How to rent a car to go skiing?

The winter holidays are fast approaching (for the record it is from February 10 to 26 in zone A, from February 24 to March 12 in zone B and from February 17 to March 5 in zone C). The slopes of the Alps or the Pyrenees are just waiting for you. But do you already have the rental car you need to go skiing? We'll take stock of the situation with you and give you all our advice! You can also visit for more about car hire.

Which rental car should you choose to go skiing?

If you live in the big cities, it is unlikely that you will have skis, sledges, snowboards, snowshoes or other winter sports equipment at home. In this case, if you are a couple, a city car might be enough. However, we advise you not to choose a car that is too small, in order to have the right motorization to swallow the laces leading to the ski resorts. If you are going with family or friends, in this case, make sure you choose a car of suitable size. It may seem logical but from experience we know that it is very easy to underestimate the size of your luggage.

Is my rental car equipped with snow tyres?

That depends. Because you should know one thing: snow tires (or winter tires) are not mandatory in France. As France is the world's leading ski area, the resorts are very well organised to cope with winter weather conditions. Except in exceptional weather conditions, as was the case a few days ago with the Eleanor storm, access to the resorts is not a problem: roads are treated upstream and cleared quickly in case of heavy snowfalls. Snow tires or chains are therefore not necessary. At least that's the theory. Only one rule prevails: extra caution at the wheel (but this is also the case with snow tires and chains, note). In case it's important to you, no problem. Just let us know. We will ask the rental company on your behalf whether it is possible to equip your rental car with snow tyres. From our experience we can tell you that:
  • Winter tires are rarely available for city and mini-city car categories.
  • On the other hand, if you are renting a 4×4 or an SUV on the other hand, don't worry: this category of vehicles is equipped with 4-season tyres (this is the case in France but also in Italy, the USA and Canada).

Can I cross the border with my rental car?

Perhaps you rent a car in France or Belgium to go to a ski resort in Switzerland or Italy. Please note: not all car rental companies allow you to cross the border with your rental car. Others accept it, but only certain categories of vehicles. Finally, others allow it for an extra charge (especially to Italy).

Is it possible to rent a car with a ski rack or a surfboard rack?

Yes, even if this option is rather rarely offered by car rental companies. You can request it when you book your rental car. If this option is offered by the renter, its price is indicated in the conditions of the offer.

Is it possible to rent snow chains for your rental car?

Yes, you can rent snow chains for your rental car. Again, when this option is offered, its price is indicated in the conditions of the car rental offer.

Some good car hire tip’s for the winter holidays

To help you find the best deal in car hire during the 2018 winter holiday season, we have put together a small selection of car rentals. Do not hesitate to modify your criteria as you wish and/or according to your needs (city, dates, type of vehicle, etc.)!
Should you take excess protection on a hire car?
Car hire at the best price in England

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