Zurich Airport Guide
at Zurich Airport

Car Hire Zurich Airport

Zurich Airport is well known to be the largest airport in Switzerland, and is international, with over twenty two million passengers per year. The airport is also commonly referred to as Kloten Airport, due to its location nearby this town, and has the official airport code of ZRH. The city centre of Zurich is approximately 12 km, or 7 miles from the airport, and Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is also the country’s capital city, and a financial and business hub for the region, as well as a popular location for tourists. The best way to explore the city and its surrounding areas, as well as the Swiss Alps, is by rented car. There is a good selection of cars for hire at Zurich Airport, from a number of car rental companies.

The car hire companies found at Zurich Airport are located on the upper floor of the airport shopping centre, or at the parking 3-garage area. They include the major companies of Hertz, Avis, Europcar, National, Sixt, Budget, Auto Europa, Alamo and Easycar. These are car rental companies well known around the world, and all offer very competitive rental rates and a wide range of car hire services. However, car rental can become expensive, therefore it is best to search online for the best prices. A comparison website can be used, or the individual car hire company’s website can be browsed for more information regarding their rates. Links to the websites of the Zurich Airport car rental companies at Zurich Airport can be found from the relevant pages.
Zurich Airport is a very busy establishment, with two large terminals, and a third midfield terminal that was more recently constructed. Transport between the terminals is provided by underground airport trains, which serve as a very efficient people mover system. The Skymetro links the new terminal to the main terminal building, and is an automated system available 24 hours a day. The trains between the two main terminals are also available every few minutes. Car hire can be in high demand at Zurich Airport, therefore it is recommended for travellers to arrange their vehicles in advance. The easiest way to make a booking is from the chosen car hire company’s website. Additional items of equipment, such as child seats, satellite navigation systems and ski racks should also be reserved as early as possible, as they are subject to availability.

At Zurich Airport, one way hire may be a good option for passengers who will not be returning to the airport. A one way rental will allow the vehicle to be returned to another city, or even country, but there may be additional costs involved for this service. The car hire companies may also cater for disabled drivers, by offering hand controls at Zurich Airport. Hand controls assist a driver with a lower limb deficiency, as they operate the brake and accelerator pedals of the vehicle, which is usually of a certain automatic variety. At Zurich Airport, hand controls should be requested at least 48 hours in advance of your arrival at the airport.

Hired vehicles will come with a full tank of fuel, but various fuel policies are available for customers with different lengths of car hire periods. Longer car hires will usually require the renter to pay upfront for a full tank of fuel, but half a tank can be purchased for shorter rental periods. When a full tank is purchased, the vehicle can be returned empty, or it should be returned half full for the second option. Individuals may also be able to avoid paying for fuel upfront, and then simply return the rented car with a full tank of fuel. Always ensure that you know which type of fuel your rented car will use, as it may be diesel or petrol. Costs for cleaning the engine may be added to your rental should the wrong type be used. When returning your rented car to Zurich Airport, follow the signs that read ‘Departures, Rental Car Return’, and give back the keys to the vehicle as required by your car hire company.

Vehicles hired from Zurich Airport may be similar to the Opel Corsa, Fiat Panda, VW Polo or Ford Fiesta. These are all vehicles of a smaller size, light on fuel and with good rental rates, however, if a larger vehicle is required, the VW Passat, Mitsubishi Lancer, Renault Laguna and Opel Insignia may be more suitable. These vehicles have more room for luggage, and are ideal for up to five passengers. Estate vehicles are hired by the majority of the car rental companies at Zurich Airport, as well as van-type vehicles, seating between seven and nine passengers. These larger vehicles may be similar to the Renault Grand Espace, Ford S-Max, Ford Transit Bus or Renault Traffic.

Driving in Switzerland is on the right-hand side of the road, and road rules should be obeyed at all times. The general speed limits for Zurich and other areas are as follows:  120 km/h or 75 mph on motorways and highways, 80 km/h or 50 mph on open roads and 50 km/h or 30 mph in urban areas. It is relatively easy to drive in the city of Zurich, but towards the centre traffic can become congested, and there are not many parking spaces available. Along the streets, there may be metered parking spaces, but motorists may only use the parking space for an hour or two. Alternatively, the unrestricted ‘blue zones’ are a better option, and day passes can be purchased for their use.

At the majority of the car hire companies at Zurich Airport, the primary renter should be at least between 21 and 25 years of age, and have a valid drivers license and major credit card. The rental terms and conditions for each car rental company may vary, therefore its best to confirm the details with your chosen car hire service.  

Related Information
Alamo ZurichAuto Europe Zurich
Avis ZurichBudget Zurich
EasyCar ZurichEuropcar Zurich
Hertz ZurichNational Zurich
Sixt Zurich