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November 26, 2012 10:36 ET

The Hidden Cost Howlers of Renting A Car for Skiers

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2012) - The conditions when booking a hire car for skiing are not dissimilar to the conditions when skiing in a blizzard as both offer poor visibility and a lack of transparency.

Extra and often hidden charges can range from snow chains, which can cost up to £60 to hire, to a roof rack, at up to £85 to hire, and excess car hire insurance, that can add an additional £155 for a week's cover (see full figures in link).

iCarhireinsurance.com, a specialist provider of excess car hire insurance, researched five ski gateways, Munich, Geneva, Chambery, Barcelona and Inverness, to find out the hidden extras when picking up your hire car.

Snow Chains - Cost from £17 to £60

Snow chains are essential for mountain driving but generally the charge for these is only given at the time of hire car collection. The cheapest place to hire snow chains from was Munich where a week's hire was from £17, whereas in Barcelona it was over three times this amount, at £60.

A Roof Rack - Cost from £33 to £85

Hiring a roof rack in Munich, with Hertz, was over £85, while in Chambery, gateway to the three valleys, the charge was a more reasonable £23 with Sixt.

Excess Car Hire Insurance

Without excess cover, car hire drivers are liable for anything up to £1500 in liability if their hire car is damaged, even if it's not their fault or indeed if the car is stolen. To stop this risk, travellers are strongly advised to purchase excess car hire insurance, preferably in advance from a specialist provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com (daily policies from £2.99) or they are faced with buying it direct from the rental desk.

The most expensive place to purchase excess insurance was in Geneva where travellers will pay on average over £115 for a week's cover. An 82% saving can be made buying it from iCarhireinsurance.com, which also provides more comprehensive cover than most of the rental companies' policies.

Comparison tables here.

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