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Driving between Interlaken to Innsbruck

Hello,

We are hiring a car in Switzerland for 4 days and then heading to Austria for 3 days and then to South Bavaria for 5 days. We are a group of 6 Adults + 1 child. And our Car is Merc Vito.
Now on day 4 I plan to drive from Interlaken to Innsbruck. Its around 400kms and google maps is showing 4h. We would be stopping in between to see some places like Lucern, Vaduz and if we take another route then may be St Gallens.
I want to ask if it will be too much of a drive for a day or its doable ? We are travelling in Late April.
This is my rough itinerary.
Interlaken
Interlaken
Interlaken
Innsbruck
Innbruck
garmisch partenkirchen
garmisch partenkirchen
Fussen
Rottenburg
Munich
Munich- Home

Posted by
662 posts

"We would be stopping in between to see some places like Lucern, Vaduz and if we take another route then may be St Gallens."
Tight fit. Leave Interlaken early and stop off at Lindau for lunch and a walk around.

If you are visiting Fussen for the castles, do as a day trip from GP. I'd stay in GP for 5 nights, visit Innsbruck and Schloss Ambras from there (I don't like changing bases frequently). I like Rothenburg more than most but I'd drop it for an extra night in Munich.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks. That was very insightful. Unfortunately my booking for Innsbruck is done but it can be rescheduled. We are staying in an animal farm and my daughter is very exited about it. So I cant modify my innsbruck plan. So yes I will drop Rottenburg. Wanted to know which is a better place to stay GP or Ettal or Oberammergau or anything else ?
Thanks

Posted by
20921 posts

You won't see anything in Vaduz other than a check mark next to the name in your journal so don't bother going out of the way to go there.

Do you know about the Vignette you will need in Austria?

Do you know about the very high drop charge for the Swiss car being dropped in Germany?

Do you know about the environmental laws which will prohibit driving the Swiss car (without the Umweltplakette environment sticker) into many urban and suburban areas in Germany - €80 fine each time?

Your modified itinerary looks reasonable.

Does your car have enough room for both the 7 people (does the child require a car seat (under 12 years old) and all the luggage for 7?

Posted by
20921 posts

Are you staying in Interlaken or in Lauterbrunnen?

Posted by
10 posts

Nigel,
Avis has "No one way fee" offer. And I checked both the options Zurich to Zurich car, Zurich to Innsbruck train. Innsbruck to Munich another car. The cost was the same if you add the train tickets for all of us.

Do you know about the environmental laws which will prohibit driving
the Swiss car (without the Umweltplakette environment sticker) into
many urban and suburban areas in Germany - €80 fine each time?
Oh no I did not know about this. Can I confirm this with rental company if they can give the sticker ?

Is the same rule applicable for car registered in Austria ?

Also the car I checked is Merc Vito Tourer. Its 8 seater and has big boot. If we fold one seat there is still some room added.

Posted by
20921 posts

Many different countries and cities now have low emissions / environmental zones, and most use a windscreen sticker. There is not one scheme for all of Europe, not even for multiple countries in the EU - more is the shame, it would be so much easier if they did..

Germany has the umweltplakette (mine is green), France has the Crit-Aire (mine is yellow for the same car), Austria has one but not for cars yet (but does require the Vignette for driving on Autobahn), Slovenia has both, Switzerland only requires the Autobahn Vignette. Some cities in Belgium require registration but do not require a sticker - including Antwerpen where I will be headed soon.

It is important to ensure that you have the right equipment (the required safety equipment is different from country to country), have the correct permissions to drive in each country (as I mentioned above), understand the differences in driving law in each country - for example you don't say which country you are from, but if you are not an EU resident, driving in Austria, France and Italy you are required to have an IDP in addition to your home driving license - and each country will have different speed limits based on the type of road and whether you are in a built up area: you will only see a "National Speed Limit" sign and have to know what that means in each country.

I am really surprised that Avis has a no-drop-charge plan between Switzerland and Munich. I've got to believe that they are sticking you somewhere for it - I've learned over the years that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Read the fine print Very carefully. If so, you are the first person I have seen here in 10 years or so writing on these Forums and previously Helpline to have that. Congratulations if it is true. That can really help others.

Posted by
20921 posts

The requirements for the environmental stickers is for driving into the town or city. You can avoid it by not getting close with the vehicle to the town - stay in the outer suburbs and take transport in. You need to read up on each country.

You can avoid Autobahn Vignettes by not driving on roads which require it. There is almost always a local road that you can route yourself on to avoid Autobahns. Any car rented in Switzerland will have a Swiss Vignette on it already, but for others reading here what you think an Autobahn looks like and what the Swiss authorities think one looks like may vary. For example the entire length of the winding single lane each way with no passing for its entire length highway between Interlaken and Luzern over the Brünig Pass is designated with an autobahn type sign and requires a Swiss Vignette.

I would be surprised if you are able to rent an Austrian registered vehicle in Switzerland. The reason that drop charges are so high is that the companies have to repatriate the car to where it is from to rent it again, and while that happens they can't rent it out so you pay for it not being rented plus the time of the person moving it back. That's why I wonder about what Avis have told you.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks Nigel,
There is a one way fee of 200 Franc. Rentalcar was showing no one way fee but jacking up the price but i booked (havent paid) directly from Avis. Still if I consider the train tickets for 6 of us and the cabs its still economical.
I was just on a call with the Company's Zurich location (which is my pick up point) . I told her about the concerns of driving in Germany and about Umweltplakette
(eco sticker). She did not understand the pronunciation of Umweltplakette (nor do I ) but she told me you can get a Eco Badge from any Gas Station.
I will try to read the fine print as much as possible.

I do have an IDP. But for non-EU citizens IDP is not mandatory but you need to get a germany interpretation from the german consulate.
Mostly I will be returning the car as soon as I get to Munich as I am well aware about the Parking issues in the city.
Your suggestions were really valuable. Keep pouring more if you have.

Posted by
20921 posts

oom-velt-plack-ett-eh

You get Vignettes at filling stations. Environmental stickers come from inspection stations in each country.

Posted by
1212 posts

but she told me you can get a Eco Badge from any Gas Station.

If Eco badge = Umweltplakette, she was wrong, because in Germany it's available only at municipal offices and authorized workshops. Do not waste your time with searching for one - ask Avis in Zurich to obtain it for you from the office of the Swiss automobile association TCS.

Posted by
10 posts

Ok,
Now I will do this. Hire a car just for Switzerland, take a train from Zurich to Innsbruck. Inssbruck to GP again by train. And then hire a car in GP. Sounds good ?

Posted by
20921 posts

Innsbruck to Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a very easy and extremely scenic little train trip. It will save you descending the very steep road down the cliff between Seefeld in Tirol and Innsbruck. Seefeld is one of our favourite places, and hiking the cliff next to the train is one our best bits.

You may have to change trains (very easy) in Mittenwald, but there are worse things than being in Mittenwald.

Posted by
3275 posts

I know your plans have changed, but for the record, an IDP is mandatin Austria.