Holiday in Switzerland

Do I need an E-vignette or a lump-sum heavy vehicle charge?

by Florian König, - September 20th 2023

Switzerland is centrally located in the middle of Europe and serves as a transit country for travel to Italy, France, Liechtenstein and Austria. It is also a popular travel destination with many toll roads and motorways. 

Since 1985 (after a referendum), there has been an obligation in Switzerland to pay a national road tax on motorways and motorways. This measure is intended to ensure that all travellers contribute to the costs of maintenance, operation and new construction of the Swiss motorways, maintenance, operation and new construction of the Swiss motorways. 

A vignette is required for the use of Swiss motorways and motor roads by car, motorbike or "small" motorhome as well as also trailers weighing up to 3.5 tonnes. In contrast, all motorhomes over 3.5 tonnes are subject to the so-called lump-sum heavy vehicle charge (PSVA), which is payable for all days the vehicle or trailer is in Switzerland.

Autobahn in der Schweiz

Compulsory vignette in Switzerland - Important to know

In Switzerland, there is a compulsory vignette for all vehicles and trailers with a permissible total weight of up to 3.5 tonnes. This regulation applies to all motorways and roads marked with a white-green sign. 

For motorbikes, trikes, quads and cars including their trailers, there are only annual vignettes in Switzerland. The validity of this vignette always corresponds to the current calendar year and begins on 1 December of the previous year until the end of the following year in January - thus, under ideal ordering conditions, it can be used over a longer period than just for the current year.

For example, in order to make a journey to or through Switzerland in October 2023, it is necessary that you have a valid annual vignette for the year 2023.

If you choose to purchase the Swiss digital vignette in December of a year, you can then even use it for journeys to and through Switzerland up to a maximum validity period of fourteen months.

For your attention: 

  • If you order an e-vignette Switzerland during the year, it is valid until 31 January of the following year at the latest! 
  • Even if you only want to drive through Switzerland for a single day, buying an annual vignette is compulsory.

Toll for motorhomes and vehicles over 3.5 tonnes

For all motorhomes weighing more than 3.5 tonnes - including trailers - the so-called lump-sum heavy vehicle charge (PSVA) applies in Switzerland. It is important to note here: This tax is due even if the vehicle in question is only in the country but is not moved at all temporarily, e.g. during a standstill period on holiday at a campsite. In contrast to the Swiss vignette, the PSVA for Switzerland can be booked on a staggered basis for periods of seven days, one month or one year. 

Only the access routes from Austria to the Swiss customs exclusion zone Samnaun are exempt from the flat-rate heavy vehicle fee (PSVA). 

You can purchase the lump-sum heavy vehicle charge (PSVA) for your motorhome over 3.5 tonnes simply and easily at 

For your attention: 

  • If a trailer weighing more than 3.5 tonnes is attached to the vehicle, the PSVA must be obtained for it at a manned customs office at the border with Switzerland, 
  • If the trailer weighs up to 3.5 tonnes, however, an E-vignette is required for it.

Landkarte der Schweiz

How the toll is controlled in Switzerland? 

To be allowed to drive on Swiss motorways, you need the Swiss e-vignette or flat-rate heavy vehicle fee (PSVA). There are no exceptions - a fact that makes it easier for the authorities to carry out checks. If you travel without a valid e-vignette or PSVA, you will be fined immediately. Surveillance is carried out by cameras and classic roadside checks alike. 

The fine for driving without a vignette can be up to 200 Swiss francs - it is then much cheaper to buy a valid sticker for Switzerland! If you have actually committed an offence and received a fine, it is advisable to pay it as soon as possible. It is advisable to pay it as soon as possible to avoid further and often even higher fines. 

The cooperation of European governments in the collection of fines from abroad is being steadily expanded to ensure that offences can be punished across states. In addition, further fees may become due if payment is not made on time. 

We therefore strongly recommend: If you want to travel to or through Switzerland, you should not take any risks and purchase an e-vignette or PSVA in good time.

Simply buy the e-vignette and PSVA for Switzerland online

Use the offer at to purchase the Swiss e-vignette or lump-sum heavy vehicle charge (PSVA) for your next trip to Switzerland.

Picture credits: Titelbild © pilat666 / & Image motorway @ rachid amrous / & Map image @ Artalis-Kartographie /