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Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

New York
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Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

Could you please help and list pros and cons for each?

137 replies to this topic
Ohio, USA
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1. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

If you are returning the car in Geneva it doesn't matter muchep for one small thing. If you do not plan to drive in Switzerland at all rent from the French side and you will not have to pay for the Swiss highway tax vignette that will otherwise cost you 40 CHF IIRC (unless your car already has one).

Otherwise you will need to pick up and return your car in the same country to avoid exorbitant repatriation fees so if you intend to drop the car somewhere else in France rent from the French side.

New York
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2. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

Thank you! We drive gtom Geneva to Italy and come back to Geneva. So it doesn't matter? The guideline on this page is a bit confusing - it states that renting on the French side is better, but then proceed through the several points of why you should not do it.

chamonix
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3. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

Swiss Side:

Convenient access for travelling to Italy (via Mt Blanc tunnel).

Quicker passage through the airport .

A little quicker (& less confusing) to collect luggage.

Possibly more likely to have a Swiss motorways vignette already on the car.

French side

Cannot really see any advantage unless the rentals are less expensive ?

Re the CH vignette, wherever you rent your car, there is no compulsion to pay for a vignette unless you use the Swiss motorway system . You can travel through the centre of Geneva (follow signs for lac & via the Mt Blanc bridge) to the border at Gaillard , unless it is rush hour it will only ad ax ten mins on to your journey time compared with the Swiss motorway route.

If you are going to Aosta or further down the Aosta valley, you could travel through Switzerland, via, Lausanne, Martigny & Col du Grand St Bernard (probably via the tunnel)before dropping down to Aosta. Less expensive than the Mt Blanc tunnel but you would need the Swiss motorway vignette.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

If you rent from the Swiss side, the car would presumably have Swiss registration and would not need a separate windscreen vignette sticker. Therefore better to hire from the Swiss side if you intend to drive on Swiss autobahn.

Imperia, Italy
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5. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

You may well want to drive back from Italy by a different route, for example over the Simplon pass and down to Montreux and along lake Geneva, which would definitely require the Swiss vignette.

Northamptonshire...
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6. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

Hi,

If you rent from the French side you will not have a Vignette sticker in the car , so if you get stuck on the 3 mile stretch of Swiss motorway getting back into Geneva the fine is now 40euros, to avoid this you need to take the A411 exit off the A40 running into Geneva, you will know when you are near this exit as you will see a signpost for the " telipherique du Saleve" and also on the right hand side a silver factory with big red lettering saying "Samu".

Once you trun off onto the A411 you head along the A411 which takes you into Geneva, go through the check point , over the crossroad, and head up the hill past the football pitch on the right hand side, as the road bears round to the right, you will see an orange bus lane, take the next truning on the right into the Rue du Vallon. At the end turn left and head down the road ( past the Nissan dealership on the right ) and this road will then take you down to the lakego over the bridge staying in the right hand lane and bear round to the right and follow the road up the side of the lake, at the cross road head straight over and just follow the road signed for " Ferney" and the airport.

after a while you will come to a red and white round about take the Ferney/airport exit, and head down to the next cross road, go straight over and through the tunnel ( this tunnel is under the runway ) go through the checkpoint ( there is a petrol station on the right to fill the car up before you take it back to the French side car hire)....on the opposite side of the road to the petrol station you will see the entrance to the French side airport parking road....just follow this back to the car hire underground car park.

You can check all these directions on Google Earth, and jsut click on the tab that highlights the road names and numbers.

I hope this helps, all the best and a safe , enjoyable trip.

Jon.

chamonix
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7. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

There seem to be a few misconceptions circulating about the Swiss motorway vignette on this forum.

Swiss Government details in English: …admin.ch/zollinfo_privat/…

There is no exemption for Swiss registered cars (rental or otherwise). If you want to use the Swiss motorways you will need a vignette. When renting a car at GVA you may be lucky in that a previous renter has already purchased a vignette & leaves it stuck on the car that you rent. The rental companies cannot charge you for this. You could attempt to request a car with a vignette when renting - the best way would probably be to e mail or call the airport rental desk the day before, you will need both charm & a lot of luck !

As Swiss cars will spend more times in Switzerland that French ones (that may have come from other parts of France) it is more likely that the Swiss car may have a vignette.

London
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8. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

Swiss cars have always had the Vignette when I've rented them. I would avoid renting from the French side like the plague, the return route is very counter-intuitive if you don't know it.

Imperia, Italy
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9. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

It is possible that some minor rental companies in Switzerland do not automatically purchase a vignette for their cars. But as far as I am aware, the major companies all do.

To assist people with the "counter-intuitive" approaches to the French sector rental return, the airport website has a useful map gva.ch/en/…af.pdf

reading
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10. Re: Renting Car in Geneva airport - Swiss or French side?

I prefer to rent from the French side as it is normally cheaper and it is , nowadays, easier to get to.

All Swiss rentals include the vignette, the French ones don't.

I can send you directions for driving from and back to the French side let me know.

To return a car to the Swiss side is now not intuitive if fact it is a real pain.

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