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Monday, 17 February 2014 16:57

Ski holiday car hire stings can add hundreds to your bill

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The Mail on Sunday Uses Ski Car Hire Research

Sally Hamilton, from the Mail on Sunday, was 'stung' for 'winterisation' add-ons when she hired a car for a skiing trip this year.  Leaving her 'blood boiling', she was asked by the rental desk to pay for winter tyres (costing 20€ a day), snow chains (costing 38€) as well as being asked to pay for excess insurance, a sat nav and encouraged to upgrade to a better car for a further 20€ a day. Ouch! 

Sally also used our research for her article:

"According to new research on leading hire firms Avis, Hertz, Sixt and Europcar in six key ski gateway airports by excess insurer iCarhireinsurance, a week’s hire might appear affordable but the picture changes when the extras are added in.

"It found that, depending on which hire firm they picked, drivers could be encouraged to pay as much as £185 for excess insurance, £42 for tyre and windscreen insurance not covered by car hire excess insurance, £84 for an extra driver, £102 for a sat-nav, £75 for snow chains and £102 for a child’s car seat.

"The excess a customer faces if the hire car is damaged or stolen has risen by a quarter on average in the past year to £1,078, while the insurance offered to cover this excess has also leaped by 16 per cent on average to £104 for a week.

"The insurer also found that ‘winterisation’ charges, which include the price of winter tyres and/or snow chains and are normally only paid for at the desk, vary widely.

"Winter tyres and chains can be  compulsory in some places but even then are still charged for at the desk instead of being part of the initial hire price. Costs range from £75 with Avis in Barcelona, to £45 with Hertz  in Geneva and £14 in Sofia, Bulgaria, with Sixt.

"The rules on winter tyres and snow chains also differ from country to country.

"In Austria, for example, driving without winter tyres between the start of November and mid-April can lead to a fine of around €5,000 (£4,100) as well as the risk of the car being impounded.

"Despite this, Sixt charges an additional £45 for winter tyres and snow chains at Innsbruck."

To read the article in full click here.

Last modified on Monday, 10 March 2014 11:41
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