Swiss travel guide: Driving in Switzerland

Are you planning on driving in Switzerland? Here are some important laws, advice and tips related to driving in Switzerland

In order to drive in Switzerland one must be at least 18 years old and in possession of an international driving licence that is valid for one year. 3rd party insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Switzerland and seatbelts are also obligatory for car drivers and passengers. Drivers in Switzerland drive on the right-hand side of the road. Because of the winter darkness, drivers in Switzerland are habituated to driving with dim headlights kept on even during the day.  Drivers wishing to use motorways in Switzerland are obliged to purchase a small sticker or vignette which is displayed on the windscreen to indicate to the Swiss traffic authorities that the appropriate poll has been paid. Drivers caught without a vignette are subject to a mandatory fine of 100 Swiss Francs.

Speed limits in Switzerland

Speed limits in Switzerland are strictly enforced across the country through radars and speed cameras. Being caught driving 5km p/h in excess of the speed limit warrants an immediate fine, while driving 20km p/h above the legal limits leads to a heavy fine accompanied by a court appearance. The speed limit on motorways in Switzerland is 120 km p/h while for main roads the limit is 80km p/h. The Swiss speed limit for urban areas in Switzerland is 50 km p/h while driving in residential areas necessitates adhering to a 30 km p/h speed limit.

Driving conditions in Switzerland

Swiss road systems are generally good and extend across the length and breadth of the country. Driving enthusiasts will be able to enjoy many scenic routes around Switzerland taking in the towering snow-capped Swiss mountains and refreshing Swiss meadows along the way. However, those intending to drive in Switzerland in winter months should be aware of the heavy snowfall and make preparations accordingly. All cars in Switzerland are fitted with snow tyres or snow chains for obvious safety reasons. Because of the Swiss government’s ecologically minded policies, driving in Switzerland is not a cheap experience with drivers having to pay comparatively high prices for road tax and parking, especially in Switzerland’s main towns and cities.

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