Home of sweeping mountainous terrain and appealing cities, landlocked Switzerland is packed with potential. The continental capital of business welcomes city-hoppers and thrill-seekers alike to its Alpine resorts, and offers luxurious accommodation along with a wealth of winter sports activity.
Thanks to its neighbours’ varying influences, Switzerland prides itself on their geographical and cultural diversity. The Mediterranean climes of the south-east takes its cue from Italy, while the Alps border on several countries and add some altitudinal attitude for the adventurous.
We have pick-up branches located in all the major cities across the country, so hiring a car in Switzerland couldn’t be easier.
The fact that the Swiss military had a hand in planning the country’s motorway network should demonstrate the level of efficiency and focus involved in its construction. The Air Force had various 2km stretches of the major roads built in straight sections for alternative use as strips of runway for their planes. Although this practice ended in the mid-1990s, road users have since benefitted from that military precision in their planning, as the motorway system is one of Europe’s best.
There are approximately 200 tunnels on the mountainous motorway system, at a combined length of 220km. Take note that these tunnels, unlike on most of the open road, do not have emergency lanes.
The A1 road runs over 400km southwest to northeast, from Geneva to St Margrethen. The A3 is about 180km of a diagonal route from the French border to the north through Zurich and along the Walensee, while the A4 covers a route from the northern fringes down into the country’s centre.
There are fewer main routes into the Alps south of central Switzerland, but the Basel-Lugano A2 route is the quickest – and perhaps the most scenic - way to transition from the more densely populated areas of the north into a rural retreat within a couple of hours.
Extreme caution is advised when making a journey during colder weather. Check ahead of time that your planned route will be open - mountain passes may be closed off during extended periods of snow and ice. On a tight bend make sure to honk your horn ahead of time to let oncoming traffic know you’re approaching, and always give way to the bright yellow postal bus out of necessity rather than courtesy – you’ll know it when you see it.
With a wide range of travellers passing through our locations every day, we've got a wide range of vehicles on offer to suit your needs - from smart executive saloons to compact family hatchbacks. ***
***Specific cars may not be available when booking
Switzerland is the home of Alpine adventure and a whole host of heritage in its very modern cities. Divide your time here between ski and snowboard activities up in the Swiss Alps, venture to one of Switzerland’s great lakes for some fun in the sun, and enjoy the best that some of Europe’s richest and refined cities have to offer.
The Swiss Alps have some of Europe’s very best in skiing, with St Moritz and Verbier attracting high-rolling clientele to its luxurious facilities. But for those who’d rather get the more authentic experience of the slopes without the crowds, the likes of Laax and Nendaz represent the sort of up-and-coming resort with emphasis on making your experience on the piste a memorable one.
Laax is a haven for snowboarders, boasting the world’s longest snowboarding halfpipe – 200 metres – as well as some crisp conditions on the slopes. Deep in the Four Valleys, Nendaz is close to resorts which are linked together like Thyon and Les Collons, meaning you can enjoy a variety of ski courses for all difficulty levels.
Despite being landlocked, one of the country’s most appealing features is its many lakes, featuring fun resorts and amazing views. With some of these watery wonders so close to the mountains, it’s possible to combine your lakeside retreat with some scenic hikes and get the best of both worlds.
Sail across Lake Lugano and you’ll be treated to extensive views of the mountains and parks which make up this diverse region. Spot the Italian influences on the region including Santa Maria del Sasso - an impressive church whose bell could be heard for miles around.
Discover the rich ancient history of the UNESCO-listed Monte San Giorgio, which exhibits the finest fossils found on the shores dating back to the Triassic era, before heading back to your lakeside lodgings and savouring the region’s unique meeting of history and beauty.
And if you’re visiting Switzerland for business, take a break from the boardroom and enjoy what Geneva, Basle and capital Zurich have to offer in their cosmopolitan settings.
Even if you can’t break away from Zurich for any meaningful amount of time to enjoy the countryside, Zurich itself contains a number of forests, parks and other green spaces. A popular hiking trail descends from Käferberg, offering unmissable views of downtown Zurich and the Limmat Valley, while the upper reaches are known for their restaurants serving traditional Swiss fare.
Geneva offers an even bigger getaway right on its doorstep, built upon the lake of the same name it’s possible to reach the scenic waters in a matter of minutes from the city centre. For traditional tastes, the Pâquis quarter packs restaurants, bars and all manner of activity into the space between the lake and downtown Geneva.
Please note that from 15 Nov to 15 Apr many cities are required by law to restrict the circulation to only vehicles equipped with snow chains or winter tyres. For a summary of the orders, please visit www.poliziadistato.it. To comply with the regulations, in specific locations subject to this requirement, vehicles are equipped with snow chains - the price is included in the rental charges through the cost of "Winterization Fee". At pick-up if you decide to bring your own snow chains or do not intend on driving on the roads subject to this requirement, you may decline the equipment by signing the appropriate release form. This change will be reflected in the rental charges. For more information on the fees, please click here. In all other regions, we recommend that you check before renting if your journey includes one of the roads subject to this requirement and therefore request the snow chains, if necessary.