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Old 27.06.2013, 11:02
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Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

Hi all,

I am from the UK and I will be doing an Europe tour for 16 days. In August on either 26th or 27th, I will be driving from Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan in one day and I have a few questions:

1) I have purchased the vignette pass as I wish to use the motorway, so that's sorted
2) In my car, I will have a hi-viz vest, first aid box, fire extinguisher, warning triangle, GB magnetic badge and spare bulbs. What else do I need to meet Swiss' law?
3) From what I have read, the mountains will be fine for the time of that month so I won't need snow chains - correct?

What else do I need to know/bring?

Many thanks!
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Old 27.06.2013, 11:06
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

If you don't have chains, be prepared to turn back but yes, passes should all be clear and open then.

Are you alone? You'll need something to reach the motorway toll booths in France and Italy.

Nobody will examine anything in your car but the vest is very sensible. I have a couple for my second car which are, erm, still in the house...!

Vignette helps on entry, it avoids delays. Ensure you stick it on or you'll be hassled.
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Old 27.06.2013, 11:55
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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If you don't have chains, be prepared to turn back but yes, passes should all be clear and open then.
I won't have chains, but assuming I am forced to turn back, then yes I am prepared to do that. Hope there is an easy way to get round to reach Milan? I will study the map again.

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Are you alone? You'll need something to reach the motorway toll booths in France and Italy.
I will be going with my wife.

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Nobody will examine anything in your car but the vest is very sensible. I have a couple for my second car which are, erm, still in the house...!
LOL, I would rather play it safe than sorry, plus I would need all of them for France anyway.

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Vignette helps on entry, it avoids delays. Ensure you stick it on or you'll be hassled.
Yes, it will be stuck on the windscreen just before I enter the border.

Many thanks for your reply.
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Old 27.06.2013, 12:23
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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I won't have chains, but assuming I am forced to turn back, then yes I am prepared to do that. Hope there is an easy way to get round to reach Milan? I will study the map again.
If passes are closed then you have the main highway which is always open.

But look here:
http://webmaptcs.trafficmap.ch/default_de.aspx
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Old 27.06.2013, 12:26
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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If passes are closed then you have the main highway which is always open.

But look here:
http://webmaptcs.trafficmap.ch/default_de.aspx
That's a handy link, I wil add it to my bookmark. Many thanks!
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Old 27.06.2013, 12:37
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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What else do I need to know/bring?
Nothing. You've already got more than most people driving here. The hi-vis is a French requirement, but rarely enforced (I've never had it checked even when I've been pulled for speeding or similar).

Bulbs, I'm not sure that it's even a requirement in France any more, but for many modern cars you can't replace them anyway. LED rears and xenon fronts are not user-changeable. Again, I've never been checked.

Chains will not be necessary. It's not out of the question that some of the high passes may be closed occasionally even in the summer, but it's rare, and in any case you will have no need to use them, and any closures will be well signed.

Some of the other things are not required in CH, but may be in some neighbouring countries (e.g. 1st-aid kit in Germany, I believe). But you've already gone for the overkill approach, so you'll be fine.

Other things to know? Look/listen for traffic reports; the road south of Luzern to Gotthard is often subject to severe delays, so try and plan to be there at a non-busy time.Swiss motorway has lots of fixed cameras in perfectly innocuous places. Think about getting a GPS/radar-warning app on your phone to ensure you don't get caught out. (Or just drive slowly, of course. Your choice). Do remember that once you cross the border into Italy you're actually part of a Formula One race, so make all necessary mental preparations.
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Old 27.06.2013, 12:42
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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Other things to know? Look/listen for traffic reports; the road south of Luzern to Gotthard is often subject to severe delays, so try and plan to be there at a non-busy time.Swiss motorway has lots of fixed cameras in perfectly innocuous places. Think about getting a GPS/radar-warning app on your phone to ensure you don't get caught out. (Or just drive slowly, of course. Your choice). Do remember that once you cross the border into Italy you're actually part of a Formula One race, so make all necessary mental preparations.
Thanks for the reply. Glad to see that I am well covered.

For the GPS/radar warning - I thought it's illegal in France & Switzerland?

Know what you mean about F1 race in Italy... I drove there a few years ago (Venice, Pisa & Rome) and it was crazy! LOL
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Old 27.06.2013, 12:43
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

Italy also requires hi-viz vests

Also where in Milan are you going? I cannot take my car into certain parts of Milan during certain days because it's a diesel Euro 3 - check out Area C on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Area_C

Edit: if you have <ahem> points of interest on your GPS, turn them off in France and Switzerland.

Mind you, I have those POIs on a Garmin and on my phone - and have built-in GPS in both cars. I've never been checked with the Garmin on the screen.
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Old 27.06.2013, 13:11
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

You should also bring some cash in Euros. The French toll machines, in particular, can be fussy about non-French cards.
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Old 27.06.2013, 13:11
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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For the GPS/radar warning - I thought it's illegal in France & Switzerland?
Yes, it is. It's also illegal to exceed the posted speed limit.

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You should also bring some cash in Euros. The French toll machines, in particular, can be fussy about non-French cards.
Never had any problem with UK or Swiss cards over the last twenty years or so. But I guess if he's doing a 16-day tour he'll probably have some cash anyway.
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Old 27.06.2013, 13:51
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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Italy also requires hi-viz vests

Also where in Milan are you going? I cannot take my car into certain parts of Milan during certain days because it's a diesel Euro 3 - check out Area C on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Area_C
We will be staying in a hotel, next to the A51 near Linate Airport. So will be making sure that we will not go via Milan but go round it using the E64 and A51 routes. Then use the metro to travel to the city.

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Edit: if you have <ahem> points of interest on your GPS, turn them off in France and Switzerland.

Mind you, I have those POIs on a Garmin and on my phone - and have built-in GPS in both cars. I've never been checked with the Garmin on the screen.
I'm using Co-Pilot and by default they have removed it from the map since 2012 as even having it installed is still illegal. So I'm happy with that.
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Old 27.06.2013, 13:52
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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You should also bring some cash in Euros. The French toll machines, in particular, can be fussy about non-French cards.
I will be using FairFX credit card (Mastercard) however will also carry some loose change and notes for the tolls.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 27.06.2013, 13:58
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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We will be staying in a hotel, next to the A51 near Linate Airport. So will be making sure that we will not go via Milan but go round it using the E64 and A51 routes. Then use the metro to travel to the city.
Good news. That's not Milan, that's not even in the ring road.

Bad news. You have to go around the ring road. Timing is everything!! Avoid: Saturday mornings. Mon-Fri 0700-1000 and 1500-1900.
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Old 27.06.2013, 14:50
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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Never had any problem with UK or Swiss cards over the last twenty years or so. But I guess if he's doing a 16-day tour he'll probably have some cash anyway.
Some machines didn't like my French-issued Amex, despite the Amex logo on the toll booth, although it was fine with others. It was about a 50/50 hit rate.

From memory, my UK and Swiss cards worked OK on the French motorway provided they had a chip.

My colleague's US cards, both with and without chips, were refused by the French machines without exception.

So... hit-and-miss. But always better to carry some cash just to be on the safe side.

And having said all of that, I'm not sure that there are any toll roads between Strasbourg and the border at Basel. And, of course, you can always pop across the border from Strasbourg and come down the German side.
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Old 27.06.2013, 16:14
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

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And having said all of that, I'm not sure that there are any toll roads between Strasbourg and the border at Basel.
Good point. There are none. Closest bit of Péage starts between Strasbourg and Metz.
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Old 11.07.2013, 13:41
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Re: Strasbourg -> Zurich -> Milan - What do I need?

Sorry for the delay in my reply... thank you for your comments, very useful.
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