Customers who contact Gemut.com regarding rental cars in Geneva, Basel, Zürich or St. Gallen, Switzerland, are advised that prices in nearby cities of other countries are much, much less expensive. Switzerland's car rental rates are among the highest in Europe and, depending on the city, a five-minute walk, a 45-minute ferry crossing, a 15-minute taxi ride, or a 90-minute train trip can save hundreds of dollars.
The "no-brainer" is the Geneva Airport where an intermediate car for one week on the Swiss side of the airport with tax is $444, including airport fee. But walk through the airport to the French side and the price is $298 plus the airport fee of €39. In Basel, the tab for an intermediate sedan is also $444 but just across the Rhine in Lörrach, Germany, it's just $253. The numbers are the same for St. Gallen and Zürich where the best rate for an intermediate car is $503. From St. Gallen, cross the Bodensee on a ferry to Lindau or Friedrichshafen, however, and get the same car for $253. The closest alternative to Zürich is Singen, Germany, about 90 minutes by train. The same intermediate vehicle that costs $444 at the Zürich airport is $253 in Singen. Oddly enough, this year there seems to be little difference in the price of cars picked up Swiss airports vs. downtown locations. Get a quote.