Taking a Rental Car Into Alpine Regions

Alpine driving restrictions guide banner

Certain rules and regulations apply if you are planning on driving your rental car to alpine areas in Australia. Each supplier has different rules, but generally restrictions to apply on alpine travel.

VroomVroomVroom has put together a guide to help you work out which areas you are restricted from taking your rental car. It is important that you also check the terms and conditions of your rental.

Snow chains

Some suppliers may not permit you to take the car into certain alpine areas without their permission. If you have been approved to take the vehicle into the snow, it is important that you fit the car with snow chains.

Additional insurance

When you take your car into alpine areas, it might not be covered by the standard excess reduction products offered at the counter. Some suppliers require you to purchase additional insurance products. Not all vehicle groups can be taken into the snow.

Restricted areas

Unless authorized by the car rental company, generally you are not permitted to take your rental car past the snow line in Jindabyne (New South Wales) or Bright (Victoria).

Best places for skiing in Australia

During winter in the Southern hemisphere, it's a great time to ski in the Australian states of Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. In the high country, skiing has been popular since 1861, first reported in the town of Kiandra, NSW, during the gold rush years. In Mount Buffalo, Victoria, they built the first ski tow back in 1936, and Aussie skiers went to the Winter Olympics for the first time in 1952.

In winter, Australians and tourists alike enjoy ski slopes in the southeastern states and in the ACT, most places above at least 1250 metre elevations (the best snowfalls will be found above 1500 metres ). The Northern Skifields, Kiandra, Thredbo, Perisher, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek, Mount Buller, Mount Kosciuszko, and Hobart's Mount Mawson are all potential destinations for you if you're a snow enthusiast --- or if you just want to become one!

VroomVroomVroom recommends the snow village of Mount Buller in Victoria and its 7000+ bed accommodation means you can often find a great deal for a holiday. But don't fail to consider the notion of going cross country skiing in Kosciuszko National Park, Alpine National Park, or even Namadgi National Park in the wilds of Tasmania.

Consider a rental car drive from Melbourne to the Victorian resorts. It's just 3 hours to drive from there to Mount Buller, and only 120 kilometres to reach Mount Baw Baw. For the ski fields of New South Wales, Canberra is a 2-hour short drive away, with Jindabyne the most typical destination for travelers going to a NSW ski resort. Another NSW town, Cabramurra, can claim the honor of Australia's highest town --- and it has private skiing facilities.

Ski Trivia: The highest peak on the mainland? Mount Kosciuszko (2228 m)!

Snow and Ski Packages from VroomVroomVroom's car hire suppliers

Car rental for the ski season

Renting  a car to go to the snow can be a little bit confusing. Suppliers such as Hertz, Thrifty and Europcar have different terms and conditions and rates when it comes to taking a rental car to an area deemed as a 'Snow Zone'. Have a look below.


"Snow Cover" from Hertz Australia is for customers travelling to an Alpine Resort during the snow season or any other area with conditions requiring snow chains. Snow Cover is available at all corporate locations and selected licensee locations. It isn't snow location specific. If purchased, standard rental excess remains applicable, with the option to purchase AER or MAX Cover in addition to Snow Cover, on select vehicles. The cost is $22 per day (including GST) for the "Snow Cover" --- the $22 is a surcharge on top of insurance cover allowing you to cross the snow line. Snow Cover will be calculated across the entire rental period regardless of how much time is spent at the snow and gear will need to be purchased separately.


Thrifty's Snow Cover is compulsory if you want to rent a Thrifty car and drive it above the snow line. Snow Cover ensure that you won't breach their rental terms and conditions when traveling to ski fields in Victoria and New South Wales. However, not all rental vehicles are suitable for snow terrain. Snow Cover does NOT reduce Thrifty's Damage Recovery Fee; however Ultimate and Premium Protection packages are available for your rental.


Europcar posts seasonal offers of Ski Season car hire deals on their official website.  The Snow Cover is priced at $25 while the Snow Chains is at $15. However, the Snow Cover rate increases to $36.82 for the following vehicle classes: FFAR, FFMR, PFAR, KPQW, KPDM, KPDS, KPDW, KPOW, KPPW, KPVM, KPVS, KPVW. All the prices are exclusive of GST. 

Skiing around the world

In addition, don't forget that VroomVroomVroom books car hire around the globe! Want to find out about a New Zealand ski package? Or perhaps you are planning a snow trip to the USA or Canada? Our friendly, intelligent and cool as ice (pun intended) customer care experts can help you book a Canada Snow Car Hire package, a New Zealand Ski Rental Car deal, or a ski package for anywhere else you want to go! Don't feel stressed, if you have any issues you can simply Contact Us by using the link at the top of this page, or use the handy VroomVroomVroom Live Help/Chat window at the lower right of this screen! (If you've closed it, it's found in the top menu "Help/FAQs".