Travel - Car Hire

One of the most popular methods of travelling to a Chalet in Morzine is to fly to Geneva's Cointrin Airport, (GVA), just across the border in Switzerland, hire a car, and then drive back across the border into France. With just over a one hour drive to Morzine it is one of the most efficient ways to get to your chalet, and has the advantage of providing transport throughout your holiday.

 Swiss Motorway Tax Vignette When hiring a car from any of the companies at Geneva Airport, always choose the "Swiss side" of the airport, or choose Switzerland as your destination country. This ensures that you get a Swiss registered car which will have the Swiss motorway tax vignette on the windscreen. In Switzerland you pay an annual motorway tax, even if you're only using the motorways for a one off ten minute trip. It is possible to drive back into France and on to Morzine without using the Swiss motorways, but for an easy straightforward, and usually quicker run, the motorways are the way to do it.

Car Hire at Geneva Airport (alphabetical)

 Avis Logo
Example manufacturers - Ford, Renault, Peugeot. No first hand experiences to report. If you use this company, please let us know what you think.

 Budget Logo
Example manufacturers - Mazda and Opel. One good experience when booking was upgraded free of charge from Mazda M3 to brand new Mazda M6 estate. Front wheel drive, but with traction control is very good in snowy conditions. One recorded bad experience with a fuel surcharge levied without warning after the event on an Opel Meriva where the fuel gauge needle didn't ever quite reach the maximum line despite being full. Mireva wheel diameter is too small to be recommended in snowy conditions, and also wallows too much in the bends.

 Europcar Logo
Example manufacturers - Volkswagen and Skoda. Numerous good experiences of VW Golfs, both diesel and petrol and all very good. One good experience of a free upgrade to a new Skoda Octavia 4 wheel drive estate which is a surprisingly good car and must be the number one choice for snowy conditions. One bad experience where the car was booked through the EasyJet web site which will usually show a token saving of around 10.00 GBP. Experience shows that you are highly unlikely to get the car you expect via EasyJet, with a smaller Nissan Micra with a tiny boot being substituted for the expected VW Golf. If booked through EasyJet it seems that you will always be treated as a lower priority customer, so booking direct with Europcar is always recommended.

 Hertz Logo
Example manufacturers - Opel, Ford, Toyota. One of the few web sites that allow online booking with a French pickup (Lyon) and a Swiss return (Geneva) with an Opel Zafira booked simply for load carrying capacity. The wheel diameters are too small to be recommended in snowy conditions. Swiss ground staff would not believe that a Swiss return had been booked and tried to insist that a major detour to return the vehicle to the French side of Geneva Airport would be required. Mixture of good and bad experience.

 National Alamo Logo
These two seem to be owned by the same parent company, share a fleet, share a desk, but operate as two separate companies. There are reports of one being cheaper than the other for the same vehicle, and there are reports of staff issues where two sets of employees man the same desk with limited cross brand co-operation. No first hand experiences to report, so make your own judgement.

 Sixt Logo
Example manufacturers - Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford. No first hand experiences to report. If you use this company, please let us know what you think.

General Advice

Beware of EasyCar whose "Geneva Airport" location is actually a five minute drive into the centre of Geneva. They also have the dubious practice of charging for a full tank of petrol, your challenge being to take the car back empty!

Experience has shown that it is usually cheaper to hire two cars than it is to hire a "people carrier", regardless of the company used.

Car Hire Parking - October 2008 changes

Prior to October 2008, all of the Car Rental Companies had their car parking right outside the terminal building on level "-2" of the multi-storey car park. It seems that some companies still occupy a very much reduced area of this car park. The vast majority of cars however are now parked in the "P51" car park. This means a short free shuttle bus trip to transfer you and your baggage to vehicle pick-up after you have visited the rental desk in the terminal. You should allow an extra five or ten minutes for this new extra step.

When returning your vehicle, be aware that the new signs are not particularly clear or concise. You need to keep left to drive past the terminal building with the "P1" multi-story car park on your right, and then keep right in order to take the slip road after the "WTCI" building in order to drive along the front of the "WTCII" building which will bring you to the entrance of the new "P51" Car Park. The map below should help to avoid any problems.

View the full size version of this map here.
Get the pdf version of this map here.

 Geneva Airport Car Hire Car Parks