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    Geneva Airport - Renting in France or Switzerland

    Some of you may have noticed that Auto Europe's booking engine lists Geneva both under Switzerland and under France. This happens because, as I'm sure you are aware, Geneva Airport, which is right on the French-Swiss border, actually has a French and a Swiss section and you can choose to pick up your car hire on either side. The right side for you will depend on many factors and there are advantages to picking up a vehicle in either section. Here are some things you might want to consider.

    First of all, rentals in the French sector tend to be cheaper than rentals in the Swiss sector, despite the fact that VAT is lower in Switzerland than in France. This might seem like a great thing, and for many people cheaper is always better, but there are other things to take into consideration.

    If you want to drive in the Swiss motorway system, you will need a highway vignette. Many suppliers in the Swiss side already provide their cars with this vignette, but very few cars in the French side have it. On the other hand, if you want to drive in France, you want to make sure there is a Breathalyser in the car, in order to comply with French legislation, and while rental companies in the French side are bound to include these in their vehicles, you are unlikely to find them in cars in the Swiss side.

    If you are going to the mountains or to areas with snow, you may need winter tyres. All the suppliers in the Swiss sector supply their vehicles with winter tyres during the winter months, in order to comply with Swiss legislation. Normally winter tyres are already included in the price you pay for the car, but in some cases, suppliers list them as extras and you will have to pay for it locally (Our trusty 'Product Information' section includes all the necessary information regarding winter tyres).

    If you book a car in the French section, the cars are normally not equipped with winter tyres (at most they may be equipped with all season tyres), but you can always rent snow chains locally. While snow tyres are not mandatory in France, snow chains are - under certain conditions - so if you're going to travel in areas where you expect snow or up in the mountains, you're always better off getting the chains.

    Pro tip: buying chains often proves cheaper than having to rent them locally.

    Please note that if you want to avoid the Swiss motorway when picking up a vehicle in the French side, you will have to cross Geneva. If you are not familiar with the city, you might consider picking up a GPS at the rental desk.Please note that regardless of the side in which you pick up the vehicle, you will need to return the car to that same side of the airport, or a 'one way' fee may apply.

    I hope you found this article informative. As always, you are welcome to come pay us a visit and leave us your comments or questions on Facebook or Twitter.

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