Car hire costs in European ski locations are between three and six times the cost of a ski pass this winter once extra costs at the rental desk are added on.

In seven European ski locations researched, a six day ski pass ranged from £158 in Bansko, Bulgaria, to £182 in Grandvalira , Andorra, and £234 at Alpe d’Huez, Grenoble (see below for full list*), while a week’s car hire plus extra payment at the rental desk i.e., a ski rack, winterisation charges, excess/waiver insurance, an extra driver, sat nav and child car seat costs totals over £1000 in Geneva, £928 in Turin, £837 in Barcelona, £761 in Grenoble, £704 in Inverness, £682 in Innsbruck and £458 in Sophia., a leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, researched seven European ski gateways to see how a skier’s costs snowballed on picking up their hire car. (NB. The hire companies of Avis, Sixt, Europcar, Budget and Hertz were researched for the hire of a medium compact car from 27 Dec 2016 to 3 Jan 2017).

Geneva is the most expensive place to hire a car for the week costing on average £418 with ‘extras’ at the rental desk, on average, costing, an additional £601, consisting of a ski rack (£53), winterisation costs (£25), i.e., snow tyres / chains, an extra driver (£90), a sat nav (£142), a child’s car seat (£61) and finally £230 for excess waiver policies (£135 for super damage waiver, £51 for super theft waiver and £44 for tyre and windscreen excess waiver).

The prices of these ‘extras’, bought from the rental desk, varied widely, e.g.,

  • Ski racks:

    Ranged from £23 with Budget and Sixt in Sofia, to over £60 in Barcelona with Avis and Budget;
  • Winterisation charges (for snow tyres / winter chains):

    Ranged from £24 in Geneva with Avis, to £49 with Europcar in Grenoble and £95 with Avis in Barcelona. Travellers need to research the driving regulations of the country they’re hiring in, otherwise they (and not the rental company) could face a fine;
  • Extra Driver:

    Ranged from £22 with Avis and Sixt in Sophia, to £56 with Avis in Grenoble, to £73 with Hertz in Barcelona and £106 with Budget in Geneva. For drivers under 25, prices can be prohibitive with rental companies, for instance, in both Inverness and Grenoble charging over £200 for a young driver
  • Sat Nav:

    Only in Sofia, which had an average hire cost of £57, did the cost of a sat nav hire fall below £80. In Geneva and Turin the average cost was over £100.
  • Car Seat:

    Costs ranged from £22 with Sixt in Sofia, to £46 with Europcar in Grenoble, £60 with Sixt in Barcelona, to £158 in Turin with Budget:
  • Car Hire Excess Insurance Waivers:

    Car rental companies often offer three different excess policies, one for theft (average cost £32), one for damage (average cost £110) and one covering tyre and windscreen protection (average cost £33). Europcar bundles these policies together in a ‘Combined Super Waiver’ policy across all destinations in the survey (apart from Innsbruck) from between £117 and £254. Other providers also bundle these products, but only in some destinations. For example Sixt offer it in Barcelona for £82, Avis in Inverness for £119, and Budget offer it in Inverness for £119 and Turin for £289.

If a hire car is damaged or stolen, even if it’s not the hirer’s fault, the hirer is liable for the first part of the claim (i.e. the excess amount) which can be up to £2500 (the excess amount in Turin with Europcar). Instead of buying these excess policies from the rental company, it’s possible to buy a policy from a specialist insurance company, like, for only £23.92 for the week (or £37.99 for an annual policy for unlimited European trips). An excess policy also includes vulnerable parts of a vehicle providing up to £6000 of protection cover.

Don’t add to your holiday costs by getting caught out when you pick up your hire car. A bit of advance planning can keep costs to a minimum, said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of Save yourself hundreds by buying your excess waiver insurance from a specialist company in advance of travelling, take your own sat nav and car seat and keep extra drivers to a minimum and you won’t be looking at a wipe-out at the rental desk.

Note to editors

Cost of Ski Passes in Seven Ski Destinations

For more information please contact:

  • Frances Knox, Frankly PR T: 07850 470123 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Cath Roan, Roan Media This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 7801817451
  • Or Ben Wooltorton, Sales and Marketing Director, Halo Insurance Services Ltd Tel: +44 7739 719 570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to Editors

Halo Insurance Services Ltd is a ground-breaking online insurance broker which was founded in 2009 by Ernesto Suarez, a leading insurance expert specialising in non-standard motor insurance. Its products include car hire insurance, van hire insurance and car club excess insurance all of which have been designed to offer more cover for a better price than the excess waivers offered at the rental desk.

Halo operates the retail brands in the UK, in Germany, in Spain, in the Netherlands, in France and in the USA. Halo also provides insurance solutions to a number of commercial partners involved in the provision of software and booking services to car hire operators around the world.

In 2016 Halo launched, which promises to save car buyers hundreds on GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance policies, compared with those purchased through car dealerships.

Awards won:

  • 2016 National Champion for the UK, The European Business Awards
  • FINALIST – 2016 Insurance Times Tech and Innovation Awards – Best Use of Technology to Improve Customer Experience
  • FINALIST – 2016 Insurance Times Tech and Innovation Awards – Insurance App of the Year
  • FINALIST - 2016 British Insurance Awards - Digital Innovation Award
  • FINALIST – 2014 British Insurance Awards – Personal Lines Broker of the Year Award
  • WINNER - 2013 British Insurance Awards – Insurance Start-Up Award
  • FINALIST - 2012 British Insurance Awards – The E-Business Award
  • WINNER - 2011 Insurance Times Awards – Broker Innovation of the Year

Halo Insurance Services Limited is registered in England number 6929208. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register No. 504629 for the sale and administration of general insurance products in the United Kingdom and throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).

Disclaimer: All prices contained in this article were correct on the original date of publication. Prices may change over time, so for current prices, please get a quote.