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Rental Car In Switzerland/Germany

Old Jan 6th, 2017, 05:30 PM
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Rental Car In Switzerland/Germany

In April, I plan on visiting Lucerne and Gais in Switzerland before going to Fussen, Germany. I've got a rough train route mapped out but I think a rental car would be easier and save lots of time.

How is the rental car system in Switzerland? What car rentals would you recommend using?

I'm told the rules for driving are exactly the same as they are here in the U.S. Is that true?
ZacharyLee is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2017, 06:09 PM
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If you pick the car up in Switzerland and drop it in Germany you will pay a fortune in drop off fees.

You really don't need a car in Switzerland.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 06:25 PM
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>>> I'm told the rules for driving are exactly the same as they are here in the U.S. Is that true?

This is an internet age. You can do a fact check easily on your own. Supposed you are "told" again one way here, would you believe that is how the Swiss traffic enforcement would work? If you think the Swiss traffic rules overrides anything you are "told", then study the Swiss traffic rules. Not only the rules are different, they enforce them differently.

Cars offer benefits, but they also come with a lot of responsibilities and liabilities. Estimated travel time and rental costs are just small slices of the overall considerations in deciding to use a rental car.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 06:29 PM
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The rules are not "exactly" the same. For example, unless you're on a marked priority road, the car coming from the right has the right of way even if it looks otherwise. The signs are also different so you'll also need to study up on both signage and laws if you decide to rent a car.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 07:39 PM
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And the US custom of driving 5-8 miles over the posted limit and usually getting away with it - forget it. Depending on the technology (moving police vehicle or stationary camera or radar) 2 or 3 km (not miles!) over the limit get you nailed.

Also, in Switzerland, although there are no toll roads (same as in Germany but different from Italy and France for example) your car needs to have the "vignette" (road-tax sticker) displayed if you want to drive on freeways, and it's almost impossible in some places NOT to drive on the freeways.

Austria has its own "vignette" that you can buy for shorter time periods than in Switzerland.

There are other differences, and although you may never get asked to produce it, you are supposed to have the IDP - www.aaa.com/vacation/idpapplication20.pdf

Take the trains - they are fabulous and reliable and - unless you want to gallivant through countryside on secondary and tertiary roads - are THE way of getting from A to B.
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 02:34 AM
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What will you do before Lucerne and after Fuessen?
If you enter Switzerland fron Germany, rent your car in Germany.
If you fly into Zurich and leave Europe at Zurich airport again, then rent it there.
If you land at Zurich and leave Europe from Germany, go by train from Zurich airport to the closest German rental office (Singen or Konstanz) and rent your car there.

Lucerne - Gais - Fuessen by public transport would mean:
Voralpen-Express Lucerne - Lake Lucerne - Lake Zug - Sattel Pass - Dam accross Lake Zurich - Ricken Tunnel - Toggenburg Valley - Herisau (trains every hr; 2 hrs journey)
Appenzellerbahn Herisau - Appenzell - Gais (every 30 min; 50 min journey)
Appenzellerbahn Gais - St. Gallen (every 30 min; 35 min journey)
Train St. Gallen - Lindau - Kempten - Ulrichsbruecke-Fuessen (8 connections daily, 2-3 changes; 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hrs journey)
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 02:34 AM
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No, the rules are not the same and since you have access to the internet, you can find out eactly what those rules are.

And, as already noted, renting a car in one country and dropping it off in another will cost you a fortune.

Use the trains. Familiariaize yourself with www.seat61.com to find out how.
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 03:45 AM
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Rental Car In Switzerland/Germany
Posted by: ZacharyLee on Jan 6, 17 at 9:30pm
How is the rental car system in Switzerland? What car rentals would you recommend using?
I'm told the rules for driving are exactly the same as they are here in the U.S. Is that true?


Shop and reserve before you go.
Driving in CH and D is as much like driving in the USA as German is to English. For an illustrated introduction to driving in Europe see http://www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap18/auto-1.htm.
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 06:53 AM
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You can see more of Switzerland better by public transportation. Trains, buses, boats, funiculars, etc. all interconnect seamlessly. And allow you to admire the spectacular views instead of keeping your eyes on the road. Plus some of the most picturesque villages forbid cars.

Save your car rental for Germany and you won't have to pay the cross-border surcharge.
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 10:14 AM
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Sorry everyone. You're right I could easily do research on traffic rules and rental cars in that part of the world. I was surprised when my friends told me that everything was exactly similar so I thought I'd ask and do some research before taking their word. It sounds like trains are the way to go! Sounds like renting a car would be more of a headache. Appreciate your guy's help
ZacharyLee is offline  
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