Driving advice for every country in Europe

Find up-to-date driving laws and advice for any country in Europe before you visit, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.

Driving in Switzerland

Switzerland
Population: 8m
Area: 41, 285 sq km
Currency: Swiss Franc

If you're driving in Switzerland, your checklist requirements are:

  • A valid UK driving licence.
  • A GB sticker on the back of your car - even if your car has 'Euro-plates' (number-plates that show a circle of 12 stars on a blue background).
  • Your motor insurance certificate.
  • A warning triangle inside the car in case you break down.
  • Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your headlights when you're driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way).
  • A motorway sticker if you're driving on the motorway - you can buy this at the border and at most petrol stations.
  • Snow chains in poor weather - road signs will let you know when you need to put them on the car.
  • If you usually wear glasses or contact lenses, you must carry a spare pair with you in the car.

Going away? Remember to take RAC Travel Insurance with you.

You must also:

  • Be 18 or over.
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times (this applies to everyone in the car).
  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a motorcycle.

It's a good idea to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights.
  • A first aid kit.
  • A fire extinguisher.
  • A Camping Card International to give you additional proof of identity, third party liability insurance, plus discounts at a wide range of campsites and tourist attractions. Find out more here.
  • A Green Card - it's a useful back-up to your motor insurance documents and shows you've got the minimum legal level of cover. If you'd like to find out more, contact your insurance company.
  • Winter tyres, if you're driving between November and March.

Other things you should know:

  • Petrol and diesel are readily available, along with a lead replacement additive. 
  • You can only get LPG at eight petrol stations across the country.
  • The speed limit is 50kph in built-up areas, 80kph on open roads and 120kph on motorways.
  • If you're caught committing a driving offence, you'll be given an on-the-spot fine.
  • The drink driving limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (less than the UK limit of 80mg per 100ml).
  • You must use dipped headlights when driving through tunnels - and it's recommended you use them the rest of the time too.
  • It's illegal to use any radar detection equipment, whilst driving through Switzerland.
  • If you have a GPS navigation system that shows you where any fixed speed cameras are, you must deactivate this function.
  • Children under age 7 can't sit in the front.
  • Hitch-hiking isn't allowed on motorways and other major roads.
  • Pedestrians generally have right of way.
  • When overtaking, you must indicate before moving back into the right-hand lane.
  • During the day, you must sound your horn before going round a sharp bend with limited visibility. At night, flash your headlights instead.

Useful guides and maps

Michelin - National Map Switzerland
Michelin Motoring Atlas: Europe

 

Sources Foreign & Commonwealth Office, www.nationaldrivesafe.co.ukwww.drive-alive.co.uk.
Disclaimer: RAC are not responsible for the content of external websites. The information provided is correct as of May 2016 to the best of our knowledge and should be referred to for information purposes only - it should not be relied upon as formal advice. Please always check the current requirements of the country you are visiting before you leave.
*Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1.
RAC European Breakdown cover arranged and administered by RAC Financial Services Limited (Registered No 05171817) and provided by RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England; Registered Offices: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall WS5 4AW. RAC Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Still current at:
23rd Jul 2017
Updated at:
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