*Based on an individual aged 31 with no pre-existing medical conditions taking single trip cover for 7 days to Spain. Cover starts on October 1, 2022 and ends on October 7, 2022. Price correct as of September 30, 2022.
We compare a huge range of one-way and return car hire deals from over 20 leading rental companies
While a car isn’t necessary to see Geneva itself, having your own wheels is the best way to access the various spa towns, ski resorts and magnificent lakeside scenes nearby. With Geneva car hire, the vistas of both Switzerland and France are yours to explore.
Language: French | Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF) | Avg. Flight time: 1 hr 50m
You can easily pick up a cheap hire car from Geneva Airport (GVA), also known as Geneva Cointrin. The airport straddles the border between France and Switzerland, so you can choose between good value car hire on Geneva Airport French side, or car rental at Geneva Airport in the Swiss sector.
Don't be alarmed by this seemingly confusing system, as it's really not a big deal. When you search for car hire deals on TravelSupermarket and check out the supplier's prices, you can see whether pick up is at Geneva Airport Swiss side or Geneva Airport French side.
Big brands Hertz, Avis, Enterprise and Budget all have desks at the airport, as well as some smaller companies. Compare and book car hire in advance of your trip for better deals.
For holidays exclusively in Switzerland, it makes sense to book Geneva Airport Swiss side car rental. This also includes the vignette – a paid-for sticker in the windscreen required for travel on motorways and dual carriageways. Car collection is just a few hundred metres away from the airport doors, though there are regular shuttle buses if you don't want to walk.
It can be cheaper to book Geneva Airport French side car rental, as the vignette is not included as standard. Follow the destination France signs in the airport to sort your car rental paperwork in the French sector. You will need to show your car rental contract to cross to the French sector. Again, the car parks are close by for easy collection.
It’s wise to compare and book online in advance to find the cheapest car rental in Geneva. The presence of all the major car-hire players means that prices are competitive. The cheapest Geneva car hire deals are often found well in advance of travel too, so it pays to plan smarter with TravelSupermarket.
Car hire firms with desks at Geneva Airport Swiss side include:
Avis (Tel: +41 22 929 03 30)
Budget (Tel: +41 22 929 03 30)
Enterprise (Tel: +41 58 122 04 30)
Europcar (Tel: +41 22 717 81 10)
Hertz (Tel: +41 22 717 80 80)
National Alamo (Tel: +41 58 122 04 30)
Sixt (Tel: +41 22 717 84 10)
Thrifty (Tel: +41 22 717 80 40)
Avis (Tel: +41 22 798 33 21)
Budget (Tel: +41 22 798 33 21)
Enterprise (Tel: +41 22 717 86 10)
Europcar (Tel: +41 22 717 85 95)
Hertz (Tel: +41 22 717 86 80)
Sixt (Tel: +41 22 717 84 10)
With free public transport on offer to and from the city centre, many visitors choose to spend a few days exploring the city on foot before returning to Geneva Airport to collect a hire car.
If you’d prefer the ease of a pick-up in the city centre – and are willing to brave the often-heavy traffic – then each of the main companies has one or two offices. The most common hotspots are in Le Prieure, off Quai Wilson or Rue de Lausanne, while Hertz also has a base just north of Carouge.
Geneva is exceptionally well positioned for easy driving adventures. Across the French side of the border (bring your passport!), temptations include Annecy, a canal-dotted delight to which the Counts of Geneva used to retreat every year, and the medieval hilltop village of Pérouges, reached via winding Jura Mountain roads flanked by gorgeous meadows.
Back on the Swiss side, cheese-making town Gruyères and the Château de Chillon castle, whose 9th-century walls rise directly from Lake Geneva, both excel in seducing tourists.
Further along the idyllic water await dreamy Lausanne and the Belle Époque grandeur of Montreux, while Charlie Chaplin fans flood to the actor’s former home, Vevey.
Also accessible is Ovronnaz, a village famed for its thermal baths. Swiss Alps hiking and mountaineering can be relished here in summer, while with the winter snow comes superb skiing opportunities.
Talking of which, much more of the white stuff awaits over in France. An enjoyable hour's drive will get you to the legendary resorts of Verbier, Mont Blanc, Mont Salève, and the mountain village of Chamonix. The latter is actually just as good during warmer months, with paragliding and mountain biking on offer, as well as gentle strolls.
Fuel up in France to keep costs down. Prices fluctuate, of course, but petrol in France tends to be approximately 10 pence cheaper per litre than at a Swiss petrol station.
If you’re going to use Swiss motorways, ensure that a vignette sticker is displayed on your car’s front windscreen. These should be provided when you hire a car in Switzerland, but do check – there’s a painful CHF 200 (£161) fine for motorists caught driving without one.
Note that when driving in France, a recently-introduced law has changed drink-drive limits for those who have passed their driving test within the last three years; the level of blood alcohol permitted has been lowered from 0.5 grams per litre to 0.2 grams per litre. The limit remains 0.5 grams per litre for everyone else.
All rental deals compared on TravelSupermarket include mandatory fees (for example, one-way and young driver surcharges) in your rental quote at the time of booking, meaning you’ll know the full price of your car hire upfront.
What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in Geneva?
You need to be at least 20 years old to hire a car in Geneva – that's the minimum legal age for car rental in Switzerland. You must also have a full driving licence that you've held for at least a year.
What do I need to hire a vehicle in Geneva?
You need a full driving licence that you've had for at least a year, and a payment card. Some car hire companies in Geneva may also ask for additional ID, such as your passport. An International Driving Permit is not required if you hold a UK licence.
Do I need car hire excess insurance in Geneva?
It's not a legal requirement to have car hire excess insurance in Geneva, but it is worth considering. If your car is damaged or stolen, you'll generally be liable for an excess before basic insurance covers any other charges. Car hire excess insurance covers you for that excess, so it can give you peace of mind. Compare deals online – you can usually save money by buying a third-party policy instead of the one your car hire provider offers.
Can I rent a car with a debit card in Geneva?
There are car hire companies that accept debit card in Geneva. Some only accept credit card, and you might have to pay a cash deposit if you want to use a debit card. Check with the provider or pay in advance online to be sure.
Which rental companies are available at Geneva Airport?
The car rental companies at Geneva Airport are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty.
Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off site in Geneva?
It's generally more convenient to pick up your car at the airport, which can make it more expensive than picking up off-site, though you can still get a good deal wherever you pick up. Try comparing prices for different pickup locations.
Can you rent a car in Geneva and drop it off in another city?
Yes, it's possible to rent a car in Geneva and drop it off in another city in Switzerland. You'll usually pay extra for this, and you may not be able to drop off in another country.
Can you rent a car the same day in Geneva?
Yes, it's possible to rent a car the same day in Geneva – though it obviously depends on availability, so you may have less choice at peak times. Compare different providers online first to get the best deal.
Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in Geneva?
Yes, the minimum age for car hire in Switzerland is 20. You do need to have had a full driving licence for at least a year though, and most car hire companies will class you as a 'young driver' and apply a surcharge.