This is a ROADPOL country driving guide to help drivers visiting Switzerland.

Visitor Information: 

  • The population of Switzerland is approximately 8.5 million.
  • Switzerland borders Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Liechtenstein.
  • There are 4 official languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh
  • It has 6.1 million registered vehicles of which 4.6 million are cars.
  • There are 1,893 km of motorway with more than 220 tunnels of over 200km in combined length.
  • 70% of the country is mountains with 1,500 lakes.
  • The international vehicle identity plate is 'CH'.

Collision & Breakdown Information: 

  • In a vehicle breakdown, move the vehicle to the side of the road in a safe place using emergency warning triangle if necessary. Then call the breakdown service on 140.
  • In a collision, stop the vehicle and remain at the scene. Mark the position of vehicles on the road if they have to be moved.  In the case of material damage only, then exchange insurance details. In the case of injury give assistance and call Police on 117 or 112. The Police may still be called to a damage only collision if necessary.

Useful Phrase 1 - English: 

Call the Police!

Useful Phrase 1 - Destination: 

Rufen Sie die Polizei! / Appelez la police!

Useful Phrase 2 - English: 

Do you speak English?

Useful Phrase 2 - Destination: 

Sprechen Sie Englisch? / Parlez vous anglais? /

Useful Phrase 3 - English: 

My car has broken down.

Useful Phrase 3 - Destination: 

Mein Auto hat eine Autopanne / Ma voiture est en panne.

Useful Phrase 4 - English: 

Where is the nearest fuel station?

Useful Phrase 4 - Destination: 

Wo ist die naechste Tankstelle? / Où est la station-service la plus proche?

Useful Phrase 5 - English: 

I am lost.

Useful Phrase 5 - Destination: 

Ich habe mich verirrt. / Je suis perdu.

Useful Phrase 6 - English: 

Thank you. / Merci

Useful Phrase 6 - Destination: 

Danke / Merci

Road Traffic Policing: 

  • In Switzerland every police officer carries out road traffic surveillance
  • Officers are authorised to issue on the spot fines from a catalogue of specific offences and pre-determined levels of fines.

Road Traffic Enforcement: 

  • Violations against traffic regulations are enforced by the competent traffic authority of the 26 Cantons of Switzerland.
  • More details www.swisspolice.ch
  • Emergency police contact number is 117 or 112

Individual limits and specific driving requirements: 

Motorway driving

"Autobahn-Knigge" describing the basic rules of traffic and behaviour on motorways, in German, French, Italian and English


For more information about driving in Switzerland please see the European Commission Road Safety Link - 'Going Abroad'