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Car hire Geneva

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Are the GVA/GGV rental companies ok accepting uk driving licenses now - I know there was a lot of talk about us needing IDPs originally, but haven’t seen any chatter about it lately.

(Just to double down of this - I only have a paper license).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Pejoli, New French (ex-UK) residents are being told to hang on to their old licences for the moment so OK by definition?

Paper licences never used to cause a problem ( my wife until 2 years ago) -- apart from individuals in Hire Companies when they see from the first time and freak! No currency on that though.
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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?
ster wrote:
@Tom H, BTW have you rented on the Swiss side?

I had not specified but checking the address is less Grande Saconnex. As best I can tell it Swiss side. Cost are in CHF.
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[quote="Tom H"]
ster wrote:
@Tom H, BTW have you rented on the Swiss side?

I had not specified but checking the address is less Grande Saconnex. As best I can tell it Swiss side. Cost are in CHF.
Ps I take it that it is not necessary to state which exit you want when booking flights to Geneva, I.e Swiss or French?
My flight does not appear to state either side?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
International flights are all into the international (ie Swiss) side of the airport. The French side only deals with French domestic flights.
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Thank you Pam
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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We rent Swiss side because of convenience - like Ozboy we’re over every couple of weeks and choose to book direct with Europcar as by the end of this season we’ll have moved far enough up their loyalty tiers to get a free upgrade and a free second driver.

This weekend I rented an electric VW ID-3, which was a nice car and has the benefit of not needing to be refilled before returning so straight into P51 and off to the terminal. I think it would have done Morzine and back on a single charge, but as the climb up to Les Gets on Friday in -4º left it looking a bit short I put it on the public charger in town for an hour to add a few miles - as it was we got back to Geneva with well over 100km of range left. By the time we hire one again we’ll have a charger at our place so we can top up overnight.

The ID-3 cost £150 from Friday to Monday night, next Friday we’re paying £495 for a Touran for 10 days because there’s 5 blokes and we might want to drive to ski one or two days. But generally I reckon £50-60 a day out of peak ski season - but I have seen £130 a day for a VW Up or other city car this season - whilst the EVs seem to vary from £50-80 and not much higher - maybe less popular because of range anxiety?
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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!
@andy from embsay, I have never considered an electric car as an option for rental but I will look into it for the next booking. Do you know if the ones on offer can do the trip to Châtel on a single charge in cold conditions (Swiss motorway route 130kms / 1:40h) and can they be fully re-charged overnight from a normal domestic electric socket?
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@Ozboy, you’d definitely get to Chatel in one go. The ID-3 had 300km on the clock when we left GVA and had 140km left when we got to Morzine (mainly due to the climb up to Les Gets).

You can charge on a domestic socket but it’s a Swiss plug - I couldn’t get it to work but I had our crappy extension and a very cheap adaptor from Spar. If it works you’ll get c3.5kWh from a domestic socket. I think an ID-3 battery is 54kWh so roughly 15hrs 0-100% - however I work on km per kWh. If you work on consumption of 4-5km/kWh you can basically add 12-15km of range every hour.

As I said ours wouldn’t work so I just plugged in at the chargers in Morzine for an hour to get an extra few kms - contactless card for payment. It looks like there’s a couple of chargers outside the Office de Tourisme in Chatel that’ll put 11kWh in an ID-3.

https://chargemap.com/parking-157.html
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e17phil wrote:
BTW the French side shuts relatively early.

Europcar closes at 5pm and the latest hire company shuts at 6pm......may be why some aren't showing up


This is not necessarily the case, for example Budget on the French side closes at 10pm:

https://www.budget.com/en/locations/fr/ferney-voltaire

Europcar shuts at between 5pm and 8pm depending on the day (and 12:30pm on Wednesday!)

https://www.europcar.co.uk/en-gb/stations/france/geneva-airport
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andy from embsay wrote:
@Ozboy, you’d definitely get to Chatel in one go. The ID-3 had 300km on the clock when we left GVA and had 140km left when we got to Morzine (mainly due to the climb up to Les Gets).

You can charge on a domestic socket but it’s a Swiss plug - I couldn’t get it to work but I had our crappy extension and a very cheap adaptor from Spar. If it works you’ll get c3.5kWh from a domestic socket. I think an ID-3 battery is 54kWh so roughly 15hrs 0-100% - however I work on km per kWh. If you work on consumption of 4-5km/kWh you can basically add 12-15km of range every hour.

As I said ours wouldn’t work so I just plugged in at the chargers in Morzine for an hour to get an extra few kms - contactless card for payment. It looks like there’s a couple of chargers outside the Office de Tourisme in Chatel that’ll put 11kWh in an ID-3.

https://chargemap.com/parking-157.html


Be careful charging from domestic sockets, particularly with adaptors. Not all are designed for prolonged 2kW+ current delivery, especially the adaptors. Partly as a result of this, most of the chargers designed for domestic sockets are c. 2kW, rather than the 3.5kW that the socket might theoretically be capable of, so charging times will be elongated. However, if you've made it to resort using <55% of the available juice, the downhill run home should be enough to get you back to the airport. Possibly with a woolly hat on, rather than running the heating Happy
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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.
Not applicable to Geneva but I have just been looking at getting to Andorra, Car hire from Toulouse starts at £178 for the week, Barcelona starts at <£40 for the week!!! I'm guessing that BCN is a summer airport & they have lots of cars sat around doing nothing
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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
@snowdave, in the end with an hour (about 10kWh) on the charger in Morzine we got back with around 100km of range left - as I’ve not driven an ID-3 before I wasn’t sure if the precipitous range drop in the last 25km (it went from about 200km to 140km) was due mainly to the hill out of Taninges or the temp - having done it now I’m pretty sure it was the former so would be pretty confident of doing the return trip on one battery - although the next time we hire an EV in late Feb we’ll have a 7kW charger installed at our place so we’ll just top up when we arrive.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
musehead wrote:
e17phil wrote:
BTW the French side shuts relatively early.

Europcar closes at 5pm and the latest hire company shuts at 6pm......may be why some aren't showing up


This is not necessarily the case, for example Budget on the French side closes at 10pm:

https://www.budget.com/en/locations/fr/ferney-voltaire

Europcar shuts at between 5pm and 8pm depending on the day (and 12:30pm on Wednesday!)

https://www.europcar.co.uk/en-gb/stations/france/geneva-airport


Well I just dodged a bullet there - I had booked my car hire through rentalcars.com for Saturday, and accidently left the default times on - so a 10 am pickup. I thought even though my flight lands at 2 that would still be fine - i'd be within the hire window for the week, so turning up a couple of hours late would be no biggie.

I've now just seen that French side EuropCar (for it is they) close at 12.30 on Saturdays ....
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Pejoli wrote:
Are the GVA/GGV rental companies ok accepting uk driving licenses now - I know there was a lot of talk about us needing IDPs originally, but haven’t seen any chatter about it lately.

(Just to double down of this - I only have a paper license).


So to follow up on this - in rebooking my car hire (see previous), not only are options cheaper on the swiss side at the moment, but I also noticed that clicking on the 'important info' for hiring a swiss side car, it explicitly says:

Please note:
An International Driving Permit is required for drivers from outside the European Union.


This statement is missing if you look at French side cars.

So, again, has anyone had to produce one for hiring on the Swiss side with a UK driving license?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Pejoli, Official policy says:

https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit

Quote:

You do not need an IDP to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein if you have a photocard driving licence issued in the UK.


From a Swiss source:

https://www.ch.ch/en/vehicles-and-traffic/driving-licence/international-driving-licence/

Quote:

People with a foreign driving licence
If you live abroad, you need an international licence to drive in Switzerland only if your driving licence does not mention the authorised vehicle categories in Latin characters.


I've never been asked for one, although have not rented from the Swiss side in the last couple of years.

Many UK driving licence holders rent from the Swiss side every day. I'm sure none (or almost none) of them have an IDP with them.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pejoli wrote:
Pejoli wrote:
Are the GVA/GGV rental companies ok accepting uk driving licenses now - I know there was a lot of talk about us needing IDPs originally, but haven’t seen any chatter about it lately.

(Just to double down of this - I only have a paper license).


So to follow up on this - in rebooking my car hire (see previous), not only are options cheaper on the swiss side at the moment, but I also noticed that clicking on the 'important info' for hiring a swiss side car, it explicitly says:

Please note:
An International Driving Permit is required for drivers from outside the European Union.


This statement is missing if you look at French side cars.

So, again, has anyone had to produce one for hiring on the Swiss side with a UK driving license?


I've hired cars twice from Geneva Airport this season - once in November (CH side) and again last weekend from the French side. On neither occasion was I required to show my IDP. rolling eyes
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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?
Thanks both - but being one of those clowns who still tries and gets by on paper license*, I may have to pop out to the PO and get one - seems though a 1950s style cardboard id pass still keeps that vibe going quite nicely ...

* on the plus side, it has got me out of a couple of speeding tickets in the US as policemen incredulously unfold it, and unfold it, and then tell me to be on my way.
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Pejoli wrote:
musehead wrote:
e17phil wrote:
BTW the French side shuts relatively early.

Europcar closes at 5pm and the latest hire company shuts at 6pm......may be why some aren't showing up


This is not necessarily the case, for example Budget on the French side closes at 10pm:

https://www.budget.com/en/locations/fr/ferney-voltaire

Europcar shuts at between 5pm and 8pm depending on the day (and 12:30pm on Wednesday!)

https://www.europcar.co.uk/en-gb/stations/france/geneva-airport


Well I just dodged a bullet there - I had booked my car hire through rentalcars.com for Saturday, and accidently left the default times on - so a 10 am pickup. I thought even though my flight lands at 2 that would still be fine - i'd be within the hire window for the week, so turning up a couple of hours late would be no biggie.

I've now just seen that French side EuropCar (for it is they) close at 12.30 on Saturdays ....


Be aware that you may be considered a no-show if you arrive later that a certain period after the booking time (think it’s as little as 2 hours) and they will cancel the booking and keep your money. This is in T&C’s. Happened to us before when flight was late and i omitted to enter the flight number on the booking.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Ozboy, so two bullets then - thanks for the tip for next time!

Unfortunately it now means my car hire has gone from £137 to £300 - but I'm back on the swiss side, winter tyres and all.

Wonder what the walk-up price is - tempted to ask when I pick up, would round the story off nicely.
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Looking to rent a car for March. Staggered by the current prices. Not just in Geneva but across the Alps. Grenoble, Lyon, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Turin….all currently much more than previous years. And it appears that choice has reduced as well, with some operators not at airports at all now.

Starting to consider that it’s not worth the cost of flying and renting with these prices and might just drive from the UK. With crossing, tolls and fuel…looking likely to at least be the same if not a fair bit cheaper.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Fridge03, the Swiss side prices are very variable and starting to come down. I looked for next weekend a few weeks back and there was nothing below £400. Now there’s plenty at around £200 and as low as £140. These are the same as pre-covid prices.

Half term had nothing under £1000 a couple of months ago, now there’s stuff at £600. Given the proximity, this is also the same as pre covid.
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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!
Looking to rent out of GVA Swiss side for 5 days from 30/3. Down from £480 to £380 since last week.

Still way too dear but any aficionados got a view on where this could get to?

Ideally want the convenience of a car but might have to plump for a private transfer (2 pax) outbound to get on the slopes pm and a bus back late on the Sunday if prices don't drop.
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Now down to £267 Swiss side, £220 French side. Is the chew of getting to French side worth £40 saving?
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Quote:

I choose the Swiss side as its
a) Faster to get anywhere (France or Suisse) imo
b) Faster return ( if you are flying to UK) imo
b) You get winter tyres guaranteed in winter BUT
c) Beware car choice -- some ( notably SUVs ) are not supplied with chains

My experience is different probably because I almost always rent from the French side.

a/ I alsways seem to miss the motorway from the Swiss side and spend 20 minutes or so driving around the minor streets of Geneva.
b/ From the Swiss side you have to wait for the shuttle bus. From the French side you park at the terminal. And if you have only carry on luggage walk very quickly through security straight to the airside lounge. There is never a queue at security French side. Once again I find the route easier to follow from the motorway.

It probably depends very much on what you are used to and what you are prepared to pay. For my trip at the end of January I used the Swiss side as it was cheeper. It took about half an hour longer to get to the French border (I got lost again) and a similar amount longer on return.
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@Ski Tyke, No is the simple answer. Swiss side will definitely have winter tyres and French might now. Swiss side will have the vignette. Much easier to drop off on return.
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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.
@johnE, just head to the right out of the airport (not turning left over the motorway, which will take you back round to the airport exit or onto the eastbound motorway), or right out of car park 51 (which might require a trip round the obvious block, can't remember) follow your nose for about a mile, if that, down past the Blandonnet Centre (with the COOP) and then IKEA. After about a mile, if that, turn left at that T junction immediately after IKEA, but be aware that you are almost immediately turning right - so be in the most right hand of the left turning lanes. Then almost immediately right onto the motorway. Unless French cars already have a Swiss vignette you do, of course, have to buy one before using the Swiss motorway.... which can be a bit of a pain.

I sympathise with your having got lost though (well, I sympathise with your having got lost once...... wink ). It's easy to get lost round there, especially with the different road sign colours between Switzerland and France.
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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
@johnE, Always seems easy and quick to get on the motorway from P51 where Swiss side rental cars are. And you don't have to take the bus, it is an easy 5 min stroll from the terminal (especially easy with hand luggage only)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@johnE, would not using goole maps/Satnav not help in not getting lost?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
satnavs and google maps can be very confusing round Geneva airport - even quite reasonable map-readers can go wrong. Satnavs are particularly hopeless for taking you back to the French side - and the fact that ALL roadsigns to Gva airport take you to the international side doesn't help. Marriages have foundered on the arguments it causes. The very simple directions have been posted many times on Snowheads - it's one of those things which is easy once you know how, but very frustrating in the meantime.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@pam w, true, I’ve still missed turn offs using them but not twice once you seem the layout on screen and in real life, whereas I find map reading from the number 2 seat not always clear even second time around.

“Go left”
“Which left, this one or the next?”
“The one we passed just before!”
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Also confusing is that there are lots of signposts saying 'France', but not letting you know which bit of France.....
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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?
Ski Tyke wrote:
Now down to £267 Swiss side, £220 French side. Is the chew of getting to French side worth £40 saving?


No

I used the French side at half term, for the first time in years. I concluded the £500+ saving was worth it, but no way for £40. Got a Peugeot with 25,000 km on the clock a dozen scratches/dents, the adblue warning light on, 30mins wait for pickup and dropoff (despite being in the loyalty scheme etc.), and run out of the (prebooked) snow socks at checkin. Luckily there was a pair in the boot.

Add to that the longer journey, lack of snow tyres, and a walk to the car that was _longer_ than walking on the Swiss side.

Ignore the shuttle bus on the Swiss side, just follow the signs for Terminal 2, then cross over into the multi storey.
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I used to rent from the French side because it used to be cheaper (although taking into account what they were charging for chains that could be argued...). I never really had any problem with navigating through Geneva: if going via annecy, first right after the Ferney runway bridge, drive along the road in front of the terminal until you get to Route du Vernier, follow it out till you get to the plan-les-outes turn off, pass through the Perly gates to St J, and onto A41, simples. If going to PDS straight from Ferney to the lac and follow it round, even simpleser.

But, there's that bl00dy awful dark garage to get out of/back into with that narrow road and kerbs a foot high...

So about 4 years ago rented from the Swiss - so quick, so simple, winterised, vignette, easy access to/from the well lit garage and only 500m to get on/off the A1 and <drum> cheaper. I always book through autoeurope and it's always Swiss side now.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Worth re-checking your car bookings a few days beforehand (if cancellable) as bargains are still possible at GVA.

I've made a last minute 12 day car booking starting tomorrow for £144 from the French side via Europcar. Cheapest Fiat 500 was only £130!
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Thanks all, good knowledge!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hertz just hit me 460CHF for a scuff on the front bumper that a wet tissue removed most of; neither of us had spotted it when we checked the car over before we went back.

Photograph the hell out of every panel /corner/wheel at pickup; they are scamming the money out of the insurance.

State of my mates car at collection was unbelievable; if the scuff was 460CHF, His should have been written off at previous return.

There was a lot of arguing and additional marking up of the handover ticket before he accepted the car.

I got screwed on the return.

Take a tin of wd40 in case would be a wise move.
Given the panel damage on a lot of cars, would hate to think what they are surcharging those drivers
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