Alpine driving is at its best in Switzerland, so anyone who loves mountain vistas will want to rent a car here to make the most of the spectacular views. Renting a car in Switzerland allows drivers to visit iconic roads like the Great St. Bernard Pass and the St. Gotthard Pass, while those up for a more scenic route can opt for locations such as Lake Lucerne and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is best explored with the flexibility of a car.
Drivers who wish to avoid the winding roads of mountain passes like the Furka Pass may opt in some cases to take the tunnel. This involves loading the car onto a special rail facility that will transport you and the vehicle through the mountains for a fee. An unusual way of travel, these tunnels can be accessed in locations like Furka, Albula, Simplon, and Lotschberg.
In Switzerland, it is mandatory for children up to the age of seven to be seated in an age-appropriate child or booster seat. Rental agencies do have these on hand, but it is recommended to book well in advance to guarantee that one will be available, especially in the busy summer months. Expect to pay an additional fee of around 78 CHF (78 USD) per rental with an agency like Budget.
Most agencies allow non-EU travelers who rent a car in Switzerland to drive the vehicle into other Western European countries for no additional charge. Some companies impose restrictions on countries like Hungary and Greece, where cross-border travel is allowed for a fee of approx. 42 CHF (42 USD) per day through an agency like Avis. In general, it is always best to inform the agency of your plans in advance, as extra paperwork or special EU-marked number plates may be required.
25% of our users found rental cars in Switzerland for C$ 72 or less
Book your rental car in Switzerland at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Off-airport rental car locations in Switzerland are around 17% cheaper than airport locations on average
Mini rental cars in Switzerland are around 25% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Switzerland
On average a rental car in Switzerland costs C$ 103 per day.
Economy (Ford Fiesta or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Switzerland.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at Sixt (C$ 47/day), Hertz (C$ 61/day) and Alamo (C$ 79/day).
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in Switzerland are Hertz (8.4, 67 reviews), Sixt (7.6, 167 reviews), and Alamo (7.6, 93 reviews).
Based on car searches on KAYAK, the most popular cities to rent a car in Switzerland are Zurich (52% of total searches of users looking to rent a car in Switzerland), Geneva (34%) and Basel (9%).
On average a rental car in Switzerland costs C$ 617 per week (C$ 88 per day).
On average a rental car in Switzerland costs C$ 2,644 per month (C$ 88 per day).
Driving in Switzerland is generally considered to be a comfortable experience, with well-maintained roads and an abundance of highways. Drivers unused to winter conditions should consider taking it slowly in stormy or icy weather, especially when driving over steep mountain passes. There are few toll roads in the country, but anyone wishing to use the highway network will need to buy a toll sticker for around 40 CHF (40 USD) for a year of access. These are usually provided by rental agencies, but if not, they can be purchased from post offices or other outlets.
To rent a car in Switzerland, drivers need to be at least 18 and have held their license for a minimum of one year. Most domestic driver’s licenses are accepted if printed in English, but otherwise, an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) will be required. Some agencies, such as Enterprise, charge an additional daily fee of around 26 CHF (26 USD) for drivers under 25 years old.
Gas stations are common throughout the country, especially in urban or highway areas, and there are an increasing number of self-service options that accept credit cards or even cash directly at the pump. Most stations are open from 8 am to 10 pm, but some highway locations may offer a 24h service. Gas prices are comparable to the rest of Europe, while diesel is more expensive: a liter of gasoline costs around 1,50 CHF (1.50 USD) and a liter of diesel around 1,70 CHF (1.70 USD). That equals 5.67 USD for a gallon of gasoline and 6.43 USD for a gallon of diesel.
Speed limits in Switzerland might vary depending on the safety and location of the road, so it is important to observe local signs to avoid high speeding fines. Urban areas usually have a limit of 30-50 km/h (18-31 mph), while national rural roads are capped at 80-100 km/h (50-62 mph). Highways have a top speed of 120 km/h (74 mph).
The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for car rentals for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last 48 hours. Offers are subject to change and may not be available on all car rentals listed or dates of travel. Some car rental providers charge additional fees for other services (GPS, infant car seats, etc.). Please check the car rental providers' sites.