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Hire cars in Switzerland - a word of caution

That’s a useful piece of information.

Essex UK

Here’s a message from Silver Traveller Ruth, who asked us to share it with you.

We returned from Switzerland yesterday. Our plan was to visit friends near Schaffhausen, and spend some time exploring the banks of Lake Constance. However, since last May, the Swiss government have banned hire cars from crossing the Swiss- German and Swiss-French borders. This made life extremely difficult for us, as we had to take long detours rather than cross a bit of Germany to reach Schaffhausen from Basel Airport, and we were completely unable to access the north bank of the lake, including Mainau island, which we wanted to visit.

Please warn your Silver Travel members about this; we only came to know about it at the car rental booth at the airport, and there is no way around it by purchasing a pass of some type. the car rental company said it was nothing to do with them, they had no problem with us taking the car into adjacent countries, but that if the car was impounded, any costs would have to be met by us. In practice, in that area, as there are many “green borders” with no customs posts, one could easily be breaking the law without realising it. Even the locals don’t always seem to know which country they are currently travelling in. I intend to write to my MP about it, to see if he can approach the Swiss embassy to have this amended in some way, otherwise, we won’t be travelling there again.
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