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Auto travel through France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy

I will be traveling by rental car starting and ending in Paris, but am somewhat confused about the road travel through Switzerland. I see that I need a vignette, and possibly another "half fare" ticket? Can I get the vignette straight fro the car rental company? DO I need the half-fare thing? I will only be traveling through Switzerland one day, with probable roadside stops, but not staying there or going up to mountain tops (unless that is where the highway takes us). Can anyone explain the best way to handle this and what I need to travel through Switzerland?

Posted by
20481 posts

You don't need a "half fare" ticket if you are driving a car. Only if using trains, and then only if full fare tickets are more than 240 CHF.
Buy a vignette just before you cross the border at a gas station. and be sure to attach it to the windshield as instructed. It is not valid until you do. You don't even need that unless you drive on a superhighway. Stay on secondary roads and they are not required.

Posted by
33339 posts

Where are you entering Switzerland and where are you exiting?

Posted by
8889 posts

A "Vignette" is how you pay the toll for travelling on motorways (Autobahn/autoroute/autostrada) in Switzerland. It is a flat rate toll (CHF 40), instead of the per Km toll you pay in France.
If you cross the border on a motorway, then there are two lanes, one for vehicles that already have a Vignette, one where you stop and buy one. See photo here:

If you cross the border on a road that isn't a motorway, you don't have to buy one, but it is very difficult to drive any distance without going on a motorway. Here is a map showing the toll motorways:

A ½ price card is for trains.

Only one day is not a long time, it will take you that time to drive through, not enough time to stop or see anything. I think you need to start planning your route and stops in more detail.
And, do not drive through Paris.

BTW it is Autobahn in German, Autoroute in French (France has autoroutes and changes tolls on many of them) and autostrada in Italian. The normal English translation is "motorway".

Posted by
806 posts

The vignette is for autobahns but note that they are not all superhighways as someone stated above. Some autobahns are just really good two-lane roads in the mountains. If you are really careful and stay only on the red roads on the maps you are OK, but that is easier said than done. Spend the extra few bucks and get the vignette and relax. Also don't forget your IDP.

Posted by
33339 posts

The original poster appears to be a drive-by, has never returned to give more background so that a precise answer can be tailored to them.