Driving in Switzerland



While driving in Switzerland, remember that a vehicle sticker or vignette is mandatory. If you don’t display one on the windscreen you will be liable for a fine of CHF100 over and above the cost of the vignette.

You can buy one online at the website for the Swiss Travel Centre. It is valid from 1st January of the year of purchase to 31st January of the following year. Here are a few more tips about driving in Switzerland.


In Switzerland, you are required to pay an annual motorway tax, irrespective of how little you use them.

For traffic, related information and traffic conditions call 163.

Driving License

Carry your driving license, passport, vehicle registration and certificate of insurance with you at all times. If your license does not have a photograph, you must carry your passport. Carrying a valid photo ID with your license is mandatory.

If you hold a foreign driving license, you are permitted to drive in Switzerland. International driving license holders may also drive provided they have a valid national driving license. If you plan to stay in the country for more than twelve months, you must acquire a Swiss driving license. Residents from certain countries are exempt from taking a driving test. In order to obtain a Swiss driving license, you will have to submit an application at the Road Traffic Office in the canton of residence.


Seat belts are mandatory for passengers in the front and rear if fitted. Children between 7 and 12 years of age must travel with proper child restraint suited to their age and height. Children less than seven years of age are permitted to travel in the front only with suitable child restraint.

Other mandatory items include Third party insurance, GB sticker, head lamp converters and a warning triangle.

Some items that are recommended but not compulsory are fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, replacement bulb kit and an extra pair of spectacles (if you wear them).

During the winter snow, chains and winter tires are recommended.

The blood alcohol limit is 0.08 percent.

There are on the spot fines for some traffic violations.

All grades of unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available. Debit and credit cards are accepted by most gas stations except at automatic pumps.

Visibility tests are mandatory in the country and depend on the number of passengers in the car.


Don't drink and drive; you could face imprisonment.

Be careful while overtaking; allow enough space between vehicles when you do so. Exercise care when you set off from a service station or restaurant on the left side of the road.

Prescribed speed limits are 120kph for motorways, 80kph on open roads and 50kph in towns. Adhere to speed limits as radar traps are common.

Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines. Remember, no arguments.

In Case of an Accident

Here is a list of Emergency numbers to call in case of an accident or breakdown:

Car breakdown: 140

Police: 117

Fire: 118

Ambulance: 144