Swiss vignette: What you need to know about Switzerland’s motorway charge sticker

Swiss vignette: What you need to know about Switzerland’s motorway charge sticker
If police catch you without a Swiss motorway sticker, you will be hit with a 200-franc fine.
If you are planning to travel on Switzerland’s motorways, you need a special sticker called a 'vignette'. Here are the key details.

Does everyone in Switzerland need a motorway sticker?

No. You only need a sticker if you are driving a car and if you are planning to use Switzerland’s motorways. A small number of people who only use local roads do not purchase a motorway sticker.

However, be aware that almost everyone does have a sticker so that they can travel around on Switzerland’s well-maintained motorway system.

Please note that different rules apply for heavy vehicles weighing 3.5 tonnes or above. These vehicles are not covered in this article.

What about tourists who are only in the country for a short time?

Even if you are only planning to drive through Switzerland on the way to somewhere else or just visit for a few days, you still need a sticker to use the country’s motorways. 

So if you are coming from Germany, Austria, Italy or France or anywhere else, and you will be travelling on Swiss motorways, you need a motorway sticker.

If you don’t buy a sticker and police stop you, you could be fined 200 Swiss francs (around €185). You will also have to buy the sticker.

What if I have a rental car in Switzerland?

Swiss rental cars will already come with a motorway sticker.

What roads are covered by the ‘vignette’?

Click on the map above to see an enlarged version.

You need a motorway sticker for Switzerland’s first- and second-class national roads (German: ‘Autobahnen’ and ‘Autostrassen’; French: ‘autoroutes’ and ‘semi-autoroutes’; Italian: ‘autostrade’ and ‘semiautostrade’. 

See the map above for more details.

These roads are marked with green signage as below.

If you wish to avoid these roads, your best option is to follow the blue signage, which signifies main (non-motorway) routes.

How much does a vignette cost?

The vignette costs 40 francs within Switzerland. If you purchase it elsewhere, it costs €36.50, 32 British pounds, 272 Danish krone, 157 Polish zloty and 945 Czech koruna.

Where can I buy a Swiss motorway sticker?

Within Switzerland, the sticker is available at petrol stations and at post offices. It is also available in other countries at petrol stations near the Swiss border. For online purchases, try here.

How long is the sticker valid for?

The vignette is valid for 14 months and a new, differently-coloured sticker is created every year. The current 2021 sticker was launched on December 1st 2020 and is valid until January 31st 2022.

If you have a 2019 sticker, this can be used multiple times during this period. If you plan to visit Switzerland three times in one calendar year, for example, or if you drive through the country regularly on the way to Italy, Germany or Austria, you only need to pay once.

What colour is it?

The vignette has a different colour every year so as to differentiate it from the previous one. 

The current one is officially ‘metallic’ green, but looks a bit more like pea soup

The year is in large white letters. 

Where do I place the motorway sticker?

This sticker must be clearly displayed on your windscreen in a manner that does not obstruct the driver’s view. Generally, people in Switzerland place the sticker in the top-right hand (driver’s side) corner of the windscreen or the top and centre of the windscreen.

What happens if I don’t use one? 

Anyone who is caught not using a vignette will have to pay a fine of 200 francs. 

The penalties are even steeper for people caught forging a vignette, with high fines and up to three years in prison

Is there an electronic version of the motorway sticker?

Not at present. But there are plans to introduce one in 2022, although these have previously been delayed.

If the plans get the go-ahead, only electronic stickers will be available outside of Switzerland and Swiss border areas.

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