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Swiss car hire, new rules?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Saw this thread on UKC and wondered if anyone here had encountered this?

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=640711

Due to hire this summer from the swiss side of Geneva.

Thanks, Mike.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Weird lucky we normally get one on the French side as it is cheaper when going to Italy.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Frequently hire a car on the Swiss side of GVA and take it to France, including for longer than 8 days. This has never been mentioned by the hire company, nor have questions been asked at the Swiss/French border (in fact, never once been stopped).
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Times are a changing.....
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hmm good way of destroying the winter rental car market at GVA and ZRH if this is real. I'd guess that well over 50% of customers whenever I arrive are taking rentals to FR and AUS respectively. IME border crossing officials don't give a toss (possible racial profiling acknowledged)
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This should be posted in the EU thread Wink
I have taken a swiss rental car to france / italy many times.
However wouldn't surprise me if this change was true.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Was out with someone last night who had booked a car on the Swiss side. Got to the airport and had to cancel it (rental car service told him once he'd arrived but not before) and then rebook from the French side and not take the Swiss motorway (no vignette I guess). The Swiss car rental side said they were going to have to come up with "a solution" to the problem but as the rules had only just come in there wasn't one currently.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I guess it's related to this story, which I saw a few week ago:
http://www.thelocal.ch/20140606/german-pensioner-fined-15000-by-austrian-customs-for-border-mistake

Seems (particularly) daft to apply it to hire cars. As so many cars rented in Switzerland are taken across the border as part of holiday plans I would also assume they will come up with a solution of some kind.
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Last October, I was told that the breakdown insurance on my GVA Swiss side car rental was invalid if I drove into France, and did I want a top up insurance? I'm not sure if that's a variation of the same issue?
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Hmmm...just booked a rental car from GVA Swiss side for a couple of weeks time and will be wanting to head over the border. I wonder if I should rebook?

Interestingly, when getting quotes the Hertz website popped up with the helpful advice that if you are likely to arrive late you should always book from the Swiss side as, due to the new security measures, the walk through border to France closes at 23:00 and you can't get to pick up your car unless you get an expensive taxi ride over the border! That must be a bit of a dilemma for some renters, can't drive a Swiss car over the border, can't walk over the border to pick up a French car....
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I've made a call to Alamo customer services...they say that as long as we advise them of the cross border trip when picking up the car they we won't have any problems. Fingers crossed!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Also never forget that hire car rental desks are never the most reliable sources of information as they have a vested interest in trying to sell you extra stuff or load on extra charges, although IME most swiss agents are way more reliable than the US in this regard where they will swear blind that a Fiat 500 is a mid sized car or that a FWD car simply can't operate if there is any weather whatsoever or under a 4 litre engine will fail above 10,000ft.
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Hmm. A useful thread. I have booked a Swiss car in June because it was FAR cheaper than the French side. It was through Holiday Autos. Will need to check and keep an eye on this thread. Never had a problem in the past though Swiss cars which breakdown in France can be an issue.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I emailed Hertz (UK) today about this. They replied quickly to say that they had not heard anything about a rule change or enforcement of old rules, but that I should check online with the GVA location to see what restrictions were listed. I've not done this before, so I don't know if this is new or not, but one of the restrictions listed for Hertz at GVA (Swiss side) is:
Quote:
European Union residents driving into Austria for 8 days or more, please contact your Reservation Centre.
No reference to France.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We've decided not to risk it and with the aid of a sneaky discount code pretty much managed to get it at the same price.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Lots of canton AI registered cars in Chamonix at the weekend (that's where most hire cars are registered).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I had booked a car with Alamo on the Swiss side of GVA last Friday (5th May). The counter staff refused to rent the car (pre-paid) because I had answered yes to the question 'are you going into France'. Everybody was being made to sign a waiver form advising them that Alamo would not cover any costs if you took the car across, in effect no insurance. They even mention the possibility of arrest at the border. The car hire hall was in some chaos (at a quiet time of year) with people trying to transfer reservations to the French side. I took a taxi to Morzine. I emailed Alamo central the question retrospectively 'am I allowed to take the car across, and they came back saying 'yes'. 24 hours later I got another email saying that the answer is now 'no'.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@clarkiedc, thanks for the info, and welcome to snowHeads.

That's a bit concerning.
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I just spoke to Holiday Autos as I have a reservation at the end of the month. It is definitely the case that this rule is being enforced for non-EU drivers. Dollar said that they were letting people take the cars now, and thought that for the next 2 weeks it was unlikely to be a problem, but thereafter..... But of course they can say that, but it's their customer's risk if they decide to enforce. A good reason to leave the EU?! Looks like the days of quick car hire ex GVA in the winter is over?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The Alamo sign on the rental counter says this rule applies only to EU nationals.
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Good old EU. It's a terrible evil, isn't it, all these people crossing the border with smuggled cars hidden up their jumpers. And they are obviously going to sell them in the EU, aren't they? Most unlikely they would take them back where they came from.

Ah, but importing people from all over the Middle East, that's OK. Angela Merkel has said so.

What a gift to the Brexit campaign. Has the Daily Mail picked this up?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
clarkiedc wrote:
The Alamo sign on the rental counter says this rule applies only to EU nationals.


Just to be clear - this rule depends on your residence, not your nationality. A CH national resident in the UK could also be fined for this.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I just rented in the French side for Xmas from rental cars.com and as a regular got a 25 quid discount, wow, thanks guys, it still costs a load more to rent on French side as have to pay extortion rates for winterisation and even road tax on top of the more expensive car hire. I will rebook on Swiss side nearer the time if they work out a solution as can cancel without charge. Oh, they told me I could drive the car into Switzerland without any problems, so that's something, I suppose...
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I hired a car from the Swiss side last week - through rentalcars, contract with Dollar, subbed to Thrifty, resubbed to Hertz who actually supplied the car. They said there was no restriction on taking the car either into France or into Italy, except that we wouldn't be covered for breakdown - though in the event we didn't leave Switzerland in it. Incidentally, by resetting the currency to CHF on the rentalcars website I saved £20 on the hire.
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Quote:

it still costs a load more to rent on French side as have to pay extortion rates for winterisation and even road tax on top of the more expensive car hire

Puzzled Most people who rent on the French side to drive to ski resorts ONLY do so because it's cheaper. I can't think of a single reason why you'd rent a French car if it was more expensive and pay winterisation on top? Why did you do it that way?

I hired a French car at Easter - it was £200 a week less than the Swiss equivalent. In a couple of weeks I've booked a Swiss car because it was cheaper than France - there is not consistent difference between the two.
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...because of the whole issue about taking cars across the border....otherwise would have rented Swiss side...that's the whole point of thread, people having to make economically daft decisions because of new customs rules?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

because of the whole issue about taking cars across the border

That wasn't an issue at Christmas. And it seems it's really not too much of an issue now, thankfully - I will report on my experience in a few weeks but Holiday Autos have assured me it's OK (the car is with Budget, apparently).
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