Driving in Switzerland
ABOVE: Our kind of driving in Switzerland.
don't drive in Switzerland. Why? Because it's hardly ever necessary, and we'd
rather not be burdened with a car (and the hassles of parking it) when we're
enjoying Swiss cities, villages, and countryside.
Over the past 150+ years, the Swiss have spent billions of
francs on the world's finest network of trains, buses, boats, funiculars, aerial
cablecars, trams, and chairlifts. You can go nearly anywhere in Switzerland with
a Swiss Pass in your pocket. So why
view the countryside through a bug-splattered windshield like a tourist in California, New
Jersey, or Texas?
Still, if you must drive, we won't throw myself in front of your
car or caravan. Instead, we'll concede defeat gracefully and point you to
articles and other Web resources by experts who are more willing and competent
than we are to help you plan a Swiss trip by car:
The Touring Club of Switzerland's Web site is devoted mostly to sales and customer service
for Swiss motorists, but it does have useful travel information for visitors.
Like the Touring-Club Suisse, the Automobile Club of Switzerland is
geared to residents, but its Google-translated site may be worth a look.
BLS Lötschberg Car Transport
From the Bernese Oberland, BLS car trains offer a shortcut to the southern
side of the Alps. (Just drive onto a train, and you'll be through the tunnel
in 15 minutes.)
Enter your Swiss departure and arrival towns, choose the kind of routing you
want, and Finaroute will generate a detailed itinerary.
Swiss Traffic Tickets
What to do when you commit a traffic sin and get caught.
Where's That Vehicle
Come From: Switzerland
Did the BMW that blew by you come from Schwyz or Solothurn? Here's how to tell.
This long-established firm has a wide range of cars from Peugeot, VW, Audi,
Mercedes-Benz, and other manufacturers--including high-performance sports cars
from a partner based in Zürich. Auto Europe also
offers Peugeot "Buy Back"
for travelers from overseas.
If you're driving in Europe for 17 days or more and your permanent residence
is outside the European Union, a Renault EuroDrive
can be significantly cheaper than renting.
Motorhomes (caravans) and motorcycles
In addition to cars, vans, and SUVs, this long-estblished rental firm
offers motorhomes for pickup in France, Great Britain, Germany, and Spain.
This Swiss firm has a "handover place" in Bieberist, a
village near Solothurn that can be reached by hourly trains from Zürich and
Take a scenic excursion or a three-pass tour by car, bicycle, or Postal
Bus. (The Sustenpass lies between Andermatt and Meiringen at the junction of
cantons Bern and Uri.)
Just in case you have second thoughts about driving, here are links to
indexes of my articles on other forms of transportation in Switzerland and
"Best of the Web"
- Forbes and
The Washington Post
Switzerland & Austria
Need a car in Europe?
guarantees the lowest rental
rates for standard cars, sports cars, SUVs, luxury cars,
chauffered sedans, and RVs. Its Web site also has driving information
for 38 countries.
you live outside the EU, a
Peugeot tourist lease can be cheaper than renting.
Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include
Short-term car leasing.
Traveling by train?
has free schedules, maps, and guides for 50+ European railroads. (Residents
of North and Central America can buy tickets and rail passes