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Old 21.12.2011, 15:50
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Re: Can my Swiss GF drive my UK registered car in Switzerland?

On top of that you will have to pay 40CHF for the vignette, and if in winter a lot extra to have snow tyres and a set of chains, which would be included in your Swiss car hire.
Snow tyres and chains aren't mandatory in Switzerland and you know that Odile.

Paying an extra 65CHF for a week's hire would be a bargain.


plus we will provide winter tyres free of charge!
Which is most probably because it's the law in Germany now.
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Old 21.12.2011, 16:30
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Re: Can my Swiss GF drive my UK registered car in Switzerland?

Sorry Porsche - snow tyres AND added chains are included in all Swiss car rental in winter for extremely good reasons. They are not complusory- BUT if you have an accident on snow or ice, and you are not suitably equipped for those conditions, you will NOT be covered by Insurance, and will be liable. Chains are only good in certain conditions, but snow tyres are a must in winter in Switzerland- which is why they are included. Two very different things.

I only once hired on the French side as it was marginally cheaper- and in a snow blizzard with big drifts on the Mway to Yverdon, and masses of snow going up the Jura and down again to my parents- could have easily killed myself, and more importantly, others. Thank Goodness I a/knew the road by heart b/ knew how to drive on snow with a rubbish car with rubbish tyres. The garage the next day confirmed I had Summer tyres (and no vignette) and that I must on no account use the car as it was unsafe and would invalidate the Insurance. Snow tyres are NOT compulsory- as you have the option of not using the car when conditions would require their use. For a week I had to travel up and down the mountains to visit my parents by bus - having paid for the car rental. WHICH magazine took up the case with EasyCar and the car hire refunded + compensation paid, as I had booked via their website for Geneva and they had switched my rental to the French side without telling me. I had to buy a vignette to return to airport. I was able to do that as by then snow had gone and roads safe. Had conditions endured I would have had to leave the car where I was staying, and ask EasyCar to come and pick it up at their cost. I have since checked with all car hirers at Geneva airport, all include snow tyres and extra chains in winter. On the French side all require advanced booking and extra payment for winter equipement.

Vignette is not compulsory either - no vignette, no Motorway.
Snow tyres neither - but snow conditions = no use of car, or no insurance.
If you use a car without snow tyres in snow conditions in CH you would be just as liable as if you'd been drunk or massively speeding.
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Old 21.12.2011, 16:44
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Re: Can my Swiss GF drive my UK registered car in Switzerland?

I don't think the care hire insurance would be invalidated by lack of snow tyres that they don't provide unless it's specifically mentioned. Yes I know they are a good idea, but in all honesty you should have ensured you had snow tyres before you set off.

In the same paragraph you say you booked on the French side because it was 'marginally' cheaper and then you say easycar switched you to the French side. Which one is it?

I just priced a week with europcar booked from Neuchatel and from Pontarlier. Pontarlier is half the price. Hardly marginal.
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Old 21.12.2011, 16:52
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Re: Can my Swiss GF drive my UK registered car in Switzerland?

We digress here so don't want to highjack thread. But to clarify (poor wording above) - I used to book with EasyCar 2 or 3 times a year from Geneva. Once when I went to the website to book, there was a special offer for Geneva airport- and it was slightly cheaper than what I usually paid, so booked this offer - which turned out to be for the French side, not the Swiss side (but this was not indicated at the time of booking) - and of course I had no idea this did not include snow tyres or a vignette, which is the norm for all rentals at Geneva Swiss side. As I had always automatically had snow tyres, etc, when booking via EasyCar from Geneva- I think it was fair to assume this was the same.

The TCS (Touring Club Suisse) makes it absolutely clear that although snow tyres are not legally required in CH, it is your responsibility to be suitably equipped for local weather/road conditions. They confirm too that should you have to leave your vehicle somewhere as unable to proceed due to not being equipped, and your vehicle is an obstruction to traffic, to snow clearing equipment, or causes an accident- you WILL be liable and fined accordingly (+ vehicle removed and stored at your cost). It also clearly state that should you have an accident in snow or very cold icy conditions and have Summer tyres, this will be taken into consideration, invalidate partially or totally the Insurance and make you criminally liable. (breaking distances are much longer on snow and ice without snow tyres). The Insurance with the car covers for driving in conditions suitable for the car equipment only.

Now re your booking in Pontus (local nickname for Pontarlier) - does it include snow tyres and accessory chains and a vignette (if you are going to use the car in CH). If it does not (and there is currently loads of snow in Pontus) and you have to add those, the difference then is marginal.

Europcar in Pontus charge 35 Euros per day for a minimum of 6 days (eg if you book for 2 days, they charge you for 6 days) for snow tyres, which have to be booked in advance as limited- and chains are extra + 40CHF for vignette. Driving anywhere from Pontus at the moment without snow tyres is madness, sorry.

Last edited by Odile; 21.12.2011 at 17:14.
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Old 22.12.2011, 18:32
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Re: Can my Swiss GF drive my UK registered car in Switzerland?

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I think this was covered on the other thread about renting a car from French side Basel airport.

It can be done, but you need to stop at the border, register your occasionally privately hired import, and pay CHF 25,-- you can't just drive into Switzerland believing as you are leaving tomorrow there is no need to register. The onus as with all border crossings is for you to offer the information, not to wait until they catch you.
If you hire a car from France or Germany to use in Switzerland make sure its got a valid vignette or that's another chf40.00 on top
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