I'm planning a 4-week trip next summer and have noticed that renting the car (via autoeurope.com site) in Switzerland or Austria is much more expensive (approx 1200 USD) than Italy or Germany (approx 700 USD). Interestingly, the rates for Italy actually include CDW and Theft Protection insurance, which seems like a steal (so there must be a catch)!

I was able to find that in CH/AT they show a "credit card block" of 300 CHF or 660 Euro respectively, but it wasn't clear if that was included in the listed price and then refunded upon return or if there are some other taxes/fees imposed in those countries for some reason.

The rates above were all for the same time frame, car type and company (Hertz). I just changed the pickup/dropoff location to all the cities we could fly into. Is there a reason for the jump in those 2 countries and the apparent deal in Italy?

Edit: I did find that AutoEurope includes CDW/TP in the rate on rentals in Italy, but that doesn't explain why the base rate is so much cheaper in comparison to Germany, for example.

In Italy, the law requires that you must carry certain types of insurances: Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. For your convenience, Auto Europe's rates in Italy include these insurances....

1 Answer 1


Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Most things are more expensive there.

A meal at McDonalds starts at around 10 euros for the most basic budget version, if someone is earning 20-30 euros an hour they’re considered very lowly paid.

Austria isn’t quite so bad, but after the Nordics and Switzerland it is probably the most expensive country in Europe.

Italy on the other hand tends to be fairly cheap for a rich first world country.

In terms of hidden taxes and fees beyond the general Swiss-premium, there is the motorway vignette in Switzerland, a pass which costs 40 CHF a year and is necessary if you wish to use Swiss motorways. This is included in the cost of rentals within Switzerland but not from third countries.

  • 3
    there is no month vignette in Switzerland, only for an year - and it costs 40 CHF
    – Dirty-flow
    May 15, 2019 at 13:09
  • 4
    Austria is not generally an expensive country. As a tourist I would rate it cheaper than Italy. May 15, 2019 at 16:23
  • @Belle-Sophie By most definitions of Third World (developing nation = poor country), Switzerland would most definitely not be considered to be one. Jun 27, 2019 at 17:57

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