Currently, drivers in Switzerland pay 40 francs (around €36) a year to use the county’s motorways (or ‘A’ roads). Tourists also have to pay this amount even if they are only using the roads in question for a day or two.
Drivers are able to prove they have paid this 40-franc amount by displaying a sticker known as the ‘vignette’ on their car windscreen. The fine for not buying the motorway sticker – or for not displaying it correctly – is 200 francs.
Electronic motorway sticker not linked to a single car
Now, however, the Swiss government wants to introduce a second option of a so-called ‘e-vignette’ or electronic motorway sticker.
If the Swiss parliament backs the plans, the new electronic motorway sticker would be launched in 2022.
People would, however, still have the option of using the traditional sticker if they prefer.
In both cases, the price would remain 40 francs a year.
People opting to use the planned electronic motorway sticker would have to register their number plate using an app. These ‘e-vignettes’ would therefore be linked to a number plate and not an actual vehicle as is the case with the physical stickers.
Checks would be carried out by cantonal police using mobile cameras and by federal customs authorities.
In other words, in future, if you buy a new car during the year but keep your old number plate, or if use a ‘transferable number plate’ (‘Wechselschild’ or ‘plaque interchangeable’) which allows you to place the same plate on two or more cars, you won’t need to buy multiple electronic motorway stickers.
International drivers and tourists
Under the plans, traditional motorway stickers would only be available for sale in Switzerland and near the border. Drivers wishing to purchase a vignette from further afield would have to purchase the electronic version and register their number plate online.