Car rental in ZurichWhere to pick up
Car rental locations in Zurich
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Car Rental in Zurich: exploring Switzerland’s largest city and its surroundings
Zurich is a city rich with experiences and activities for travellers, and the best way to explore the city center is by foot. You’ll want to stop often to take in the city’s excellent shopping and dining activities. But don’t make the mistake of just exploring the metropolis during your visit! Book a rental car to explore the city’s gorgeous surroundings as well. Your path into the countryside is eased in particular by the excellent network of highways that serve the city.
Shoulder seasons are still quite chilly in Zurich, so if you’re coming for anything other than winter sports, June and August are the most physically comfortable times to visit.
French, German, Italian, and Romansch are the four official languages in Switzerland. The official language of Zurich itself is German; most families speak the Swiss dialect of German, though standard German is the second-largest language spoken by Zurich residents. About 9% of the population speaks English as a native language, and many Swiss have some command of English and other European languages.
Zurich is located in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1.
The currency is the Swiss franc, though euros are also accepted at larger establishments. Many Swiss still pay cash, so take advantage of plentiful ATMs throughout the city to always have cash on hand. Some restaurants, grocery stores, etc., may not accept foreign credit or debit cards.
Automobile hire is available in over 15 locations throughout Zurich, including Zurich Airport (ZRH), downtown, at the railway station, and on Stockerstrasse.
As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Switzerland accepts visitors visa-free from countries such as the EU, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia. Citizens of other countries will be required to apply for a visa before they arrive and are permitted to stay for up to three months. You can expect to pass through customs for further inter-European travel.
Driving in Zurich
Public transportation or cycling are typically the most efficient ways to explore central Zurich, particularly due to limited and expensive parking. To make the most of your funds, only rent your car for self-drive explorations of Zurich’s surroundings, where a car significantly increases your travel independence and comfort.
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout continental Europe.
- In the city: 50 km/h, with limits as low as 20 km/h in residential areas.
- On rural roads: 80 km/h
- On expressways: 100 km/h
- On motorways: 120 km/h
- Speed limits and other traffic regulations are strictly enforced in Switzerland.
- Traffic congestion can be very bad in Zurich, particularly during morning and evening rush hours. Avoid the highways and roads in and around Zurich between 6:15 and 9 am and 4 and 7 pm.
- Parking during the day can be quite expensive in Zurich. To avoid having to navigate the tricky zones of street parking, take advantage of 10 underground parking lots throughout the city, or park at railway stations outside the city and commute in.
- If your domestic driver’s license has been issued in a language other than German, French, Italian, or Romansch, you will need an international driver’s permit or notarized translation of your license in order to rent a car and drive.
- You will need a vignette to drive on Swiss motorways and expressways; ask your rental company whether or not these are already provided for your chosen vehicle.
- Headlights are mandatory at all times.
- The minimum driving age is 18, though you will likely have to be 20 to rent a car and will face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
- On mountain roads, shift into a lower gear when you are descending in order to prevent the potential failure of your brakes.
- Nissan Micra or similar (mini class) – $41/day
- Volkswagen Polo or similar (economy class) – $42/day
- Ford Focus or similar (compact class) – $47/day
- Bmw 2 Series or similar (intermediate class) – $51/day
- Audi A3 Sportback or similar (standard class) – $59/day
Cheap Car Rental in Zurich
Automobile hire in Zurich typically starts at around $40 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Zurich:
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Zurich
You can expect prices to rise to around $55 a day during the popular tourist months of July and August when renting a car in Zurich, but otherwise prices remain fairly steadily around $45 throughout the year. Look for deals that beat these prices at locations throughout the city, particularly Zurich Airport and downtown. At these locations, rental agencies such as Unirent and Enterprise can occasionally beat Dollar’s standard daily rental price of $46, sometimes dropping the price to as low as $37 a day!
Keep an eye out for discounts of at least 8% that keep your daily rental price low.
The typical rental price drops as low as $27 a day when you extend your rental period to over a week!