Car Rental in Zurich

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Zurich, Switzerland
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Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
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500+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Downtown
Economy
Peugeot 208 or similar
Peugeot 208
  • 4
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
Budget
$31.77 / per day
Zurich Airport
Mini
Fiat 500 or similar
Fiat 500
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Thrifty
$43.36 / per day
Zurich Airport
Compact
Volkswagen Golf or similar
Volkswagen Golf
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
GreenMotion
$43.94 / per day
Zurich Airport
Compact Elite
Mercedes Benz A Class or similar
Mercedes Benz A Class
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Alamo
$44.90 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Zurich Airport
Standard
Volvo C40 or similar
Volvo C40
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Hertz
$45.63 / per day
Zurich Airport
Intermediate
Skoda Octavia or similar
Skoda Octavia
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Enterprise
$53.41 / per day
Zurich Airport
Economy Elite
Mini Cooper or similar
Mini Cooper
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
National
$57.13 / per day
Zurich Airport
Premium
Polestar 2 or similar
Polestar 2
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Europcar
$76.73 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 06:12 on 2024-04-21. 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
$50 per day
Average car rental length
6 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
9.3 / 10
Average gasoline price
$2.03 per liter or $7.70 / 1 gallon
Lowest gasoline price
$1.92 per liter or $7.28 / 1 gallon
Highest gasoline price
$2.47 per liter or $9.35 / 1 gallon

Why rent a car in Zurich?

Zurich is a great city to explore. Sophisticated and well-developed, it is home to well-preserved architecture, varied museums, modern art spaces, and classy restaurants. A lot of smaller, but equally interesting towns are located nearby, as is impressive nature. Traveling by rental car, you can explore Zurich first, then see the rest of Switzerland, perhaps even traveling to the French or Italian-speaking regions or taking a sneak peek at one of Switzerland’s neighboring countries.

Zurich

One-Way Car Rentals in Zurich

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

  • From Zurich to Milan - 93 offers from $145.08 per day
  • From Zurich to Geneva - 252 offers from $51.48 per day
  • From Zurich to Bologna - 37 offers from $145.08 per day
  • From Zurich to Venice - 9 offers from $241.24 per day
  • From Zurich to Lugano - 36 offers from $66.57 per day

Top ways to enter Zurich

  • Zurich Airport: The busiest in Switzerland, Zurich Airport handled 31 million travelers in 2018. The airport is a hub for Edelweiss Air and Swiss International Air Lines and is served by around 30 other airlines. In addition to European connections, the airport also has flights to and from destinations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Located 11 km (6.8 miles) northeast of the city center, the airport can be reached in about 15 minutes by car.
  • EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg: Located in France, but serving locations in three different countries, EuroAirport handled 9 million travelers in 2019. A hub for the low-cost carrier easyJet, it is often the most affordable place to fly to in Switzerland. EuroAirport is divided into French and Swiss sectors - if you plan to pick up your rental car in the French sector, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit you crossing the border with Switzerland (while 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). Located just northwest of Basel, EuroAirport is 91 km (56.5 miles) from Zurich and can be reached in a little over an hour.
  • Geneva Airport: Serving the largest French-speaking city of Switzerland, Geneva Cointrin Airport handled 17.6 million travelers in 2018. Served by around 30 different airlines, Geneva Airport hosts some flights by low-cost carriers like EasyJet in addition to Swiss International Air Lines. Geneva Airport is 270 km (167 miles) northwest of Zurich and can be reached in about three hours.
  • Milan Malpensa Airport: The busiest airport in northern Italy and second-busiest in all of the country, Milan Malpensa handled 24 million travelers in 2018. The airport has flights by around 40 different airlines with most of the traffic served by ITA Airways, easyJet, Neos, and Ryanair. Located 280 km (174 miles) south of Zurich, Malpensa Airport can be reached in about 3 hours and 20 minutes. If you plan to pick up your rental car in Italy and then travel to Switzerland, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit crossing the border.
  • Munich Airport: With 48 million travelers served in 2019, Munich Airport is the busiest in Southern Germany, the second-busiest in the country, and the eighth busiest in Europe. The airport is a large hub for Lufthansa but also has flights by low-cost carriers like Eurowings and Norwegian Air and tens of other airlines. Located 340 km (211 miles) southeast of Zurich, Munich Airport can be reached in about 3 hours and 40 minutes. Like with Malpensa, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit crossing the border with a rental car.
  • By rail: If arriving in Zurich by train, you can pick up your rental car at Zurich Hauptbahnhof or the main train station.

City facts

  • Despite being located quite far from any sea, Zurich has a temperate oceanic climate with humid continental influences. The city has warm summers, cold winters, and four distinct seasons. The average high temperature in Zurich is 24°C  (75°F) in July, the warmest month (with some days significantly warmer), and 3°C  (37°F) in January, the coldest. Summers in the city are quite wet, while winters are drier but experience a lot of snow. Zurich is located at an elevation of 400 - 500 m (1,300 - 1,650 ft); Uetliberg, the mountain overlooking the city, is 870 m (2,850 ft) high.
  • With a GDP per capita of over 70,000 Euros (around 78,000 USD), Greater Zurich is one of the wealthiest regions in Europe, behind only the cities of Luxembourg City in Luxembourg, Dublin in Ireland, Brussels in Belgium, and Hamburg in Germany. The prosperity is reflected in the quality of living as Zurich is frequently voted one of the best places to live in the world. Zurich is also frequently ranked as the most expensive city in Europe, ahead of London, Moscow, and Paris.
  • Although Bern is the capital of Switzerland, Zurich is by far the most populous urban center in the country. The city itself has a population of about 443,000 and a population density of 4,700/km2. The Greater Zurich Area, made up of seven different cantons, has a population of 1.8 million people, meaning that roughly every fifth resident of Switzerland lives in or around Zurich. The city itself is made up of 12 different districts, known as Kreise in German. The residents of Zurich are known as Zurcher (male) and Zurcherin (female).

Top destinations and activities

  • Old Town. Picturesque and well-preserved, visiting Zurich Altstadt is one of the highlights of any trip to the city. The old town is famous as the home of beautiful buildings like St. Peter’s Church, old guild houses, and the University of Zurich, but it is best enjoyed by simply roaming its old narrow streets which seem to have changed very little over the last centuries.
  • Lake Promenade. The long promenade on the northern coast of Lake Zurich is one of the prettiest areas in the city. Lined with trees and passing by many of Zurich’s landmarks, the promenade is the perfect place to go on a long walk or simply enjoy the view. Despite Zurich being very pricey, one of the nicest things to do in the city is absolutely free. 
  • Pavillon Le Corbusier. Located in the Zurichhorn area, the Pavilion is an art museum dedicated to the famous architect who hailed from Switzerland. Known as one of the fathers of modern architecture and urban planning, Le Corbusier created many daring and influential projects, some of which can be seen in the museum. Purpose-built, the museum itself can be seen as a work of art itself.
  • Uetliberg. You can reach this mountain peak by a short 30-minute train ride from Zurich’s city center. At the viewpoint, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of Zurich, the lake, and the mountains in the distance. You can also take some time to wander some of the forest paths at the peak, walk down the mountain, or take the cable car back down.
  • Landesmuseum. Also known as the Swiss National Museum, this is one of the most important cultural institutions in the country. The expositions cover the history of Switzerland from early Neolithic inhabitation to the politics, culture, and religion in the country during the last several centuries. It is very centrally located and therefore easily accessible, being right next to the Hauptbahnhof, or Central Train Station.
  • The Grossmünster. Arguably the most famous church in Zürich, the Grossmünster dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries, replacing an even older house of prayer that was built under the orders of Charlemagne. Originally a monastery, it is recognizable for its facade, reliefs, statues, and interior.
  • Kunsthaus Zürich. Zürich’s main art museum is sometimes claimed to hold the largest collection of classic modern art in the world, but its exhibits actually span more than just a single period, going as far back in history as the Middle Ages. Works by world-famous creators such as Picasso, van Gogh, Munch, and Magritte can be seen here. Visit the museum’s English-language website to learn more.

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 remote mountain roads can still be a challenging experience as many are very narrow and steep. If you’re driving an especially narrow road and can’t see around the nearest bend, the law requires you to use a horn in advance. 
  • During the winter months, all cars need to 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. The 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.
  • If you’re the driver, 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 Zurich is the Oberalp Pass, about 120 km (75 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

  • Baden. A pretty little town near the border with Germany, Baden is famous the Stein Castle, the Children’s Museum, and an old, reconstructed wood bridge. The word ‘Baden’ literally means ‘baths’ in archaic German, and travelers love visiting the town's many spas and thermal springs which have attracted foreign visitors since Roman times. Located 23 km (14 miles) northwest of Zurich, Baden can be reached in about 25 minutes.
  • Zurich Wilderness Park. A large, forested territory made up of two joined nature preserves, the wilderness park is home to many native animal species like brown bears, elk grey wolves, and European bison. There are also many hiking trails and picnic spots, making it one of the nicest green areas in the vicinity of Zurich. Located just 13 km (8 miles) south of the city, the park can be reached in about 20 minutes by car.
  • Winterthur. A medium-sized city, Winterthur is best known for its historical architecture. But the city also has a whopping 17 museums, with the Oskar Reinhart Collection, an art museum, and Technorama - Swiss Science Center being the standouts. Located just 24 km (15 miles) northeast of Zurich, Winterthur takes 30 minutes to reach, making it an ideal spot even if you only have one day in Zurich

Most popular cars

The most popular rental car in Zurich is the Volkswagen Polo, followed by the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.

Further destinations

  • Basel. Located right on the border with Germany and France, Switzerland’s third city is a great place to explore. Travelers love it for impressive churches like Basel Munster and Elisabethenkirche, sophisticated museums, and unique festivals. Located 87 km (54 miles) northwest of Zurich, Basel can be reached in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. From here, you can easily visit Alsace in France and the Black Forest in Germany, though you should ask your rental car provider in advance to find out if they permit it.
  • Ticino. Even in a country like Switzerland, the region of Ticino stands out for its natural beauty. Primarily Italian-speaking, it is home to alpine lake beaches, snow-capped peaks, and long, green valleys. Ticino’s little towns, including Locarno, Bellinzona, and Lugano, are also very much worth a visit. The latter, 207 km (128 miles) northeast of Zurich, can be reached in about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Lucerne. A nice city in Central Switzerland, Lucerne offers many experiences dedicated to the surrounding Alps. These include the Glacier Garden, Alpineum (a museum and diorama), and surrounding mountains like Titlis, Pilatus, and Rigi that you can climb. Among the other attractions of the city are the Rosengart Collection which has artworks by Picasso, Cezanne, and Chagal, and the Chapel Bridge. Located 52 km (32 miles) south of Zurich, Lucerne can be reached in about 45 minutes.
  • Interlaken. Gorgeous in both winter and summer, there are so many things to do in Interlaken. Enjoy kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and swimming in Lake Brienz or Lake Thun. Take a beautiful hike on a mountain trail such as Rugen trail or Harder Kulm. You can also combine your Interlaken trip with some time in Grindelwald, known for its hiking, viewpoints, cute village, and breathtaking mountain views. From Zurich, you can reach Interlaken in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Car Rental Prices in Zurich

  • Convertibles - from $118 per day
  • Station wagons - from $48 per day
  • Large cars - from $45 per day
  • Medium cars - from $38 per day
  • Vans - from $90 per day
  • Premium cars - from $69 per day
  • Small cars - from $32 per day
  • SUVs - from $44 per day

Money-saving tips

Try these simple tips to get a great rental car in Zurich:

  • 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 Zurich is the cheapest in April when renting a car is about 41% cheaper than the yearly average.
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators.

Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Fact checked by
Megan Starr & Aram Vardanyan
Megan & Aram is a travel blog run by two friends that have been helping people travel the world since 2010. They have visited well over 100 countries together and share a special passion for lesser-known destinations, as well as the Nordics. Megan is currently based in Germany and Aram is based in Armenia. They run 4 destination-specific websites in addition to Megan & Aram.

Top 13 Cities near Zurich

  1. 49.6 km / 30.8 miles
  2. 59.8 km / 37.2 miles
  3. 76.1 km / 47.3 miles
  4. 78.3 km / 48.7 miles
  5. 100.6 km / 62.5 miles
  6. 101.3 km / 62.9 miles
  7. 102 km / 63.4 miles
  8. 145.6 km / 90.5 miles
  9. 146 km / 90.7 miles
  10. 164.4 km / 102.2 miles
  11. 166.8 km / 103.6 miles
  12. 169 km / 105 miles
  13. 230.3 km / 143.1 miles

Map of Car Rental Locations

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

Car rental prices in Zurich 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 Zurich
$68.98
January
$85.04
February
$85.56
March
$70.04
April
$83.36
May
$104.15
June
$151.53
July
$130.86
August
$105.68
September
$84.00
October
$59.31
November
$101.96
December
The cheapest month to rent a car in Zurich is November (when prices average $59.31 per day). This is 37% cheaper than the yearly average and 61% cheaper than renting in July (when prices average $151.53).

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 Zurich?

How long travelers keep their rental cars for varies from month to month: in July, the average renter keeps their car for 8 days, and in January, they keep their car for 5 days.
Average number of rental days in Zurich
5
January
6
February
5
March
7
April
7
May
7
June
8
July
7
August
7
September
6
October
6
November
6
December

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

Based on the number of searches by our customers, the most popular month for renting a car in Zurich is June, and the least popular is March.
Monthly searches in Zurich by pick-up date relative to the average
76%
January
80%
February
66%
March
82%
April
102%
May
157%
June
121%
July
116%
August
122%
September
102%
October
72%
November
106%
December

Car Rental Information

Car rental locations 6
Airport locations 1
Popular suppliers Alamo, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise, GreenMotion
Popular car categories SUVs, Small cars, Medium cars, Vans
Lowest price $32 per day
Cheapest supplier Budget

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Supplier Model Doors Luggage Type
Alamo Volkswagen Polo 4 2 Small cars
Alamo Opel Mokka 5 2 SUVs
Europcar Volkswagen Touran 5 2 Vans
Alamo Ford Puma 4 2 SUVs
Hertz Jeep Compass 5 2 SUVs
Europcar Volkswagen T-Roc 5 3 SUVs
Explore Vacations AG Nissan Qashqai 5 4 SUVs
GreenMotion Renault Clio 5 2 Small cars
Hertz Citroen C3 5 2 Small cars
Hertz Volkswagen Polo 4 2 Small 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.

Ukraine
Ford Puma
January 9, 2024
Activities
customer photo
Turkey
BMW 2 Series
January 6, 2024
We Drow to the Zermatt area.
United States of America (USA)
Volkswagen Polo
October 16, 2023
Swiss experience- glacier/ hiking
Singapore
Volkswagen Passat
July 27, 2023
All good
Singapore
Alfa Romeo Giulia
June 26, 2023
Long distance driving in a GT car was just an absolute bliss.
customer photo
Israel
Ford Focus
September 9, 2022
Switzerland is a wonderful country
Switzerland
Fiat 500
January 4, 2022
Really good and simple. Best service and greats cars. Can't found better than this Enterprise 10 to 10!
United Kingdom
Volvo V40
September 15, 2019
Zrh easy to rent. Parking right behind counters. Easy in/out.
United Kingdom
Mazda 6 Sport Kombi
February 13, 2019
Expensive and not really worth it unless you can't get to your destination by public transport.
Latvia
VW Golf
October 31, 2018
Zurich is the best!
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Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
GreenMotion
9.3 / 10
)
Lowest rated company
Firefly
7.7 / 10
)
Total number of reviews
15
Total rental companies
13
Average daily price
$49.61
Lowest daily price
$31.77
Total cars available
673

Top 13 Suppliers in Zurich in 2024

GreenMotion
GreenMotion
Exceptional 9.3 / 23 reviews
1 location
$44 - $57
Europcar
Europcar
Very good 8.8 / 119 reviews
1 location
$56 - $170
Dollar
Dollar
Very good 8.8 / 52 reviews
4 locations
Enterprise
Enterprise
Very good 8.7 / 87 reviews
2 locations
$48 - $212
Thrifty
Thrifty
Very good 8.6 / 21 reviews
2 locations
$43 - $193
SIXT
SIXT
Very good 8.5 / 81 reviews
2 locations
$53 - $329
Alamo
Alamo
Very good 8.4 / 262 reviews
2 locations
$44 - $191
Avis
Avis
Very good 8.4 / 11 reviews
4 locations
$45 - $226
Hertz
Hertz
Very good 8.3 / 60 reviews
4 locations
$44 - $203
Budget
Budget
Very good 8 / 6 reviews
4 locations
$32 - $156
National
National
Good 7.8 / 7 reviews
2 locations
$49 - $221
Flizzr
Flizzr
Good 7.8
1 location
$63 - $140
Firefly
Firefly
Good 7.7
1 location
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