Next year’s Swiss highway sticker, or vignette, is now on sale.
Every year it changes colour. This year it’s red. The last time it was this colour was in 2014.
Last year, stiffer penalties of up to 3 years in prison were introduced for vignette fraud. The amount lost from various forms of cheating is estimated to be CHF 26 million a year.
Valid from 1 December 2019 until 31 January 2021, the new stickers will be available at the same CHF 40 price in the usual places. If you have a 2019 sticker it remains valid until 31 January 2020. Cars, motorcycles and trailers all need a valid sticker to be used on Switzerland’s federal road network shown here.
Motorway costs and charging practices vary significantly across Europe. Germany charges nothing while CHF 40 does not get motorists far on French or Italian highways.
Criticisms of Switzerland’s current system include the high cost of vignettes for trailers and motorcycles (CHF 40), and the need for those with one set of license plates, that can be used on multiple cars, to pay for every car when they can only ever drive one at any given moment.
Electronic passes to replace the stickers are in the pipeline and will be available from 2022 at the earliest, says the government. These will be cheaper for trailers and motorcycles and will offer an option to pay once for one set of vehicle licence plates.
Not all Swiss roads require the sticker. However, in 2020 it will be slightly harder to avoid those that do. All roads managed by the federal government require the sticker. From from 1 January 2020 a number of roads formerly managed by cantons will be transferred to federal government management. The new roads included from 1 January 2020 are shown here.
You can pick up a 2020 vignette at a service station, garage, post office, customs border and at some retailers.