Genève pratique

Practical Geneva


Driving in Switzerland

Road traffic and rules


New traffic regulation have been in force in Switzerland since 1 January 2021 to promote the smooth flow of traffic and road safety for motorists and cyclists.

Swiss speed limits are 120 km/h on motorways, 80 km/h outside built-up areas and 20 - 50 km/h in built-up areas. Always check the local road signs, as driving above the limit attracts heavy fines and penalties in Switzerland.

Winter tyres are not mandatory, but highly recommended between October and Easter, as a general guide. They provide greater grip and increase braking performance on wet and slippery roads during the colder months.

Headlights must be turned on while driving day and night, as a legal requirement in Switzerland.

Motorway sticker (‘vignette’ in French) is required to drive on Swiss motorways. A yearly vignette costs CHF 40 and can be purchased at petrol stations, post offices and kiosks.

More information on traffic regulation:

 Driver's license & vehicle registration

If you hold a ‘Carte de légitimation’ as a diplomat or employee of many of the international organisations, your national driving licence is recognised in Switzerland. In all other cases, you have to change your national driving licence for a Swiss one.

Holders of driving licenses in a language other than the official Swiss languages (French, German, Italian) or in English are advised to obtain an international driving license.

For more information and possible exemption please refer to the Practical Manual of the regime of privileges and immunities and other facilities, section Vehicles.

Customs privileges

The permanent missions and international organisations have the right to purchase tax-free petrol for their official and service vehicles (registered in the name of the mission or organisation concerned). Petrol cards are available on request from the United Nations Office at Geneva. 

Importation & registration of a vehicle

The permanent missions and international organisations have the right to import or purchase motor vehicles for official use on a duty-free basis.

Check the regulations governing customs privileges concerning motor vehicles applicable to the staff of the permanent missions (PM) and of the international organisations (IO), resident in Switzerland.

All others persons, not enjoying diplomatic status, must register their vehicles with normal licenses plates.

This process should in principale be carried out by the human resources department of your organisation, mission or consulate.

The place of registration depends on the place of residence of the owner of the vehicle:





Touring Club Suisse (TCS)
Road info, breakdown service and insurance




Improve your driving skills on slippery roads in complete safety, thanks to specialised and perfectly trained instructors.



Police, Fire, Ambulances:
117  -  118  -  144

Diplomatic protection:
022 427 55 30
8h-12h / 14h-18h




Parking in Geneva:
white and bue zones:
how and how much

Parking in blue zones in Switzerland

Parking for people with reduced mobility

Parking at the airport 



How to pay a fine



Car-pooling and car-sharing in Geneva

Renting a car at the airport




 Real-time traffic in the Canton of Geneva