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HomeRoad TripMotorhoming and Campervanning in Switzerland- The Final Information in 2023

Motorhoming and Campervanning in Switzerland- The Final Information in 2023

Planning a motorhome or campervan journey to Switzerland? Wish to see a few of the most stunning locations in Europe (Switzerland has some INCREDIBLE locations to go to)? Right here’s every part you must know to go motorhoming or campervanning in Switzerland.

Don’t overlook to obtain your FREE Europe motorhome journey guidelines under that will help you plan your Swiss highway journey.

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Campervanning in Switzerland – why it’s best to go!

Whenever you consider Switzerland, what involves thoughts? Mountains? Lakes? Chocolate? Switzerland is all that- and a lot extra. The character, the wildlife and the friendliness of the individuals are all fantastic causes to go to.

You’ll be able to discover Switzerland utilizing public transport, nevertheless it’s so a lot better when you’ve got your personal vehicle- whether or not that’s a motorhome or campervan (our most well-liked choices), or a automotive, caravan and even motorcycle.

Probably the greatest issues about having the ability to discover Switzerland on a motorhoming vacation is that you may see the variations between the areas and actually get a really feel for the nation in a brief house of time. It could additionally make your journey cheaper if you should buy and put together your meals as an alternative of getting to purchase all of them (Switzerland is just not significantly cheap- though not as costly as Norway!)

On this information, we’re going to share with you every part you must know to go motorhoming or campervanning in Switzerland, together with attending to Switzerland from the UK or overseas and planning your route, the place to remain (motorhome campsites, aires or wild tenting along with your camper), some highway journey concepts and locations to go to, driving suggestions and different sensible recommendation that will help you have an incredible Swiss highway journey.

If that is your first campervanning journey to Switzerland (or Europe!), don’t overlook to seize your free motorhome journey guidelines which is able to aid you plan and organise every part you want.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Europe Motorhome travel checklist- FREE

Motorhoming in Switzerland- The place to go

When planning a motorhome journey to Switzerland, the very first thing you must do is resolve the place you’re going (and the way lengthy you need to go for!)

How lengthy to go for?

In case you’re driving from the UK to Switzerland (we’ll cowl that shortly), you must enable a minimum of a day to get from arriving in France (by both ferry or Eurotunnel) to the Swiss border. And that’s a protracted day of stable driving (it’s about 7 and 1 / 4 hours (685km) from Calais to Basel, on the north-west border of Switzerland with France.

You’ll be able to simply go to and discover Switzerland for just some days or per week and it’s fairly straightforward to drive round. In fact, when you’ve got 10-14 days, you possibly can see much more of the nation.

How lengthy does it take to drive throughout Switzerland?

Switzerland isn’t an enormous nation and you may drive throughout it fairly shortly when you use the principle roads.

As a information, when you wished to drive from Basel to Como (on the Italian border close to Milan), it’s going to take about 4 hours (300km)

If you wish to drive throughout Switzerland from West to East, Geneva (on the western border with France) to St Moritz (within the East) will take about 5 and a half hours (480km)

Nevertheless, a lot of the nation is made up of the Alps (BIG mountains), so driving these take quite a bit longer because the roads are stuffed with hairpin bends and steep inclines! Don’t underestimate how lengthy a journey will take you, particularly when you’re in a bigger car like a motorhome or campervan.

TOP TIP: If you wish to drive into northern Italy and the Dolomites, you may discover it sooner to undergo France after which by way of Italy, fairly than negotiating the Swiss Mountains. Get extra Italy highway journey suggestions.

motorhoming in switzerland
Motorhoming in Switzerland

Highlights of a Swiss campervanning vacation

A few of our favorite locations to go to in Switzerland embody:

  • Standing in the course of the Rhine Falls– considered one of Europe’s greatest waterfalls.
  • Driving within the Swiss Alps. They’re breathtaking (scary, however breathtaking!)
  • Going up the Gelmerbahn Funicular and visiting Gelmersee Lake
  • Visiting Jungfrau and the prepare to the Glacier
  • Titlis- with the world’s first cable automotive
  • Stunning Chillon Citadel- proper on the shores of Lake Geneva
  • Winter sports activities. The slopes in Switzerland are world-class

In case you get pleasure from studying books earlier than a visit, listed here are some we suggest:

See extra enjoyable and sensible motorhoming books we suggest studying

Greatest time to go campervanning in Switzerland

Switzerland is value visiting at any time of the 12 months, however for various causes.

In order for you to have the ability to drive freely and have all sights open, go between April and October. Summer time may be very busy within the cities and main sights, however the mountains are pretty empty.

Spring in Switzerland

Spring is lovely- so long as it’s after April. Though technically Spring begins on 21 February, the snows don’t fade till across the finish of March, so April, Could and June are a good time to go to. Keep away from the Easter holidays when you can- costs get hiked up then.

However the flowers are beautiful- make sure to try the Morges Tulip Competition at Lake Geneva in April. You can even go to Gruyeres on the primary Sunday of Could for the annual Cheese Competition- anticipate to attempt plenty of yummy samples.

Summer time highway journeys in Switzerland

Summer time is ideal. Highs hit mid-20s, though it will probably all the time really feel cool up within the mountains, however the skies are sometimes clear and you may see the Milky Approach at night time. In fact, these means extra folks and extra visitors, so if you’re driving any of the loopy mountain passes, make sure to do it as early as doable to keep away from oncoming tour buses!

An amazing day to be in Switzerland is Swiss Nationwide Day on 01 August. Your complete nation will rejoice with fireworks and events – they usually’re comfortable for vacationers to affix in.

Autumn in Switzerland

Autumn is definitely my favorite time to go campervanning in Switzerland. The times are nonetheless lengthy and largely heat, the leaves look wonderful as they modify colors, and the crowds from summer time have gone.

TOP TIP: In case you are travelling exterior of peak season, positively get an ACSI CampingCard– you’ll save a fortune on campsites throughout Europe, together with Switzerland

The climate could be chilly at finish of October into November and lots of locations shut at finish of October, so do your analysis if there’s one thing particular you need to do or see. In case you get pleasure from wine, don’t miss the Basel Wine Truthful which occurs on the finish of October annually.

The Rhine Falls is the biggest waterfall in Switzerland- and it is SPECTACULAR! It's a perfect day trip from Zurich; definitely add it into your Switzerland and Europe itinerary! #rhinefalls #waterfall #switzerland #europe
Rhine Falls in Switzerland

Winter campervanning in Switzerland

I’ll be sincere, winter in Switzerland begins across the finish of November and runs till April. It will get COLD, there can be plenty of snow and also you’ll want to organize your van and your self with acceptable gear. Be sure that your campervan heating is working okay.

The times are additionally shorter, so that you’ll have much less time to discover.

A few of the panoramic mountain trains, just like the Gotthard Panorama and the Glacier Specific shut over the winter months and lots of mountain roads are closed as a consequence of heavy snow. Most of the funiculars and even some cable vehicles shut in the course of the winter too- as a consequence of antagonistic climate.

Nevertheless, if you wish to go motorhome or camper snowboarding, this can be a nice time to carry your van to the slopes! One of the best snow is normally from the tip of December till March, however nature does like to be unpredictable! Snowboarding and winter sports activities are a BIG DEAL in Switzerland, so anticipate aires to be busy and campsites to be booked up effectively upfront. Additionally, attempt to go to throughout a few of the world cup ski races- the environment is wonderful!

Don’t miss out on visiting a few of the Christmas markets- Switzerland has a few of the finest Christmas markets in Europe. It’s additionally an excellent place to rejoice New 12 months, as a few of the cantons in Switzerland celebrates it twice- as soon as on thirty first Dec/ 01 Jan, after which once more on thirteenth Jan in accordance with the Gregorian Calendar! (That is known as Silvesterchlausen)

Planning a driving route from the UK to Switzerland

There are a few routes so that you can get from the UK to Switzerland.

The obvious is the Eurotunnel, which is mostly cheaper and sooner than a ferry (learn extra in regards to the professionals and cons of the Eurotunnel for motorhome journeys right here). In case you use the ‘Chunnel’, you’ll find yourself in Calais.

 Motorhome Routes- UK to Switzerland
Motorhome Routes- UK to Switzerland

The quickest route from Calais to Basel (closest main level in Switzerland) is to the NE of Paris, by way of the A26 after which the N4. This route is round 685km, ought to take round 7h 25m and can price about 33€ in tolls for a small camper or a automotive. A motorhome will price extra.

Route 2 is by way of A26, then N5 and is 725km lengthy. This can price a automotive or small camper round 48€ and is estimated to take 7h 39m

Route 3 is by way of Belgium on the E411 after which the A4. It’s longer, at 736km, will take 7h 42 however will solely price 9€ on the tolls. So it’s as much as you which of them you select.

You’ll be able to study extra about Tolls in France and how one can plan a route in our France route planner information.

Some prime suggestions for route planning:

  • Keep away from peak days and occasions on the Eurotunnel
  • Attempt to keep away from driving on the weekends or on financial institution holidays- LOTS of visitors
  • Alternatively, rise up early and do as a lot driving as doable earlier than the visitors hits, then cease and have a nap someplace safe- an enormous benefit of getting a motorhome or campervan with a mattress with you!!

Can I drive to Switzerland within the Winter?

Yep. Usually the most important routes are open all 12 months, until you occur to be actually unfortunate and hit it in the course of a snowstorm (do test the climate forecast earlier than travelling.)

If this occurs, then we suggest stopping for the night time someplace secure (again- the fantastic thing about travelling in a motorhome) after which persevering with on when the roads have been cleared. Don’t overlook you will have snow chains and be sure you have fitted all-weather tyres- extra on that shortly.

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Borders / Customs in Switzerland

Okay, let’s get the technical bit out of the way in which.

Switzerland is in Europe, however it’s NOT within the EU. Subsequently, there are border restrictions on what you possibly can/ can not take into the nation (and out.) It additionally does NOT use the Euro- it makes use of Swiss Francs. (CHF)

Additionally, Switzerland IS within the Schengen Space, which implies that if you’re topic to a 90 day restrict in your time within the Schengen Space (like UK passport holders at the moment are after BREXIT), then your time in Switzerland DOES depend in direction of these 90 days.

READ MORE: Driving in Europe after BREXIT- new guidelines to pay attention to

Tobaccos and spirit limits

In case you are getting into Switzerland, that is what you possibly can carry with you (for individuals older than 17 years)

  • 250 items/g cigarettes / cigars / different tobacco merchandise
  • 5 litres of alcohol (as much as 18% vol.) and 1 litre of alcohol (over 18% vol.)

Border Crossings into Switzerland by highway

There are a lot of locations the place you possibly can drive throughout the border into Switzerland. Some have a correct, official border the place you can be stopped and requested to indicate your passport and different documentation. Different crossings are actually marked with a flag which you have a look at as you drive previous. There aren’t any guards, no customs management and no barrier.

Don’t overlook you will have a vignette (extra on that later), so that you may have to cease at/ close to the border to get one.

Deliver a canine/ pet into Switzerland

You’ll be able to carry your canine into Switzerland. They may want:

  • Microchip
  • Proof of rabies vaccination (now completed as an Animal Well being Certificates when you dwell within the UK).

READ MORE: New guidelines for taking your canine into Europe after BREXIT

Hiring a motorhome or campervan to tour Switzerland 

In case you don’t have your personal car, or don’t need to drive to Switzerland, you possibly can simply fly in and rent one. Simply be certain that to ask how one can get from the airport to the rental agency- not all of them are on the airport itself and also you may have to e-book a taxi.

To lease a car in Switzerland you could:

  • be a minimum of 20 years previous, (sure automotive classes could require older)
  • have had a driving licence for multiple 12 months
  • present identification (id card for EU residents or a sound passport for different nationalities) 

Be sure you have proof that you may take the car throughout a border into one other nation if that’s what you’re planning on doing. Additionally, be warned- though most international locations in Western Europe are usually wonderful, many rent corporations ban journey into Japanese Europe with their vehicles- which incorporates Slovenia and Croatia. So test earlier than you e-book.

You’ll be able to anticipate to pay round £60/ day for a campervan in June out of peak season- make sure to ask the proper questions so you recognize what to anticipate out of your motorhome or campervan rental

Don’t overlook, it’s YOUR duty to ensure the car has the required security tools. The on-the-spot fines apply to you as the driving force, not the corporate. Examine upfront with the corporate what package they are going to present with the car and what you will have to carry.

Take a listing of what’s legally required with you and test it off one after the other as you’re given the handover. Don’t drive till you’re comfortable you adjust to the native legal guidelines.

Motorhome guidelines in Switzerland- what gear do you must carry?

Similar to motorhoming in France, there are particular belongings you MUST carry with you in your motorhome or campervan while touring in Switzerland.

Don’t overlook, if you’re driving by way of France or one other nation to get to Switzerland, you want all of the package required by that international locations, in addition to the package wanted in Switzerland.

Campervan touring in Switzerland
Campervan touring in Switzerland

Issues you must drive in Switzerland- security gear

These are the belongings you MUST have with you whenever you’re motorhome or campervan touring in Switzerland.

  • Warning triangle
  • Headlight beam converters– when you’ve got a UK car. These should be fitted earlier than you drive in Europe. (When you’ve got a car which lets you modify the beam robotically for European driving, you received’t want these.)
  • UK sticker connected to the again of auto or reg plates (and trailer when you’ve got one)
  • A vignette (see the Vignette part for extra particulars)
  • A spare wheel (and instruments to vary it!), or a tyre restore package.
  • In case you put on glasses you MUST carry a spare pair
  • Crash helmets are obligatory for motorcycle/ moped riders and passengers
  • In case you are driving in winter, you WILL want snow chains (be certain that they suit your car) and winter/ all-season tyres ought to be fitted. ‘Ketten obligatorisch’ means Chains obligatory- it’s best to cease and connect your snow chains.

NOTE: Hello-vis reflective jackets are NOT legally required in Switzerland however they’re in each France and Germany, so that you’ll want them when you go there.

TOP TIP: Purchase these necessities for driving in Switzerland upfront. In case you wait till you’re on the ferry/ tunnel, you can spend THREE occasions as a lot! See the newest offers and finest costs on important gear right here

What paperwork do you must highway journey in Switzerland?

In case you’re driving in Switzerland, you must carry the next paperwork:

  • Passport (or id card)
  • Driving licence (test it’s in date!)
  • Motorhome Insurance coverage documents- test you’re coated for driving in Europe
  • Breakdown cowl
  • Automobile V5 logbook (which should present your appropriate tackle)
  • Automobile should be legally taxed and MOT’d
  • Trailer certification
  • Inexperienced card (get out of your car insurer)
  • Worldwide Driving Allow if required
  • Private journey insurance coverage

Do I want a world driving allow to drive in Switzerland?

Most UK residents don’t want an IDP to drive in Switzerland, so long as you’ve gotten a card driving licence issued within the UK (in date, after all!)

You may want one when you’ve got:

  • a paper driving licence solely
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

(In case you do want an IDP, right here’s an in-depth information on how one can get an Worldwide Driving Allow and which one(s) you want from a UK publish workplace.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Europe Motorhome travel checklist- FREE

Vignettes in Switzerland

Most international locations in Europe have some type of cost for utilizing their motorways/ main roads. They both use tolls, like France, or they use a vignette, like Switzerland. (Until you’re used to motorhoming in Holland, the place they don’t have something!)

A vignette is actually a sticker which you could purchase from an authorized location and stick in your windscreen (in a selected place so the cameras can see it). As soon as it’s in place, you possibly can then drive on any of the motorways or main roads (Courses 1 and a couple of) with out worry- there aren’t any tolls to pay.

Now, some folks make the method of getting a Swiss vignette sound horrendously troublesome. It’s actually not, particularly in case your motorhome or campervan is beneath 3.5 tonnes. You’ll be able to even order it on-line upfront and get it despatched to your property earlier than you allow from the web site right here.

How a lot does a Swiss Vignette price?

A vignette presently prices 38.50€ per car. Nevertheless, if you’re towing a caravan OR a trailer (and the whole prepare weight is lower than 3.5t), you will have to buy a second vignette. Additionally if, like us, you tow a bike or a second car, you will have to purchase one other vignette for that too.

So we, with a motorhome, a trailer and TWO motorbikes, would have wanted to purchase 4 vignettes if we wished to journey the bikes in Switzerland. Though, in actuality, we solely wanted to purchase two (for our bikes) as a result of our prepare weight with the motorhome and trailer was better than 3.5t, so we wanted the following stage up.

Affixing the vignette to a trailer or bike isn’t as straightforward as on a car- it should be fastened “on an simply accessible half which can’t be dismantled and changed.”

How lengthy is a vignette in Switzerland legitimate for?

A vignette is legitimate up till the tip of January the 12 months after you obtain it. (So the 2021 sticker is legitimate till 31 January 2022.)

And sure, you continue to want to purchase one even when you’re solely visiting Switzerland for at some point, and even one hour, out of the 12 months, assuming you need to use the motorways.

NOTE: the Vignette is invalid when you take away it. So make certain you received’t be returning throughout the time restrict earlier than you’re taking it off.

Do you HAVE to have a vignette in Switzerland?

If you wish to use the motorway community, yes- it’s obligatory. Nevertheless, you possibly can select to drive simply on the backroads and by no means purchase a vignette- so long as your car/ prepare weight is lower than 3.5t.

What does a vignette NOT cowl you for?

You’ll nonetheless have to pay for utilizing any automotive trains, a few of the larger tunnels and any automotive ferries. There are additionally just a few personal roads which you will have to pay for when you select to make use of them, just like the Oberaar panorama highway on the Grimsel move.

Vignettes for autos UNDER 3.5 tonnes

When you’ve got a car with a prepare weight of lower than 3.5t, and also you haven’t purchased a vignette upfront, you should buy one from the border or simply cease on the first storage/ service station after crossing the border. Simples.

Vignettes for autos OVER 3.5 tonnes – Through App

When you’ve got a motorhome which weighs over 3.5t, OR the whole weight of your motorhome and trailer exceeds 3.5t, you possibly can’t purchase the ‘regular’ vignette. You could pay the HVF (Heavy Automobile Charge).

To do that, you must obtain the VIA app (out of your App retailer or Android retailer). This App is definitely REALLY good. It permits you to choose your car sort, enter particulars, choose dates and pay- all from throughout the app. You get a scannable QR code for border crossings if wanted to indicate proof of fee. Discover out extra in regards to the App and watch a video right here

NOTE: In case you are over 3.5t, you must pay to make use of any public roads in Switzerland, not simply the motorways,

I imagine the present fee quantity is CHF 3.25 a day (about £2.60) and there’s a minimal price of CHF 25.00.

Touring Switzerland in a campervan- Different helpful belongings you may want

We’ve been touring Europe in our motorhome for a number of years. We’ve tried all types of kit- some helpful, some not a lot.

Here’s a record of issues we extremely suggest when motorhoming in Switzerland, however that are NOT important:

Motorhome Stopovers and In a single day camper parking in Switzerland

Like most international locations in Europe, there are a number of kinds of locations the place you possibly can cease along with your motorhome or campervan in a single day in Switzerland.

  • Campsites
  • Aires
  • Free/ authorized motorhome parking schemes
  • Wild Tenting (we’ll speak extra in regards to the legality of that shortly)

Campsites in Switzerland for Motorhomes and Campervans

Campsites in Switzerland are very like different campsites anyplace round Europe. Some are very rustic, whereas others are extremely well-equipped with swimming pools, leisure and extra! They’re fairly straightforward to search out, particularly when you’re a member of ACSI or have a e-book!

You usually don’t have to e-book upfront until you’re visiting in peak season, are going to a VERY well-liked one (like up Jungfrau) or are visiting a selected ski resort in winter. Additionally, when you’re a member of one of many UK’s greatest motorhome golf equipment, they’ve some websites in Switzerland which you’ll e-book by way of their techniques.

Remember that many campsites shut on the finish of the season, some as early as mid September and don’t re-open till Easter. So do your analysis, particularly when you’re travelling out of season. There are some campsites right here that are open all 12 months.

TOP TIP: We’ve discovered campsites in Switzerland to be costly, way more so than neighbouring France or Germany. In case you can journey exterior peak occasions, use your ACSI Tenting Card to cut back the price of campsite stays

Aires in Switzerland

An Aire is an authorized motorhome and campervan in a single day parking place. They’re usually paid, though one can find some in additional distant areas that are free to make use of in a single day. A lot of them have motorhome service points- usually for a small extra price.

In case you use an aire there’ll normally be a board with the foundations displayed, similar to how a lot it prices, how one can pay and the way lengthy you possibly can keep. Switzerland solely has about 100 aires, in order that they’re not all the time straightforward to search out.

READ MORE: Learn the way we discover and use aires and authorized free in a single day motorhome stopovers throughout Europe

You can not e-book motorhome aires in advance- it’s first-come, first-served, so when you’re visiting at peak occasions you may really feel happier reserving a campsite so that you’re assured of someplace to remain.

tip is to attempt to arrive AT your vacation spot simply earlier than lunchtime. Many individuals transfer on after. a lazy morning, and cease en-route, so you’ve gotten the very best probability of discovering a spot round this time, however that’s when the day is at its hottest, so watch out.

There are only a few motorhome services at an aire. You need to be capable to get water and empty waste, however don’t anticipate eating places, swimming pools or leisure areas. Additionally, don’t hang around the washing, get your awning out or put chairs out- that is tenting and isn’t allowed- the police will cease and ask you to maneuver.

It’s all the time value investing in a motorhome e-book of aires, in addition to an internet app- simply in case you end up with out web in your motorhome (or with no wifi sign). In fact, the draw back with any e-book is that it goes outdated, however don’t fear if it’s solely a 12 months or two out- most details about aires received’t change an excessive amount of. These additionally make nice items for motorhomers.

Different Free Accredited Motorhome and Campervan stopover schemes

Swiss Terrior is the Swiss equal of France Ardour. It’s a scheme which connects vineyards, eating places, farms and the occasional chocolate maker (sure, actually!) with motorhomers and campervanners in search of secure locations to remain in a single day. In case you’d wish to keep away from busy campsites and aires, however don’t need to threat wild tenting, this could be the choice for you.

The scheme is simple- you be a part of up, and are given entry to a set of enterprise who’ve agreed to offer in a single day parking for motorhomes and campervans at their premises, in return for you spending cash there, within the type of a meal, or shopping for some meals (or chocolate!)

The one draw back to the scheme (based on individuals who’ve used it extra extensively than we now have) is that many of the locations are within the west of Switzerland and there are only a few companies who’ve opted in across the main vacationer areas- those the place the campsites are sometimes totally booked (like Jungfrau).

Wild tenting in Switzerland for motorhomes and campers

Okay, let’s discuss wild tenting in Switzerland for motorhomes and vans.

The very first thing to grasp is that there’s a distinction between ‘in a single day parking’ and ‘wild tenting’ in the case of motorhomes and campers.

Often (and I do know I’m positively responsible of this), we are saying ‘wild tenting’ when what we truly imply is parking up in a single day, after which shifting on once more within the morning. In a single day parking means no awnings, out of doors furnishings, BBQs, motorhome mills, washing traces or something OUTSIDE the car.

Motorhome wild tenting guides for the UK & Europe

Motorhome wild parking guide

Often, in a single day parking is just not banned, however locations could forbid it, like Geneva, who don’t enable vans to remain in a single day anyplace besides on authorized websites. Additionally, totally different cantons (areas) inside Switzerland could have barely totally different guidelines.

Wild Tenting is a distinct matter, and is forbidden in Switzerland. You may be requested to maneuver on and/ or fined by the Police when you appear to be you’re tenting along with your van.

Nationwide Parks and Recreation reserves

In a single day parking is prohibited within the following areas:

  • Swiss Nationwide Parks
  • Federal Recreation and nature Reserves
  • Wildlife safety or relaxation zones

Additionally, it’s forbidden to mild a hearth in these areas, until in an official hearth. Fines could be as much as 10,000€

Driving suggestions for Switzerland

Switzerland has a very good highway community. Most locations could be reached by motorhome or camper, however some are solely capable of be reached by prepare or cable automotive.

TOP TIP: Take note of your pace. Fines are costly! Driving simply 11 km/h over the restrict in a city may price you CHF 250 as an on-the-spot wonderful

Some fundamental guidelines for driving in Switzerland:

  • Switzerland drives on the proper, like a lot of Europe
  • Overtake on the left (NEVER undertake)
  • Seat belts are compulsory for all passengers. Youngsters beneath 12 years previous/ beneath 150cm want an authorized security seat
  • You should have a motorway vignette correctly fitted in your car, until you’re over 3.5t
  • Headlights should be switched on in the course of the day.
  • Site visitors from the proper (together with cyclists) has precedence.
  • Site visitors on roundabouts has precedence until the indicators point out in any other case.
  • Police vehicles, ambulances, fireplace vans and trams all the time have precedence.
  • You’re legally required to cease for pedestrians at a zebra crossing. NOTE: Trams do NOT should cease, so don’t stroll in entrance of 1 pondering it should give option to you- it received’t!
  • Palms-free calling is allowed, however it’s strongly discouraged. Handheld calling will entice a hefty wonderful.
  • In some locations, it’s obligatory to show off your engine when ready for visitors lights, railroad crossings and so forth.
  • You may want to purchase a parking disc, which exhibits visitors officers how lengthy you’ve gotten been parked. They’re obligatory in some locations.
  • In-car pace digital camera detectors and motorhome sat-nav techniques warning of the presence of radars are unlawful (whether or not they’re in use or not!)
  • Sprint-cams are discouraged, as they influence folks’s privateness and there should be a transparent authorized cause for utilizing them.
  • Minor visitors offences can lead to on-the-spot fines.
  • UK driving licences are completely acceptable to make use of and also you most likely received’t want an IDP (discover out the adjustments made to driving in Europe after BREXIT)
  • You’ll need a inexperienced card to show you have motorhome insurance coverage cowl

Velocity limits in Switzerland

Velocity Limits for autos beneath 3.5t are as follows (until in any other case signed!)

  • Motorways/ autobahns- 120km/h (74mph)
  • Main roads/ expressways- 100 km/h (62 mph)
  • Exterior built-up areas 80km/h (50mph)
  • Constructed up areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)

Velocity limits for car OVER 3.5t

  • Motorways/ autobahns- 100 km/h (62 mph)
  • Main roads/ expressways- 100 km/h (62 mph)
  • Exterior built-up areas 80km/h (50mph)
  • Constructed up areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)

Velocity cameras in Switzerland

There are an estimated 1,000 pace cameras in Switzerland, which is a large quantity for a small nation. Once more, take note of your pace.

Drink driving legal guidelines

Switzerland has stricter drink driving legal guidelines than the UK, solely permitting 0.25 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood (the UK is 0.8). As all the time, don’t drink and drive. In case you are a brand new or an expert driver, there may be zero-tolerance, so watch out what remedy you’re taking.

Gotthard Pass, Switzerland road trip
Gotthard Move, Switzerland

Ideas for Driving within the Mountains

Driving within the mountains could be scary- particularly in a campervan or motorhome. Listed below are some suggestions to assist.

NOTE: On small roads, ascending visitors normally has precedence. So if you’re driving downhill, be ready to present option to autos developing in direction of you. The exception to that is the postbus, which has precedence both approach.

  • Estimated driving occasions by navigation techniques and route planners could be very optimistic. Take your time and permit additional.
  • Attempt to not drive within the mountains after dusk- it’s even scarier at night time!
  • Many mountain passes shut for winter. There aren’t any fastened dates because it will depend on snowfall Some greater passes could be closed till June.
  • Some passes are too slender or steep for trailers, caravans or motorhomes. Learn the map and likewise any warning indicators rigorously.
  • Be sure that your car is ready and you’ve got completed your pre-trip checks.
  • Just remember to have ample fuel- there aren’t any gas stations on mountain roads. High up everytime you discover a storage, even when it’s solely half empty.

Ideas for braking/ engine pace within the mountains

  • When descending, use a low gear and excessive engine pace. The engine with assist with deceleration, which in turns saves your brakes.
  • Preserve as low a pace as doable.
  • You’ll have longer braking time than you could be used to- enable additional room
  • Assuming a 5-gear car, it’s normally ample to make use of gear 1 to three solely.
  • Your brakes will get HOT as you descend as you’re utilizing them almost-constantly. Attempt to not ‘journey’ the brake and provides them a relaxation each time doable. If doable, cease about midway down in a secure place for 10-Quarter-hour and allow them to cool.
  • Preserve a excessive engine pace and don’t change gears so shortly (keep round 3000 – 4000 revs)
  • In case you acquire pace, choose a decrease gear or gently use the brakes (not repeatedly.)
  • Don’t drive in impartial.
  • When you’ve got an computerized motorhome or camper, change to guide mode for higher management over the gears.
  • Hairpin bends are robust, particularly when you don’t have somebody who can search for oncoming visitors. If doubtful, sound your horn earlier than a blind bend and pay attention for a response.
  • Don’t underestimate the stupidity of different drivers, particularly those that don’t perceive turning circles for giant autos. They may attempt to minimize inside you as you begin to flip round a blind bend…
  • Watch out for cyclists on a descent- these individuals are loopy!!
  • In case you are sluggish and might safely pull over, let different vehicles previous and point out proper to indicate your intentions.

What to do in case your brakes fail

On our first journey to the Swiss Alps, our brakes failed. It was, doubtless, essentially the most terrified I’ve ever been on a highway journey. Ever.

You’ll be able to learn the complete story right here, together with the trigger, however listed here are some suggestions in case that ever occurs to you *contact wooden it by no means does!*

  • Attempt to decelerate as shortly as doable. Choose a low gear and apply exhausting stress to the brake pedal.
  • Solely pull the handbrake if the highway is just not slippery (if the floor is moist, you can skid)
  • Do NOT put the car into impartial
  • If you will discover an emergency highway, a run-off highway, a subject (test there’s no ditch) or anyplace secure to run off into, use that.
  • Worst case, drive the car sideways into the wall- scraping down the facet. It should destroy your car, however you need to be slowed to a cease.

Driving in Switzerland- what to do within the occasion of a highway visitors accident

You need to have a European Declare Kind offered by your insurer earlier than you allow. Within the occasion of an accident, all events full and signal the shape on the scene after which ship a replica to your insurer for evaluation.

What to do on the scene:

  • Cease your car instantly however safely- out of the stream of visitors if doable.
  • If a car is obstructing the highway, use hazard lights and put the pink warning triangle 30 metres from the scene to warn approaching visitors
  • Trade your particulars with the opposite concerned events. Remember to get:
    • Identify and tackle of all of the folks concerned within the accident
    • Automobile registration numbers of all events
    • Insurance coverage firm particulars of all events
    • Take pictures of harm utilizing a digital camera, GoPro or telephone

For extra particulars, learn our step-by-step information on coping with a highway visitors accident in Europe


Switzerland, German and Austrian legislation requires drivers to create a Rettungsgasse (emergency car lane) each time there may be an accident or emergency on the Autobahn. That is so ambulances, police or fireplace can get to the casualties.

NOTE: That is just for when you’re pulling to a cease or very very sluggish shifting.

If there are two lanes (getting into the identical route), drivers should transfer their autos to the far proper or far left (whichever is closest to you), making a center open lane for emergency autos. If there are greater than two lanes then drivers within the right-side lanes keep far proper, whereas drivers within the center or left lane(s) go on the far left. The emergency parking lane (exhausting shoulder) shouldn’t be blocked until signage or a police officer signifies in any other case.

You need to maintain all doorways closed and keep away from standing exterior the car so that you don’t get in the way in which of any emergency service autos.

Wildlife accidents

It’s a authorized requirement to report any accidents involving wildlife to the Police. Round 80% of the nation is designated as ‘rural’, so it is extremely seemingly that you could be encounter wildlife in your journey. On small roads, be ready to decelerate or cease for cows, goats and sheep.

campervanning in Switzerland
campervanning in Switzerland

Petrol/ Diesel

There are many gas stations throughout Switzerland. As with in all places, you’ll discover the costs barely greater on the motorways.

Petrol is Bleifrei (95 / 98), Sans plomb (95 / 98), Senza piombo (95 / 98) – Inexperienced handles on pump

Diesel is known as… diesel. Black or yellow handles on pump

Some locations are 24h pay on the pump, however could require you to enter the store and pay the cashier both upfront or after you’ve crammed up- there can be an indication to let you know what to do. (Depart your automotive in entrance of the pump and make an observation of the pump quantity.)

You’ll be able to pay utilizing money or a bank card. Many locations do NOT take American Specific. You’ll be able to normally use your UK playing cards with no drawback.

Getting LPG in Switzerland

LPG (GPL) could be discovered at chosen petrol stations and at autogas stations. If shopping for from a petroleum station, you could want to attend for an attendant to show the system on for you.

You’ll find locations which promote LPG utilizing

Keep in mind, when you don’t have refillable fuel bottles, you can be unable to purchase a fuel bottle which inserts straight onto a UK system- you want a brand new pigtail.

Switzerland makes use of the ACME connector and the Dish connector.

LEARN MORE: Study how we discover LPG in Europe for our motorhome

Extra helpful issues to know when campervanning in Switzerland

Some extra suggestions that will help you get pleasure from your time touring in Switzerland.

Emergency Numbers: 112 will get you every part

Language– The 4 official languages are French, German, Italian and Romansh. Completely different areas have totally different ‘important’ languages. English is broadly spoken and understood.

Foreign money– Swiss Francs (CHF)- NOT Euros

Playing cards– most main credit score and debit playing cards are accepted. American Specific is barely taken in massive shops (not at tolls and sometimes not at gas stations)

Timezone– GMT+1 (or one hour forward in BST)

Cellular Cellphone and Web – It’s normally doable to make use of your UK telephone and knowledge in Switzerland, however do test along with your supplier.

Tipping- Tipping is just not anticipated however appreciated. 5% – 10% in eating places is normal if you’re pleased with the service.

Outlets– Meals costs are fairly costly. Many retailers shut at 6.30pm and don’t open on Sundays in any respect. Larger supermarkets and garages could also be open.

A few of the native dishes embody:

  • Cheese fondue (served in a pot with bread)
  • Raclette (melted cheese)
  • Rösti (fried potato cake)
  • älplermargronen (the unique mac‘n cheese!)
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Our motorhome in Switzerland

Campervanning in Switzerland- safety

Switzerland has a low crime charge, however car break-ins do occur, as do petty theft and pickpocketing.

We extremely suggest paying additional consideration to your motorhome safety when travelling in Switzerland. You may even want to match an additional camper habitation door lock and by no means go away your car unattended in an unsecure space.

READ MORE: Important suggestions for safeguarding your van at house and on the highway

Touring Switzerland with a canine

Switzerland is fairly canine pleasant. In eating places, bars and cafes, you possibly can normally assume your canine is welcome until there’s an indication (or worker) telling you in any other case.

Learn extra: adjustments affecting travelling to Europe with a canine after BREXIT

They aren’t allowed into public locations like museums.

Canines are welcome on trains and most public transport. Inside a canine service, they’re freed from cost. On a leash will price you a half-fare.

Don’t overlook how sizzling it will get in summer time and to ensure your canine is snug. Do NOT go away them in your motorhome or camper on a sunny day- vans warmth up identical to vehicles do. Listed below are some tricks to maintain your canine cool on a highway journey.

To return to the UK you’ll want a vet on the continent to manage a worming remedy after which enable between 24 hours and 5 days earlier than re-entering the UK.

Utilizing a drone in Switzerland

You might be allowed to take and fly your drone in Switzerland, however they’re VERY sizzling on privateness legal guidelines and recording folks with out their permission- particularly when you then add the footage to Youtube or one thing.

READ MORE: What’s the very best journey drone (and the way to decide on)

Drones and related remote-controlled flying units should be saved a minimum of a minimal 100m from folks, autos and buildings that aren’t related with the drone operator. Flying should occur in daylight solely, under 150m and by no means fly nearer than 5km to airports. The drone should all the time stay throughout the sight of the operator.

Please test for native rules and army or different particular restricted areas the place all of the aforementioned actions are forbidden by legislation. Listed below are present guidelines.

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