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Taking a Rental Car Into Alpine Regions

Alpine rental restrictions

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. Here are some of the popular alpine areas in Australia:

  • The Northern Skifields, Kiandra, Thredbo, Perisher, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek, Mount Buller, Mount Kosciuszko, and Hobart's Mount Mawson are all great destinations.
  • Mount Buller in Victoria has 7000 bed accommodation means you can often find a great deal for a holiday. Also consider going cross country skiing in Kosciuszko National Park, Alpine National Park, or even Namadgi National Park in the wilds of Tasmania.

Protection packages from car rental companies

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.

  • Hertz: "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: 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. If you are travelling to the snow fields in NSW, Victoria or Tasmania or above the snow line you must purchase Snow Pass. Snow Pass allows Thrifty customers to drive on sealed roads and within sealed carparks above the snowline. Snow Pass does not reduce the Damage Recovery Fee (DRF) and does not cover any entry fees or permits to any national parks that may require it. Customers can reduce their DRF by taking Snow Pass in conjunction with Thrifty's Premium Protection. Please also refer Thrifty's Standard Terms & Conditions for further details, and be sure to check the entry requirements to national parks when planning your visit to the snow.

  • Europcar: 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.

Read more about driving a rental car in Australia.

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