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- Third party liability insurance
- Collision damage waiver
- Vehicle licensing fee
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Key facts for hiring a car in Geneva
Best time to visit
This really depends on your plans. For winter sports and snow, December to early April is a good bet. For warmer weather try June to September.
Car hire locations
There are two car hire locations at the airport - the French side and the Swiss side. Make sure you know which one you’re heading to!
Petrol – de l'essence
Diversion – La déviation
GMT (the same as London, UK)
Swiss Franc (CHF)
Top rated suppliers for Geneva
Average Rating 8.6 – “Unirent are always clear and efficient at Geneva airport – large check in desk and easy drop off near to car park entrance.”
Average Rating 8.4 – “Easy pick up at Geneva airport on a busy ski Saturday.”
Average Rating 8.4 – “The collection and return were seamless. Staff very efficient. Car clean.”
Average Rating 8.2 – “Lovely new car which drove really nicely and was very fuel efficient. Staff always really lovely at Geneva airport.”
Food to try
Fried , shredded potato. A form of hash brown born in Bern but widely available on menus across Switzerland. The locals add anything to them from apple to onion.
A social way to eat, this gorgeously gooey concoction is a perfect accompaniment to a day on the slopes. Dip in bread, pears and olives and enjoy.
Älplermagronen mit Apfelmus
Macaroni, potatoes and cheese with apple sauce. Mountain comfort food at its best.
A Swiss nut-based cake which is a major source of income for many bakers in the Graubünden canton!
A sponge cake flavoured with cherry liqueur and layered with meringue and buttercream.
A distinctive flavoured soda that the Swiss go crazy for.
There are quite a few unusual rules to be aware of when driving in Switzerland, so it’s best to have a read.
- It’s the law to have a motorway vignette in your windscreen if you intend to drive on Swiss motorways. There should be one in your hired car, but if you have hired the car in a different country, there may not be. You can buy them at the border for 40 Euros.
- Headlights should always be on, even during day time. This is a legal requirement which was introduced in 2014.
- Look out for wildlife on the roads if you are driving in rural areas. There will be signs alerting you to this, so always drive carefully.
- If you are waiting at traffic lights, it is expected that you turn off your engine to help keep emissions down.
- The language on road signs can vary depending on where you are in the country.
- The Swiss authorities are very strict on speeding and consumption of alcohol prior to driving.
- There are roundabouts everywhere!
- Some small towns and villages are ‘car free’ areas, so it’s best to park outside and walk in.
- Uphill drivers have priority on narrow roads, but larger vehicles tend to always have priority over cars.
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The ultimate Geneva road trip
Geneva Airport GVA
The busiest routes from GVA are London, Paris and Barcelona.
Car hire pick up point
Swiss side: car park P51
French side: P21
Lausanne – 60km
Picturesque lakeside city surrounded by vineyard-coated slopes.
Yverdon-les-Bains – 40km
Spa town with 30 degree hot springs.
Neuchâtel – 37km
Attractive city with hillside castle and cobbled streets.
Bern – 55km
The capital of Switzerland, Bern has a quaint, medieval air.
A route for the adventurers
Route des Grandes Alpes – 675km
Lake Geneva – South of France
Route open June – October
A high level of planning is required for this one. If you’re up for a real road trip you could attempt some of the Great Alpine Road – a network of roads which will lead you through the most beautiful scenery, mountain passes and tiny villages.
Some stops along the way:
2 hours northeast
Enchanting town with castle surrounded by green hills. So good, they named a cheese after it.
1hr 45mins northeast
A city of two languages, Fribourg has a curvaceous river, fountains and plenty of students.
1hr 20mins northwest
Another town on the lake, with pretty promenade and one of the most visited castles in the country.