Anyone wanting to drive on Switzerland’s motorway network must buy a vignette, a road tax sticker introduced in 1985 which currently costs CHF 40. This sticker must be displayed on the windscreen. From next week it will be possible to buy an electronic alternative to the physical sticker, reports Switzerland’s Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS).
Those opting for electronic vignettes will have their licence plate numbers entered into a system that automatically checks whether there is an e-vignette registered to the plate.
From 1 August 2023 the e-vignette can be bought via the federal government website www.e-vignette.ch at the same price of CHF 40.
To apply motorists need to enter the vehicle category, country of registration and license plate. A user account and information about the person buying the vignette are not required. You can pay for the vignette online.
The biggest difference between the two versions is the sticker is linked to the vehicle while the e-vignette is linked to the number plate.
Some people are concerned electronic vignettes could infringe on personal privacy and question the effectiveness of data protection. In response to these concerns, in 2018, the federal government announced that the new electronic vignette would be optional.
A vignette is not required for all Swiss roads. An interactive map shows which routes require it.
The government expects to collect as much CHF 17 million less p.a. once the electronic version is fully rolled out. This is due to it being linked to the license plate rather than the vehicle. If someone buys a new car during the year they will not need to buy a new vignette because it will automatically transfer over to the new vehicle when the plate is transferred – in Switzerland license plates are person-specific rather than car-specific. On the other hand, more money will be collected per vignette. 10% of the cost of the current sticker is paid to the retailers that sell them. With e-vignettes 100% of the price goes to the administration.