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Driving down for Feb half term

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead

I thought most of the UK companies did not allow travel outside of the UK.

I've reported elsewhere hiring a Ford Transit in Havant, to take a load of flatpacks down to our apartment in the Alps. It was easy - no problem at all. Naturally it didn't have snow tyres - I bought chains for it on a "sale or return" basis but sadly we had to use them for the last couple of miles.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
JohnS4 wrote:
Mjit wrote:
So back from my first ever drive to the Alps and my friends (3x adults/1x9yrs/1x 6yrs in London) and I came up with the following 'lessons learned'.

8. If you're hiring a car from the UK for the trip (it was that or take 2 cars and then not he able to swap drivers) hire it from the Wed or Thurs. Yes at the time it will seem a waste of money and expensive but always translate it into air fares - we booked early and basically paid for 1 person to fly OUT to Geneva. Anyway the extra days would have meant snow socks/chains could have been purchased in the UK and time not wasted hunting French supermarkets/Norautos for the correct size.

Which car rental company did you use ? I though most of the UK companies did not allow travel outside of the UK. Was it expensive to do ?

Presumably no winter tyres though if it's a UK rental which is a problem for travel to some countries. Well arguably all alpine countries but from a legal standpoint you can get away with summer tyres in France and Switzerland, but not Austria (or Germany/Italy if its snowing).

We used Europcar and the euro travel side was a simple "add on" in the same part of the online booking form as adding a second driver/child seats/etc. We booked 6 months in advance (free cancellation upto 24hrs before pick-up) and 10 days hire for a 7 seater (Ford Galaxy)/2 drivers/euro cover was £740.

You're correct, no winter tyres so time spent hunting for chains. As I said £740 would probably get 1 person one-way from the UK to Geneva at half term so next time I'd either get the car for an extra day or 2 (the online retailer I was emailing were happy to send snow sock guaranteed next day for an extra ~£20), or more likely go with someone like the Land Rover hire from (come with M&S tyres and chains) or (looking at a bigger group next year). Other providers are available, these are just 2 that have come up on SH.

One to watch with hire going to europe is that it covers the vehicle you want. We started with a car from Enterprise as they have a place at the end of my road - but while they say they do euro cover it's a post-booking add-on...that's only available for vans/lorries.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Mjit, I just noticed your post. The 'Vans for Bands' vehicles and postings were mine, and we're definitely going to make the vans available for this purpose in years to come.

I agree with your suggestion, this is more about comparing the total cost of flights/transfer (against driving) than justifying the one-off cost of hiring a vehicle (when you have your own). We also think there are many other benefits to driving, and our large vehicles can open up some other interesting opportunities (one of which is using the van as part of your holiday to explore various ski areas when abroad). We think the total return cost including vehicle rental, fuel, tolls etc. could be between £2500 and £3000 for up to 9 people (although there are weight considerations as others have helpfully mentioned). Not bad when compared to flights/transfers - esp. at peak periods such as half-term.

Our aim is to make it available as one simple package - a large 9-seat vehicle, plenty of space for luggage, European insurance and 24hr VW/Mercedes breakdown cover, winter tyres and chains. We're also looking at organising some 'rock up in a van' ski weeks where we aim for interesting, good value ski areas and people, well, rock up in their vans!

Let us know if we can help. We might try and get one of the vans driving around in the UK so that people can have a look.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Light traffic and a beautiful bright winter day on A26 etc to Calais Eurotunnel this morning. Got a crossing 2 hours earlier than booked, breezed straight through on to train and now on our way.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Lots of buzzards on fenceposts this morning. None at all on the way down (Friday 18th), when northern France was also hit by storm Eunice.
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