes Benz A Class 4 1 Medium cars
Budget Citroen C3 5 2 Small cars
Enterprise Opel Mokka 5 2 SUVs
Europcar Skoda Scala 5 2 Medium cars

Our Customers' Reviews

Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

United Kingdom
Opel Mokka
January 22, 2024
The trip was great and I spent some time In Waldkirch near Freiburg in Germany for work.
Denmark
Renault Captur
August 19, 2022
It was a great trip but missed the cool weather on the mountain top as it ws very hot
Ireland
Mercedes Benz A Class
October 25, 2019
Frauenfeld , Zurich, Luzern all great towns and over Switzerland beautyfull country.
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Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
Alamo
9.1 / 10
)
Lowest rated company
Firefly
7.7 / 10
)
Total number of reviews
7
Total rental companies
12
Average daily price
$185.96
Lowest daily price
$102.44
Total cars available
137

Top 12 Suppliers in Basel in 2024

Alamo
Alamo
Exceptional 9.1 / 80 reviews
1 location
$138 - $327
Europcar
Europcar
Exceptional 9 / 30 reviews
2 locations
$143 - $336
Thrifty
Thrifty
Very good 8.7 / 10 reviews
2 locations
$162 - $418
SIXT
SIXT
Very good 8.5 / 23 reviews
3 locations
$157 - $345
Hertz
Hertz
Very good 8.4 / 12 reviews
2 locations
$102 - $434
Dollar
Dollar
Very good 8.2 / 21 reviews
2 locations
Budget
Budget
Very good 8.1 / 4 reviews
2 locations
$143 - $279
Enterprise
Enterprise
Very good 8 / 15 reviews
1 location
$152 - $360
National
National
Good 7.9 / 1 review
1 location
$156 - $370
Avis
Avis
Good 7.8 / 1 review
2 locations
$144 - $279
Flizzr
Flizzr
Good 7.8
1 location
$202 - $235
Firefly
Firefly
Good 7.7
1 location
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