I'm about to rent a car to travel in Switzerland and I'm unsure what kind of fuel they use there.

When you rent a car, do they specify what fuel is used or the entire Switzerland uses the same fuel for cars?

And what about refueling at the gas stations:

  • In USA for instance, you go inside the shop, pay for a specific amount and the cashier set the pump for that amount of fuel you paid. What is the process used in Switzerland?
  • In South America, there is a person who will operate the pump and you can pay that person directly.

How does it work in Switzerland?

  • Most pump stations in the US just take your credit card at the pump itself.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 4:14
  • @JonathanReez Often this won't work for foreign credit cards (or apparently won't work, since the pump demands a ZIP code), so for a traveler, going inside and buying a specific amount is the only option.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 15:36
  • @MJeffryes Yep... without the zip code, tourists from other countries can't use CC at the pump. You can use the CC or money inside the shop to paying for the gas. It's not an inconvenience at all! It's even a nice thing because you can improve your english while speaking with the person or hearing people talking while you wait. I found those experiences amazing sometimes! :)
    – vianna77
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 0:30
  • What I do fail to see answers mentioning here, is that when you rent a car, you have to return it with the same amount of fuel it was given to you, or otherwise you pay a fine to the renter. Commented May 20, 2019 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


In Switzerland both gasoline and diesel are used. You will definitely be informed of which one to use when renting a car. See the picture below for a selection of cars from Avis as example. 'Mixed' doesn't mean that you can use either, it just means that in this class they have both gasoline and diesel cars.

Choice of cars by Avis

When refuelling, you will have the option of gasoline (Bleifrei or sans-plomb, which means unleaded, sometimes followed by the number 95) and diesel. The diesel pump is always black and sometimes has a cover to make sure you don't accidentally use the wrong fuel. Also, there are two types of diesel pumps, one for trucks style cars and one for diesel cars. The one for cars has a different nozzle size.

There are other types of fuel sometimes with names such as Super 98, this just indicates a type of premium fuel and you are unlikely to need this unless specified by the rental company.

As for the process of tanking, there's two options:

  • At a manned station usually with a little shop, you fill up your car first, then you go to the shop, indicate the number of your pump and pay however much you pumped.
  • At unmanned stations and often at night when the shop is closed, you enter your credit card details at a machine at the pump. Again, there's no need to indicate how much petrol you want, you just pump as much as you need and it will be deducted from your card.

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