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Cross-border car rental insurance from GVA?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
New this season for some of the rental companies at Geneva Airport (Swiss side) seems to be a compulsory insurance charge if you plan to take the car outside of Switzerland, notably for France which many people will be heading to from GVA.

Avis and Budget both levy this charge, which is around 10 CHFs per day. Alamo (and I assume National & Enterprise as I think they are the same group) don’t levy this charge.

Anyone know which other rental companies at GVA do or don’t charge extra for taking the car to France?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I came across this last May - it's quite a hefty charge and difficult to imagine it actually costs them much, if anything. If it's not clear upfront it makes it harder to compare the costs of Swiss v French side rental - it would certainly cover the cost of a Swiss vignette.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I don't understand this. Normal Swiss car insurance automatically covers you for all of Europe (such that years back when I was asking for a green card it very much confused them - they don't even issue a certificate, just list the insurer on your reg document which will be modified or withdrawn if you change or fail to renew the insurance). No firsthand experience of renting to go outside of CH, but it sounds like a bit of a con.

Could it be that it's not for the vehicle insurance per se, but to cover breakdown and recovery from outside CH?
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Many years ago there was an 'International Rescue surcharge' which I think disappeared with the widening of the EU, maybe its being reintroduced.
If its 10 chf or Eur a day it will certainly make it cheaper to rent from the French sector.
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@boredsurfin, I’d be happy to pay that if you did get the Thunderbirds turning out.
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Are you sure it's for going to France? I read it as applying only for taking the car to certain othr countries.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I was certainly charged in May for taking a car to France. I think it was Europcar.
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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!
JDL65 wrote:
Are you sure it's for going to France? I read it as applying only for taking the car to certain othr countries.
Avis said, last week, that it was for going outside Switzerland.
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We have booked with Budget through Auto Europe and our voucher states:
* Travel is permitted into W. Europe and Czech Republic at no additional charge. Travel is permitted Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Greece for a fee of approx. CHF 41.96 per day (max of approx. CHF 419.64).

At time of booking we stated we would be going to France and that is also on the voucher earlier on.
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Chaletbeauroc wrote:
Could it be that it's not for the vehicle insurance per se, but to cover breakdown and recovery from outside CH?
The guy at the Avis desk said vehicle insurance and was new this winter, not their roadside assistance. I booked it via BA Holidays so got in touch with them after the rental (as there was no confirmation of this when I booked, other than a vague reference to "If you're planning to take your car into another country, restrictions may apply. Please enquire prior to rental"). BA confirmed the price was 10.81 CHF per day and it can't be pre-paid, only at the desk when you collect the car.
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pam w wrote:
I was certainly charged in May for taking a car to France. I think it was Europcar.


Europcar certainly don’t, Hertz certainly do. With Hertz it’s a flat CHF30.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Is that 30F for the whole rental period? My reservation in May was through holiday autos - can't remember which firm it was with.
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pam w wrote:
Is that 30F for the whole rental period? My reservation in May was through holiday autos - can't remember which firm it was with.


Yep - “cross border fee”

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
andy from embsay wrote:
pam w wrote:
I was certainly charged in May for taking a car to France. I think it was Europcar.


Europcar certainly don’t, Hertz certainly do. With Hertz it’s a flat CHF30.


Picked car up yesterday from swiss side with europcar & they didnt even ask where i was going
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
andy from embsay wrote:
pam w wrote:
I was certainly charged in May for taking a car to France. I think it was Europcar.


Europcar certainly don’t, Hertz certainly do. With Hertz it’s a flat CHF30.


Picked car up yesterday from swiss side with europcar & they didnt even ask where i was going
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Jonny996 wrote:
andy from embsay wrote:
pam w wrote:
I was certainly charged in May for taking a car to France. I think it was Europcar.


Europcar certainly don’t, Hertz certainly do. With Hertz it’s a flat CHF30.


Picked car up yesterday from swiss side with europcar & they didnt even ask where i was going


No, they’re refreshingly non-hard sell. Contrast with Europcar at Lyon who I rented with when I was there for the rugby. They spent all their time trying upsell bigger cars and insurance to Aussies and Kiwis. Whereas at Geneva they never try and sell upgraded cars (though I’m supposed to get a double upgrade free because i’m in their loyalty programme) or extra insurance.
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I've never been asked in the past. But asked at the desk, obviously I said I was taking the car to France. Knowing the propensity of car hire companies to find ways of getting us to pay more money, the undertaking that you're NOT taking the car anywhere else might be built into the small print......
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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?
I've rented quite a few times from Europcar and not had any problems. Can't remember which company I'd rented from when we had major hassles with puncture on a car with stupid can of gunk and no spare.
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I have two booking coming up and just checked T&Cs booked via Rentalcars.com

Sixt say you can drive in other countries but depending on the car there may be an additional charge and I should contact hire company to confirm blah blah blah - I have been charged this more recently

Europcar says you can drive in France.

So conclusion down to the T&Cs of the idividual hire company
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@alti - dude, I just gave up with using aggregators in the end - I joined Europcar’s loyalty scheme to get 10% off, quicker check in, free weekends and (eventually) a free 2nd driver.
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Interestingly, Budget have asked me to produce a DVLA Licence code, something I've never come across before.
It's easy to obtain, just need your drivers licence number, NI number and post code.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@JDL65, at what point did they ask you and how long does it take to produce the code?
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denfinella wrote:
@JDL65, at what point did they ask you and how long does it take to produce the code?


I completed their digital check in, then got an email from them on Friday evening which asked for the code as part of what you need when you pick up the car.
It takes less than 5 minutes to get the code (the link is in Budget's email) so long as you know your DL and NI numbers and post code. Code is valid for 21 days IIRC.
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@denfinella, getting the code is instantaneous (if the system recognises you from the data) or you can ring and get one pretty quickly.

The odd thing is that check is primarily for and really only done by UK rental cos on UK licenses as physical UK licenses don’t carry endorsements anymore. Overseas rental cos. don’t (or didn’t) demand it.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Mon 22-01-24 10:46; edited 1 time in total
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@ster, good to know. I've seen it asked for in the small print before, but have never been asked to produce it at the hire desk I don't think.
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Hmm, interesting thread. I've just checked booking.com T&C my upcoming booking with Avis through them and it states that cross-border travel is allowed on request. No fee mentioned (but fee explicitly stated for Poland / Eastern European countries).

But Avis T&C for Switzerland (after a bit of digging) state a minimum of CHF10.81/day.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
These cross border charges seem to be contagious. I'm hiring at Turin airport for travel into France at Easter and the charge is €100 for the week. That's with Ecovia via Autoeurope. Don't remember ever paying such a charge before.
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Just as an aside (hope that's ok) we recently flew into GVA for a hire car up to Grand Massif, we found that the hire car prices on the swiss side of GVA were almost double the cost compared to if you hire on the French side. It was super easy to walk / transfer into the French side of the airport and head to the car hire desk, we were flabbergasted at the price difference. Worth checking IMO
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We are regular renters year round from GVA CH to drive to Chatel and its very hit an miss as to whether they ask for this buy I have not kept track which of the rental companies demand the fee. Its irritating as we only drive 4 kms into France and 4 kms out again to the border in Morgins if the car sits in the garage for the weekend.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Ozboy, easy way to check - type in your dates on Autoeurope and click on whichever hire company(s) you're wondering about. It will say in the Ts&Cs.

I've hired through several companies from Geneva and haven't had to pay the cross border fee yet, but realise it's becoming more widespread (and the base price is going up and up too, which is really putting me off hiring from Geneva!).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I wonder what the implication of NOT paying the charge is?

I rented from Avis a few weeks back; I wasn't charged and didn't realise I was supposed to be at the time.

However, in not paying the charge, did I render the rental invalid? Lose the insurance or breakdown cover? or just cost Avis some lost profit?
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You'd never know, I guess, unless you broke down or had a problem of any sort in France. If you weren't asked at the desk, it wouldn't be your fault - though it would be difficult to prove that.
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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?
@pam w, @snowdave, if you put it in the notes at the same time as booking, and have a record of that, that would help in case of problems.
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Just picked my rental car up from Avis at Geneva airport. No cross border charge, desk explained that it only applies to rentals booked from 1st Jan 2024. I booked mine last year therefore no charge Eh oh!
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As above, picked up car from Budget at GVA yesterday. Cross border charge applies to all bookings from 1st January 2024.
Will be interesting to see if some companies impose the charge and others don't, and then how that might impact business levels.
Hopefully it will be a shot me in the foot charge that is short lived.
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rob@rar wrote:
JDL65 wrote:
Are you sure it's for going to France? I read it as applying only for taking the car to certain othr countries.
Avis said, last week, that it was for going outside Switzerland.


It's the latest racket. It obviously costs them nowt but they are screwing customers for a new charge. The Germans have started doing it from Munich airport, for taking cars into Austria - when it has been free for the last 25 years before now rolling eyes .
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@Bergmeister, we paid a cross border charge in Munich with Buchbinder back in 2016 to take a car into Austria, so not a new thing.
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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!
JDL65 wrote:
As above, picked up car from Budget at GVA yesterday. Cross border charge applies to all bookings from 1st January 2024.
Will be interesting to see if some companies impose the charge and others don't, and then how that might impact business levels.
Hopefully it will be a shot me in the foot charge that is short lived.
Alamo don’t (currently) charge for cross border travel. I booked with them rather than Budget/Avis for a trip in April. That will continue to be the case for next winter’s rentals unless their overall price is more than Avis, etc.
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sugarmoma666 wrote:
@Bergmeister, we paid a cross border charge in Munich with Buchbinder back in 2016 to take a car into Austria, so not a new thing.


Me too but even before then
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