February 03, 2014 10:26 ET

Snowballing Car Hire Costs for Feb Half Term Skiers

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Feb. 3, 2014) - Hiring a car for skiers no longer means a quick pick up of the keys but rather an avalanche of additional costs at the rental desk. This February half term skiers could be parting with up to £184 for a week's excess car hire insurance when they arrive to collect their car, plus £42 for tyre and windscreen protection, £84 for an extra driver (£227 if they're under 21 yrs), a sat nav for £102, snow chains costing £75 and a child's car seat for £102*.

iCarhireinsurance.com researched the six popular ski gateways of Geneva, Turin, Innsbruck, Barcelona, Sophia (Bulgaria) and Inverness to see how a traveller's costs snowballed on picking up their hire car. (Avis, Sixt, Europcar and Hertz were researched for the hire of a medium compact car, 15 - 22 Feb 2014).

Excess Car Hire Insurance: Without excess insurance a customer could be liable for charges of up to £2300 (e.g. the excess amount in Turin with Europcar) if the hire car is damaged or stolen, even if it's not the hirer's fault. E.g., a medium compact car hired from Turin costs £143 with Hertz for the week (15 - 22 Feb) while its excess car hire policy is an additional £184 - a pricey £26 a day and over eight times more expensive than an independent policy from an insurance company like iCarhireinsurance.com, which costs from £2.99 a day, a saving of £163.

The average cost of car hire excess insurance charged by the rental companies across all six destinations is £106. However some of these excess policies require an additional policy to cover the car's tyres and windscreen, e.g., Sixt charge £21 for a tyre and windscreen policy in Innsbruck, £27 in Geneva and rising to £42 in Barcelona - these are all on top of its basic excess policies.

An iCarhireinsurance.com excess car hire insurance policy is £21 for the week (or £39.99 for an annual policy) and includes vulnerable parts of a vehicle providing up to £6000 of protection cover.

Snow Chains: Expect to pay around £50 for snow chains. NB. Sixt make snow chains a compulsory cost in the destinations of Geneva, Sophia, Innsbruck and Turin. Travellers need to make sure they know the rules and regulations of the country they're hiring in, otherwise they (and not the rental company) could face a fine.

*See iCarhireinsurance.com website

Contact Information