Car Rental in Switzerland
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Switzerland?
Switzerland is a great country to travel around by car. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can enjoy stunning mountains while driving truly world-class roads. Having your own ride will let you explore everything from majestic peaks and winter resorts to beautiful cities like the country’s largest, Zürich, or the capital of the French-speaking region, Geneva.
One-way Car Rentals in Switzerland
Here are the most popular one-way rental options for pickup in Switzerland and drop off in another country:
- From Switzerland to Italy - 550 offers from $145.25 per day
- From Switzerland to France - 191 offers from $84.13 per day
- From Switzerland to Austria - 119 offers from $99.94 per day
- From Switzerland to Germany - 130 offers from $84.13 per day
- From Switzerland to Netherlands - 73 offers from $101.63 per day
Top ways to enter Switzerland
- Zürich Airport: Switzerland’s main international airport.
- Geneva Airport: Large international airport in the southwest of Switzerland
- Basel-Mulhouse Airport: A unique international airport shared by Switzerland, France, and Germany
- By land: It is possible to rent a car in a neighboring country and then drive to Switzerland. Some of the large international airports near Switzerland include Lyon Airport in France, Munich Airport in Germany, and Milan Malpensa Airport in Italy.
Top cities and places to visit
- Zurich. The largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is best-known for its economy and high standard of living, but there’s also plenty of history and culture to explore, too. Some of the most interesting attractions of Zurich include the Kunsthaus (the city’s main art museum), Le Corbusier Pavillion, and Bahnhofstraße, arguably the most famous street in Switzerland.
- Geneva. The main city of the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Geneva is a sophisticated destination with plenty of galleries, museums, and well-preserved architecture. Other attractions include the famous Jet d’Eau water fountain, the UN’s Palace of Nations, and the nearby CERN Nuclear Research Center, best recognizable by its futuristic globe.
- Bern. The capital of Switzerland is not the country’s largest city, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of a travel destination. Best known for its beautiful Altstadt, or old town, that’s surrounded from three sides by the Aare river, the city is home to a number of beautiful churches, palaces, and bridges.
- Basel. A cultural hub with a rich history, Basel is known for its museums, including the famous Zoo, and its beautiful old town and historic cathedral.
- Interlaken. A popular destination for adventure sports, Interlaken is situated in the Bernese Oberland region, surrounded by the stunning Swiss Alps.
- Lausanne. Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is a vibrant city known for its Olympic Museum and historic Old Town and cathedral.
- Lucerne. Located in central Switzerland, Lucerne is known for its beautiful lake and picturesque old town with medieval architecture and the famous Chapel Bridge. The town is dominated by Pilatus Mountain, which can be reached by cable car.
- Lugano. Situated in the Italian-speaking Ticino region of Switzerland, Lugano boasts a Mediterranean climate and a picturesque lakeside promenade.
St. Moritz: A glamorous ski resort in the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz is famous for its luxury boutiques, fine dining, and winter sports.
- Zermatt. A car-free village nestled in the Alps, Zermatt is home to the iconic Matterhorn mountain and is a paradise for hikers and skiers.
- Switzerland is also home to many beautiful villages that attract many visitors, such as Appenzell, Grindelwald, Gruyères, Lauterbrunnen, and Stein am Rhein.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in Switzerland is the VW Polo, closely followed by the VW Golf and the Opel Corsa.
Driver's license requirements
- Switzerland accepts all driver licenses issued in the European Union (EU).
- If your driver’s licence is issued by a non-EU country (except Switzerland), for it to be considered valid, you’ll need a Swiss visa. Another requirement is to have been in the EU for no more than six months at the time of the rental. If you have been in the EU longer, you’ll need a driver’s license issued by an EU country.
- If your driver license is printed in a non-Latin alphabet (Cyrillic, Arabic, etc.), you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP/IDL) or an official translation of your license into English or German.
- You must carry your driver’s licence, not its copy, with you at all times. You must have held your driver’s licence by at least 1 or 2 years, depending on the car provider.
- There may be additional requirements depending on the car provider and car category, so make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking.
Switzerland is bordered by France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Italy. Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU), it is a member of the Schengen Area and so are all of its neighboring countries. If you’re not an EU citizen, you’ll need a Schengen visa to visit Switzerland. With a Schengen visa you can also cross the border to any of Switzerland’s neighbors. Some car rental providers allow you to cross national borders and even drop off your car in a different country, while others don’t. If you’d like to cross a national border during your rental period, make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking a car. Learn more about cross-border rentals in Help Center.
It is worth noting that in 2016, European Union rules were changed regarding Swiss rental cars. Drivers holding a driver’s license issued in a country that is a member of the European Union are no longer allowed to drive a rental car with Swiss license plates in the EU. This means that if you are from the EU and intend to rent a car and travel to both Switzerland and EU countries like France, Germany, Italy, or Austria, you should rent a car in the EU, as it is allowed by most suppliers to also travel to Switzerland. This rule only applies to EU residents; Swiss and non-EU residents can continue to rent a car in Switzerland and travel to the surrounding countries freely.
Most popular types of rental car
The most popular car type in Switzerland is Economy, but travelers also tend to choose Mini and Compact a lot.
Top driving routes
- Ticino. Located in the far southeast of the country, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland is not just arguably the most distinct of the country’s regions, it is also one of its most beautiful. Known for its stunning mountain vistas and pure highland lakes, Ticino can seem far away — but its largest city, Lugano, is only a three-hour drive from Zurich, four hours from Basel, and five hours from Geneva.
- Valais. Located to the west of Ticino, Valais is another southern region and another nature lover’s mecca. The small Alpine canton is home to some of the highest mountains and vastest glaciers in all of Europe. Naturally, the region is a hub for skiing, hiking, and climbing. If your rental car provider permits it, you can even pop over the border to Italy and France.
- Swiss National Park. The only official national park in Switzerland and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, this large protected area is located in the far east of the country. The park is categorized as a strict nature reserve and there are a number of rules of what you can and cannot do in it, but the natural beauty of the area is absolutely worth it. Swiss National Park is a three-hour drive from Zurich and only two hours from Innsbruck in Austria and Bolzano in Italy, although in the case of the two latter trips, you should ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
- The Swiss Jura. The Swiss Jura is a mountainous region between the Swiss Plateau and the border of France. It is characterized by its rolling hills, dense forests, and picturesque valleys, which provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The Jura region is famous for its many hiking and cycling trails, which allow visitors to explore its natural wonders at their own pace. One of the most popular attractions in the Swiss Jura is the Creux du Van, a natural amphitheater formed by the erosion of limestone cliffs. This stunning geological formation offers panoramic views of the mountains and is a popular spot for hiking and rock climbing. The nearby Lac de Neuchâtel is another must-see destination in the region, offering swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities. The Swiss Jura is also home to many charming villages and towns with unique characters and attractions. For example, La Chaux-de-Fonds is known for its historic watchmaking industry. The medieval village of Saint-Ursanne is famous for its well-preserved architecture and charming cobblestone streets. In addition to its natural and cultural attractions, the Swiss Jura is also renowned for its delicious cuisine and wine. Visitors can sample local specialties like fondue, raclette, and absinthe and tour the many vineyards and wineries that dot the region.
- The Bernese Alps are a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Towering over the Bernese Oberland region, these mountains are home to some of the most iconic peaks in Switzerland, including the Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch. The awe-inspiring landscape features rugged mountain ranges, pristine glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes that offer endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking and mountain climbing are popular in the Bernese Alps, with trails ranging from easy walks to challenging alpine routes. Visitors can explore the famous Eiger Trail or take a cable car to the Schilthorn for panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Skiing and snowboarding are also popular winter activities in the area, with various resorts and slopes. In addition to its natural wonders, the Bernese Alps are also home to charming villages and towns that offer a glimpse into traditional Swiss culture. Interlaken, situated between two lakes, is a popular base for exploring the region and provides a range of outdoor activities and cultural experiences. Grindelwald, with its wooden chalets and stunning views of the Eiger, is another charming Alpine village that is well worth a visit. The region is also known for its delicious cuisine and world-class cheeses. Visitors can sample local specialties like raclette and fondue and explore the area's many dairy farms and cheese factories. The Bernese Oberland is also home to several historic mountain hotels, where guests can enjoy traditional Swiss hospitality and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- The Rhine Falls. This is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in Switzerland, located in the northeastern part of the country near Schaffhausen. The Rhine Falls is a breathtaking sight, with its powerful rush of water cascading down a rocky cliff, creating a thunderous roar that can be heard from miles away. At 150 meters wide and 23 meters high, the Rhine Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Europe, making it a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world. In addition to the falls, the Rhine Falls area is home to various other attractions and activities. Visitors can take a scenic train ride through the countryside, visit the medieval town of Schaffhausen, or hike along the many trails that wind through the surrounding forests and hills.
- Lake Geneva, known locally as Lac Léman, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland, situated in the western part of the country. Its shoreline is dotted with charming towns and villages that glimpse Swiss culture and history: Geneva, Lausanne, Nyon, Rolle, Vevey and Montreux. The lake has various activities, including boating, swimming, and fishing. One of the most popular activities on Lake Geneva is taking a boat tour of the lake, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the many castles and palaces that line the shoreline. Visitors can also explore the lake by renting a boat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard.
Car Rental Prices
- Convertibles - from $145 per day
- Station wagons - from $42 per day
- Large cars - from $59 per day
- Medium cars - from $36 per day
- Vans - from $65 per day
- Premium cars - from $83 per day
- Small cars - from $35 per day
- SUVs - from $54 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
You can do a number of things to get a good car rental deal in Switzerland:
- Compare rates
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
Top 16 Most Popular Cities in Switzerland
Car Rental in Zurich from $52.27 per day
Car Rental in Geneva from $64.75 per day
Car Rental in Basel from $67.52 per day
Car Rental in Lucerne from $78.10 per day
Car Rental in Lugano from $73.64 per day
Car Rental in Bern from $34.89 per day
Car Rental in Interlaken from $94.85 per day
Car Rental in Sion from $86.31 per day
Car Rental in Thun from $73.64 per day
Car Rental in Altenrhein from $106.70 per day
Car Rental in Bellinzona from $73.64 per day
Car Rental in Gstaad from $112.48 per day
Car Rental in Chur from $67.93 per day
Top 8 Most Popular Locations in Switzerland
Car Rental at Zurich Airport from $65.97 per day
Car Rental at Geneva Airport from $64.75 per day
Car Rental at Basel Airport from $67.52 per day
Car Rental in Geneva (Downtown) from $67.07 per day
Car Rental at Geneva Train Station from $83.18 per day
Car Rental at St.Gallen–Altenrhein Airport from $106.70 per day
Car Rental at Bern Airport from $113.27 per day
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Switzerland?
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 average rental length in Switzerland?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Switzerland?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||56|
|Popular suppliers||Alamo, Europcar, Hertz, SIXT, Enterprise|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, SUVs, Medium cars, Vans|
|Lowest price||$35 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Alamo||Volkswagen Polo||4||2||Small cars|
|Alamo||Volkswagen Polo||4||2||Small cars|
|Hertz||Citroen C3||5||2||Small cars|
|Geneva Rental Cars||Volkswagen Up||3||2||Small cars|
|Hertz||Volkswagen Polo||4||2||Small cars|
|Geneva Rental Cars||Volkswagen Polo||5||2||Small cars|
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