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New car rental help for summer trip in switzerland

My family of 7 adults and one baby with car seat needs to get a rental car for at least week, but trying to get some options or ideas from the group if a larger van for all or two cars would be best. Need luggage space for the airport transfers so that needs to play a factor as well.

Thanks for any help.

Posted by
605 posts

Switzerland has the most efficient public transportation in the world. It's really not recommended to have a car. You can take the train to most cities. Besides, trying to find parking in Switzerland will be a hassle. If you do need to have a car because of the baby then hire a personal driver with a mini van for the week. I personally would not want to drive in Switzerland. Buses, Trains, Ferries and Cable cars take you everywhere.

Posted by
21577 posts

Driving in Switzerland, on roads where cars are allowed to go, is pretty easy actually as long as you obey the rules to the letter.

Speed reductions take place at the sign - that's not where you take your foot off the accelerator and start to slow down. Speed limits in the tunnels are low and tightly controlled, and there are plenty of tunnels.

Roads are well made, and except for rural roads off the main roads are not especially narrow.

It is true though that on hill and mountain roads (which are often only one narrow lane) where PostBuses go you are required to allow a PostBus the right of way instantly after hearing the special horn - which sounds a motif from the William Tell Overture. The official website of the PostBus plays the sound so you can recognise it. https://www.postauto.ch/en/three-tone-horn

Those roads can be character building. The driver unfortunately has to keep eyes on the road. Everybody gets a much better view through the picture windows of the high-up coach.

Posted by
6591 posts

Don't bother with the rental car. Just go downstairs in the airport and jump on the train.

Posted by
1034 posts

I'm normally a Switzerland=train guy, but with a baby in the group a car seems like the obvious option. You'll be packing heavier for the little one, you'll need to make emergency stops, and everything will be sticky. Door-to-door transportation is a must. And with 7 adults it will make more economical sense to split the cost of a van 7 ways than to buy 7 train passes. Check to see whether 2 cars or one van is better, but I'd forget the train idea entirely based on the size and composition of your party.

ETA:
I haven't actually had to price this out for many years, so I was curious if my advice still works. I checked Europcar for a 10-day rental, pick up and drop off at Zurich airport. They have a 9-seater VW van for $1520, call it $1600 with extras. That's about $228 per adult. Unless the itinerary is limited this should be less than any train costs with or without a rail pass.