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Sharon Miller

People who are traveling to Europe and renting cars better be ready to pay rates that are higher than usual. This is because several car hire companies are adding a “winterization charge” to many of their vehicles.

A lot of the problem is that snow chains and winter tires are compulsory in some areas. This can mean that people pay an extra £114 for rentals. This was the highest extra fees found by iCarHireInsurance.com after it surveyed the top five rental companies in seven of the most popular European ski getaways, including Turin, Inverness, Sophia, Geneva, Innsbruck, Barcelona and Grenoble. The average winter fee that people will pay for cars in these destinations is well over £40, with £114 being the highest.

The highest rate was charged by Avis in Geneva. This increased the overall rental cost for customers significantly. Budget wasn’t much better either. Customers in Barcelona could be charged as much as £60 extra for a car when hiring from this area this winter. This is the same as an additional 30 percent on the typical car hire.

In most cases, the extra winterization fee is simply being included into the overall cost of the rental price. However, the charge for this fee varies greatly from place to place. The founder and CEO of iCarHireInsurance.com, Ernesto Suarez, asked why individual customers should be held accountable for paying for the winter tiers. These tires are charged once, yet everyone is charged for it the whole winter season. It is simply ludicrous and another hidden cost.


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