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Geneva car hire...Swiss or French?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Here's the walking route from the car hire shuttle pickup (centre) to the car hire pickup/dropoff in P51 (left)



Note you walk past the automated fuel station which is the last place to refuel before you drop the car off. I don't leave it this late to refuel, but it's useful to know in case you have no other option. Dotted lines are pedestrian crossing points. Remember to look both ways. In the middle, you walk through two waist-high swing gates at either end of the office forecourt: it feels like it's a private section of pavement but the people smoking outside are used to it.

When you collect, just take a look 'round the entrance and commit to memory for when you drop-off. When you drive back in, you are faced with two lanes. You need to take the one to the car return, you pick up a ticket, then 10m further on put it back into a barrier machine (go figure) and then you're into the returns ground floor.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
LaForet wrote:
Here's the walking route from the car hire shuttle pickup (centre) to the car hire pickup/dropoff in P51 (left)



Note you walk past the automated fuel station which is the last place to refuel before you drop the car off. I don't leave it this late to refuel, but it's useful to know in case you have no other option. Dotted lines are pedestrian crossing points. Remember to look both ways. In the middle, you walk through two waist-high swing gates at either end of the office forecourt: it feels like it's a private section of pavement but the people smoking outside are used to it.

When you collect, just take a look 'round the entrance and commit to memory for when you drop-off. When you drive back in, you are faced with two lanes. You need to take the one to the car return, you pick up a ticket, then 10m further on put it back into a barrier machine (go figure) and then you're into the returns ground floor.


Tremendous stuff. So if doing it all by foot from the arrivals hall, should I still follow your yellow line (which takes me past the shuttle pick up, and just ignore the buses)? Presumably the walk is sign posted too. Is it all outside?

I assume the car hire check in desks are where the cars are actually parked, and not in the terminal right?


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 18-02-19 20:32; edited 1 time in total
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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?
@iainm, where's the Quidco link?
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The desks are in the terminal, in the yellow triangular bit on the picture.

Do the paperwork and then walk to your car.

Unless you have loads of bags, or it is pouring with rain, do not bother with the shuttle bus that 1) may not go for 15 mins, and 2) goes a really long way around due to one-way system
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mikeycharlton wrote:

Tremendous stuff. So if doing it all by foot from the arrivals hall, should I still follow your yellow line (which takes me past the shuttle pick up, and just ignore the buses)? Presumably the walk is sign posted too. Is it all outside?

I assume the car hire check in desks are where the cars are actually parked, and not in the terminal right?


Yes you just follow Laforet yollow line - there are no markings but very easy. Make a bee line for the Agip petrol station and follow your nose. When I first did it, I asked the person at the rental desk to point me in the right direction. Keep the autoroute to your left.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@rungsp, thanks....makes sense.

@Ozboy, cheers....looks straight forward.

Do any of the hire companies NOT have their cars in the car park that is shown on the map? I've read some of them have their cars further away which would make a mockery of all my careful planning. Need to avoid this at all costs.

Also, looking at google maps, the route from the car park onto the motorway looks like is takes no more than a couple of minutes, which is nice.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mikeycharlton, Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo/National/Enterprise, SIXT definitely in the P51 car park. I think Dollar & Budget are too as they are brands of Avis & Hertz.

Getting to the motorway is a doddle, and as you said just takes a couple of minutes.
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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!
Thanks for all that info!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
On occasions I've come through with had baggage only, legged it to the car hire desk, then to the car park and then driven back to near the shuttle bus pick up. There is a spot where there is just about enough space to stop and load up the gear of the rest of the group who are now arriving with their checked in bags that they waited for at the carousel whilst I went for the car. Works quite well.

Also worth knowing that there are 3 or 4 petrol stations on Avenue Louis Casai which are literally 2 minutes from P51/car hire return. I've had issues in the past with either queues or card problems at the WTC petrol station.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@DJL, Also petrol stations on Route de Ferney if you loop round that way to avoid central Geneva.

Although I now fill up at Carrefour at Douvaine/Massongy about 15 km before GVA and the tank is still full by the time I get to the airport. Toofy Grin
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
mikeycharlton wrote:
@iainm, where's the Quidco link?

You need to set up an account here https://www.quidco.com
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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.
LaForet wrote:
Here's the walking route from the car hire shuttle pickup (centre) to the car hire pickup/dropoff in P51 (left)



Note you walk past the automated fuel station which is the last place to refuel before you drop the car off. I don't leave it this late to refuel, but it's useful to know in case you have no other option. Dotted lines are pedestrian crossing points. Remember to look both ways. In the middle, you walk through two waist-high swing gates at either end of the office forecourt: it feels like it's a private section of pavement but the people smoking outside are used to it.

When you collect, just take a look 'round the entrance and commit to memory for when you drop-off. When you drive back in, you are faced with two lanes. You need to take the one to the car return, you pick up a ticket, then 10m further on put it back into a barrier machine (go figure) and then you're into the returns ground floor.


Great map!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
OK so for those of you who are doing a pick-up in P51 and then driving eastwards to the Vaud/Valais (Leysin, Gstaad, Chambery, Verbier, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Crans, Val d'Annivers, Zinal etc.) here is how you escape from P51 and get onto the Lausanne/Gt.St.Bernard autoroute (crossing the picture from left->right):



1. Exit Car Hire – KEEP RIGHT – IMMEDIATELY RIGHT
2. Go 180º ‘round the car hire building (Ignore the north entrance to the P51 on your right) to traffic lights. At traffic lights TURN RIGHT
3. Go across bridge over the autoroute and FILTER LEFT and in 50m there is a left lane to Lausanne / Aéroport / Palexpo Arena - and STOP!
4. TAKE LEFT TURN (against oncoming traffic) to Lausanne / Gd.Sacconex Ferney
5. KEEP LEFT & Filter Left
6. KEEP LEFT & Filter Left
7. KEEP LEFT & Join Autoroute to Lausanne /Gd.Sacconex / Ferney

Remember autoroute signage is in green.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Tue 19-02-19 21:03; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@LaForet, terrific,

any chance of knocking up another map heading the opposite direction? ie towards Bardonex.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
For Bardonnex head away from the airport, leaving car hire place on your right. Go straight on till huge t junction just after you pass IKEA on your right. Turn left but you turn almost immediately right so you need to be in the most right of the left turning lanes. Signs above the lanes. Then down right onto the motorway. Keep straight for Bardonnex. Plenty of advanced signs to direct you after that on the Chamonix or Annecy autoroutes
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@pam w, yea, the P51 car park is actually recognised on google maps if I type it in as my starting point. So following the route onto the motowway looks straight forward.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ha! - I've not driven it, so I'm not really qualified to, sorry. Was also going to say that the Google Earth Street View is a fairly good guide as well. I always give it a try if I'm using car hire at an unfamiliar airport. Here is the entrance, bus stop and exit at P51



On returning, you can see the lane splits into two - you want the right-hand lane. You collect your ticket just a few metres further on then insert it into a second machine a few metres on from that (no idea why).

The bus drops-off and picks-up in the hatched area.

You follow where the two cars are going and basically 'hug' the building until you've circled back 270º and are going over the autoroute to the left (that's if you're going east to Lausanne alongside Lake Geneva).
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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?
@LaForet, cheers. I may be wrong here, but that looks like the entrance if coming from the Lausanne direction. If you have a look at the other side of the car park building there is another entrance. Presumably that's the one you use if coming from Bardonex?

As for exiting the car park, is there only one exit? ie the one I can see in your photo?
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From Bardonnex back to the car park the way I'd go is into the airportbthen back - there could be another better way but I don't know it. I've rarely hired cars there. In winter I had my own and in summer generally hired on the French side. Last time I drove into that car park was very late after a puncture beside Lake Annecy. Nearly midnight - the office had stayed open late to arrange another car for me. It was deserted and would have been a bit scary if I'd allowed it to be! The friend I was picking up at the airport had been waiting for hours...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
LaForet wrote:
Here's the walking route from the car hire shuttle pickup (centre) to the car hire pickup/dropoff in P51 (left)



Note you walk past the automated fuel station which is the last place to refuel before you drop the car off. I don't leave it this late to refuel, but it's useful to know in case you have no other option. Dotted lines are pedestrian crossing points. Remember to look both ways. In the middle, you walk through two waist-high swing gates at either end of the office forecourt: it feels like it's a private section of pavement but the people smoking outside are used to it.

When you collect, just take a look 'round the entrance and commit to memory for when you drop-off. When you drive back in, you are faced with two lanes. You need to take the one to the car return, you pick up a ticket, then 10m further on put it back into a barrier machine (go figure) and then you're into the returns ground floor.

Must admit I don't find that the easiest way to walk, I go along the pavement to the old terminal where there is a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights to the car park and go into the lift there.
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@mikeycharlton, All car hire activity is on the lowest level and you can only enter/leave by the lanes pictured by @LaForet, above. The other access is for parking, not car hire.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Matt1959, ah right....cheers.

I wondered what that other entrance around the other side of the building was for.
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