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Car Rental for 5 day trip from Zurich

I'm taking my mom to Switzerland for a short 5 day excursion prior to our 17 day Italy trip. Flying into Zurich and driving (hopefully) to Zug, then back to Zurich to catch the Bernina Express south.

Looking to rent a car for our stay in Switzerland, however, they have a bit of a different rental procedure with several hidden fees, Loss/Damage Collision Waiver, to name a few.

Anyone have any experience renting a car on-line prior to travel ?

If so, who did you elect to rent from and was it a good/bad experience ?

Looking for a compact car for 4-5 days.

Any advice would be helpful.


Posted by
7209 posts

Do you know that Switzerland has the premier train system of the world? The integrated system of trains, buses, boats, gondolas, etc takes you anywhere you and your mom could possibly want to visit. And it's precisely on time and squeeky clean. Also some of the most beautiful places in Switzerland are car-free villages only accessible by public transport.

So before you jump into a dubious car rental just make sure you have all the facts about the wonderful Swiss Transportation System.

Posted by
8889 posts

Why Zug? It is not high on most tourist lists.

If you want to catch the Bernina Express, you need to get to Chur in Kanton Graubünden (Kanton = state). You can do this by train either from Zürich or Zug, or just about anywhere else in Switzerland,
I guess, if you are heading for Italy, after you arrive at Tirano (the southern end of the Bernina line) you will be continuing by train to Milan and wherever you want to go in Italy.

Where are you staying for your 5 days? Please don't say Zürich. As soon as you land, catch a train (or a hire car if you insist) to somewhere else nearer the Alps as a base. Luzern is a good base for someone who is not going to be doing any hiking. Take a trip up Titlis.
There are lots of posts on this site about people's favourite Swiss locations.

If you do decide to rent, just go with one of the big names, Sixt Europcar etc. They are all similar. You will end up paying nearly as much for insurance as you pay for the actual "rental". You must return the car with a full tank. Do not break any speed limits, they are enforced in Switzerland.

Posted by
23 posts

Thank you for the input, I should have been more specific when I made my initial post.

We are not big "City' folk and we have limited time/budget, since this was an add-on to our originally booked trip to Italy.

Mom wants to see a bit of the county-side, so the two aforementioned factors led us to Zug.

I am not apposed to using public transportation, however we are staying at a small hotel in Uberageri so we will have to take a cab to Zug everyday or another means of transportation. Me, not being very astute on this internet search thing, have not been able to find many sites (beyond train) that describe what is available in the way of public transportation. I just thought a car would be the most simple.

As far as getting from Zug to the Bernina Express, we had planned on dropping the car at the airport (Zurich) and taking the train regional train to Chur.

I am most definitely open to any suggestions about how to get around on public transportation, especially if it is reasonably priced and timely. Any assistance is most appreciated.

Posted by
23 posts

Boy, I'm having a devil of a time today.....The hotel we are staying at is in Unterageri, just a bit outside of ZUG

Posted by
8889 posts

One of the reasons you were having problems finding transport is spelling, Uberageri does not exist, but there is a Oberägeri in Kanton Zug (some way from the town of Zug). I guess this is where you mean. On I can see 2-3 buses per hour to Zug, but that is academic now.
Map here:
This is in the foothills of the Alps, as good a place as any for day trips into the Alps.

My suggestion, is rather than returning the car to Zürich airport and then getting a train, is to take the whole day on a leisurely drive to Chur, leave the car there, stay overnight and then Get the Bernina Express the following morning. Car to airport + train to Chur + Bernina Express to Tirano + onward train to wherever is too much for one day, especially if your mother is 72.

P.S. Just saw your second post, yes Unterägeri (Lower Ägeri, population 8,477) is between Oberägeri (Upper Ägeri) and Zug.

Posted by
23 posts

Chris F

Mom is 72 years young and not real big into hiking, but a capable walker. She is interested in seeing some of the quaint little shops (not big into larger stores) and a bit of the country side. I was able to locate a bus route that runs every 20 minutes, 24 hrs a day from just down the road from our hotel in Unterageri to Zug least that is what it looks like. We are staying at the Hotel Freihof.

It appears there are two different types of tickets; a day pass and an individual ticket. It appears that if one wants to take another bus to another no-to-distant location the Day Pass is the way to go.

Are you aware of any destinations in the area of Zug where one can take a cable car or gondola to access the destination ? She would really enjoy either or both.

Thanks again,


Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, drive to Arth-Goldau (South West of Unterägeri, not much further than Zug) and take the rack railway up Rigi.
Details here:

Drive to one of the towns on Vierwaldstättersee (known as "Lake Lucerne" in English-Language guidebooks), for example Brunnen, then take a boat ride on the lake.
Details here:

Both places are on the map I posted earlier:

Finally, if she wants to get high enough to get inside a glacier, or cross one on a bridge; pick a really clear day, leave early, and go to Engelberg (south of the lake). From there take a cable car up Titlis.
Details here:

Luzern is worth a visit, but I have no idea what parking is like. This is the place to get her shops. The tourism site for Luzern town and the whole area is here:

I have just used up all your 4-5 days!

Posted by
271 posts

Chris is right-on.

I have been to Zug. Not bad. A good place to bank. Sightseeing? I am not so sure.

If possible, I would rearrange the trip around Luzern rather than Zug. You could stay in either the old town or right outside of the city. It is on a Great Lake (the Vierwaldstaettersee) with boat rides to the cogwheel trains that go up to Titlis and Pilatus. I love Engelberg, it is just all the way around the lake from Luzern.

For an older person Luzern seems perfect.

That being said...if she is OK with cable cars and cogwheel trains there are many places she might like. Speaking of can take a cable car to an SAC hut in the mountains. No hiking and a cool 'hut experience' for a night. That is the Brunnihuette (

Regarding car rentals. I always shop expedia/kayak and, after finding a good price, I go to the rental company's website and reserve it there. As long as I use my GOLD AMEX I am covered and do not need to pay for the CDW.

Bon voyage!

Posted by
32929 posts

Not much wrong with Zug. There aren't many places that have an aviary on the lakefront. Nice birds, too.

There are boats from Zug on the Zugersee.

And directly across the lake from there is the little village of Cham. It has a small free arboretum in the grounds of the Vilette Park behind the train station, right on the lakefront. They even have Redwoods.

I believe that a car in that area is probably not needed, and will be very expensive to park. Luzern is particularly hard to park in, unless you save some money by parking way out of town by the transport museum and taking the trolley bus, but it is still not free.

Or you can park under the station in Luzern but you will need lots of money for the parking.

The buses, trains, lifts are really well integrated together and seamless.