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Advice for driving in Switzerland

Driving in Switzerland

Updated: 25 November 2017

 

 

Tips, Checklist & Legal Requirements

 

 

Essentials

If you are looking to drive in Switzerland then you you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid UK driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents.

Driver's checklist:

  •  · Valid driving licence
  •  · Proof of identification (passport)
  •  · Insurance documents (third part or above)
  •  · Proof of ownership (registration certificate)

If you do not own the vehicle you are driving, you are advised to obtain written permission from the registered owner.

 

Driver safety

Driving in Switzerland is considered safe. In 2011 there were 4.1 road deaths per 100,000 of the population in Switzerland, compared to the UK average of 3.1 per 100,000. If you are driving long distances then care should be taken to plan your journey and to take regular breaks. Enjoy the magnificient views and please don’t become a statistic for the sake of a break.

 

Switzerland Driving Laws

Seat belts are required for all passengers, whether in the front or back seat of the vehicle. No children under the age of seven are allowed to travel in the front seat without the appropiate restraint, and children between 7 and 12 years old must use seat belts or an appropiate restraint to their size.

When driving on a motorway it is mandatory to display a vehicle sticker that can be bought at the border and at most petrol stations. Towed caravans and trailers will also need an extra sticker.

 

Equipment required by drivers

It is compulsory to carry a Warning triangle, GB Sticker and Headlamp converters within your vehicle. In addition, drivers must have a spare pair of glasses (if needed for driving). Fire extinguisher and first-aid kits are advised but not compulsory.

 

Speed Limits

Speed traps and cameras are operational throughout the country. Maximum speed limits can vary on motorways so we recommend you check the signposts. In-car radar detectors are illegal and on-the-spot fines are issued for the infringement of most regulations.


Standard speed limits (km/h) unless otherwise stated by traffic signs:

50Kmh Urban roads (31 mph).

80Kmh Non-urban roads (50 mph).

120Kmh 100Kmh Motorways / expressways (74 - 62 mph).

 

Towing

50Kmh Urban roads (31 mph).

80Kmh Non-urban roads (50 mph).

80Kmh Motorways / expressways (50 mph).

 

Drinking and Driving

Switzerland has stricter drink driving laws than the UK. The legal limit is 0.05%.

 

Motorcycles

On motorcycle, both driver and passenger must wear a helmet.

 

Mobile Phones

Use of mobile phones is prohibited whilst driving in Switzerland.

 

Headlights

The use of dipped headlights is advised at all times, especially on major routes.

 

Driving in Winter

Winter tyres are mandatory from November to April, and snow chains must be used when needed. When going around a sharp bend you must sound your horn during the day and flash your headlights at night.

 

General Driving Advice

So to recap here is our checklist for driving in Switzerland:

  1. Ensure you have proper documentation: valid driving licence, ID, driving insurance covering driving in Switzerland, proof of ownership (registration certification).
  2. Take plenty of breaks when driving long distances.
  3. Ensure all passengers are wearing seat belts and remember children 7 and under are not allowed to travel in the front seat.
  4. Ensure your car is equipped with the following safety equipment: A Warning triangle, GB Sticker and headlamp converters. You must also have a spare pair of glasses and it's advised to carry a fire extinguisher, first aid kit and a replacement bulb kit.
  5. Check fuel compatibility as some fuels may not be compatible with your vehicle.
  6. Do not drink and drive.
  7. Observe local speed limits – as a general rule built up areas have limits of 50km/h (31 mph), outside built up areas are 90km/h (56mph). In car radar detectors are illegal.
  8. Dipped headlights are recommended in even in daytime conditions.

 

Driving through Switzerland to another destination? You might like to read our guides to:

Need breakdown cover for Switzerland? Eurobreakdown.com can provide you with comprehensive single trip breakdown cover or annual multi trip breakdown policies with a best price guarantee.

 


Reference: The statistics mentioned on this page were sourced from the International Transport Forum’s Road Safety Annual Report 2013 and, to the best of Eurobreakdown.com’s knowledge, are correct at the time of publication (May 2014).

 

For general European driving tips click here