Vignette - Swiss Motorways

Dec 13, 2017
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Any experienced European tour folks?
We are doing a multi-country trip this year. Part of it is in Switzerland. I've just discovered the Vignette system CHF 40 for the permit for the car AND another CHF 40 for the caravan. So £60 to use the motorways!!

Austria (we're going there too) have a 10 day option for €9 which seems fairer

We are going to be in Switzerland for 2-3 days. Looking at the coverage maps it looks pretty much impossible to get about without using the toll-roads.

Swiss government site suggests there are no alternatives to an annual Vignette.

What do people do apart from bypassing Switzerland?

Fine is CHF 200 if found to not have the sticker. What's the chance of being checked? Do these fines even follow you back to UK?

I'm fully prepared to pay sensible tolls but £60 for 2-3 days seems a bit OTT!!

Any tips or just suck it up?
 
Nov 16, 2015
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You will not get away with it, and trying to get anywhere with out hitting a motor way is nigh on impossible, we have been over there four times now, and have got used to just paying the cost. You can also just take in 1 kilo of meat for each person, plus a travel meal, although I have never been checked for the quantities. So we risk that. Food is mega expensive over there, unless you really need to go to Switzerland, with the caravan I would stay in France , Germany, or Austria and travel in on the train.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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We were in the Jura and the town we were in was divided between France and Switzerland by a river. In error we found ourselves heading into Switzerland with no place to turn. Instant stop by the border guards and after a lot of explanation we were accompanied up to the square on the Swiss side where we turned around.
Make U.K. Border Force seem positively welcoming by comparison.
 
Dec 13, 2017
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Fair enough. Have to make sure we eat £60 worth of local road-kill, nuts and berries from road-side bushes to make up for it then.

While on the subject of travelling in and around Switzerland, can I assume the super-expensive toll roads are not too hilly and have picked the flatest route through the mountains. Any specific roads to aim for / avoid if coming in at Basel, stopping at Winterthur and then heading off to Triesen in Liechtenstein before motoring over to Innsbruck . Aging BMW and mountain passes are likely to require me to exercise the Red Pennant services!

Also any hidden gems?
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Your route to Winterhur is straight forward if you have your vignette, stick to the Green lane at the border post , left hand lane and unless requested to stop keep going, no need to show passport unless asked. Winterhur to Triesen as also fairly straight forward, either to the west of lake Zurich on the A1 or east on the A3 which is a bit flatter. Never been to Innisbruck, hopefully one one else can help. And also confirm these routes.
 
Dec 13, 2017
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It's not really clear where you get your Vignette from (nor for Austria) Do you get it at the border crossing of can I get one while in France or online or send in 400 toblerone wrappers or something? Also, under exclusions it says a "fixed trailer" does not need one. Is there any way a caravan is a "Fixed Trailer". Can't quite fully give in to paying a toll for both for a whole year for 2-3 days usage :( Definitely going to stock up on 4KG of meat though. Don't need it ourselves so may sell it on to impoverished tourists)
 
Nov 16, 2015
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You can buy them at the border, so if at the last moment you decide not to go to Tobleronne land, you have not paid up. They can be obtained from Swiss tourist board, in the UK. I will search the link. Don't sell the meat keep it, and watch the faces of people when they smell your BBQ . If eating out go to a bakerie, bread and savories and the beer is cheap, an ice cream for the kids will hit you maybe 12 to 15 Swiss francs. Ouch. Mac D don't even think it. Mountain resteraunts are great for views but , expensive.
Hutch
 
May 15, 2010
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The cost of a vignette may seem OTT but you can easily spend £60 and more in 2 days on the French autoroutes.
Also, bear in mind that the Swiss autoroutes are usually superbly maintained and service areas are immaculately clean.
I agree with other contributors that it's not worth risking it. Checks are frequent and fines are quite heavy.
Don't let the vignettes put you off visiting Switzerland. Everything is super expensive, but the experience is worth it in my view.
If you're on a tight budget - and who isn't these days - just avoid eating out.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree with oldagetraveller that the total cost of motorway tolls in France (and elsewhere) can easily top £60, so although the Swiss vignettes sound expensive because they are one lump sum, on a pence per mile basis they can actually be quite reasonable. I know it's not much help to you, but I just want to say that I pass through Switzerland on average twice there and back every year and that makes each journey really cheap in comparison.
 

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