As a winter and summer holiday destination, car hire in Switzerland is popular all year round, however the peak times are between December and March for the winter sports season and from June to August for the summer season. Prices for car hire in Switzerland generally remain constant without not set high and low season. For this reason, you should ideally aim to book your hire car anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks before travel.
Booking car hire more than 3 months in advance will provide you with more choice and availability of car from all rental agents, whereas with less than 4 weeks notice you might run into low availability and price hikes.
When renting a car in Switzerland, the best type of vehicle to hire depends on your travel needs and preferences. Here are some considerations:
Compact or Economy Cars: These are suitable for solo travelers or couples looking for an affordable and fuel-efficient option for city and highway driving. They are also easier to park in urban areas.
Midsize and Full-Size Cars: These provide more space for passengers and luggage, making them ideal for small families or groups. They offer a comfortable ride for longer journeys and are suitable for driving in various road conditions.
SUVs and Crossovers: If you plan to explore the Swiss Alps or venture into rural areas, an SUV or crossover with four-wheel drive can handle mountainous terrain and potentially snowy conditions during the winter months.
Luxury or Premium Cars: Switzerland is known for its scenic drives, and if you want to travel in style, you can consider renting a luxury or premium car for added comfort and features.
As for traffic and roads in Switzerland:
Traffic: Swiss cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Bern can experience moderate traffic congestion, especially during peak hours. However, compared to some other European countries, traffic is generally well-managed and not overly chaotic.
Roads: Swiss roads are known for their excellent quality. The country maintains an extensive network of well-maintained highways (autoroutes) and scenic mountain roads. Signage is clear and consistent, making navigation relatively straightforward. Roads in mountainous areas can be winding and steep, so consider your comfort level and the vehicle's capabilities if you plan to explore the Alps.
Distance from Airports: The distance from major airports to main resorts and cities in Switzerland can vary. For instance:
- Zurich Airport (ZRH) is approximately 10-15 kilometers from Zurich city center.
- Geneva Airport (GVA) is around 5 kilometers from Geneva's downtown area.
- Bern Airport (BRN) is about 12 kilometers from the center of Bern.
When planning your itinerary, check the specific distances to your desired destinations and consider whether you'll need a car for your entire trip or just for certain portions. Switzerland's efficient public transportation system, including trains and buses, offers an excellent alternative for getting around the country, particularly for city-to-city travel and mountain excursions.
*average daily rates based on 7 day rental, search for today's best prices.