Car Hire

The increase in discount flights and competitive prices for car hire have made this a much more attractive option in recent years.
Driving around the Alps is something everyone should try at least once. Alpine roads include some of the most beautiful scenery you are likely to see while driving and the advantages of having your own car in resort are considerable.
Pro's and Con's
- Drive on beautiful mountain roads
- Follow the snow and tour from one resort to another
- Get off the beaten track (eg La Grave, Ste Foy and those other gems)
- More flexibility over flight times/dates than charter-based packages
- A better way to travel for long weekends
- Car rentals companies (Holiday Autos in particular) often upgrade you
- Your luggage is still limited to your flight allowance
- Hire of chains are usually at extra cost
- You need to know how to put chains on!
- Automatics are no use for Alpine roads
- Don't forget to factor in accommodation when you cost it out
Safe Driving
Even if there's no snow on the road, you should always be aware of possible black ice or the next unmarked hairpin bend. And if there is snow, don't take too long before putting on your chains. In many cases they're not necessary, particularly if you have snow tires, but depending on the temperature, wind and depth of snow, in most cases chains (or a 4x4) are the only safe option.
If you've never used chains before, you should definitely practice first. When it's dark, snowing heavily and -10C outside, you'll want to get it done as quickly as possible.
It's when you're going downhill that you'll need to be particularly cautious. Stay in a low gear, keep your speed down and brake where possible by using the engine. Avoid using the brake on bends in particular. Easier said than done of course, but if you do feel the wheels lock and start to slide then steer into the slide.
Don't Forget
Your driving licence!
Airport Transfers
A viable alternative to hiring a car if there are several of you is to book a transfer from the aiport. The advantages are that you can be met at the airport by an English speaker who knows the resort inside out, plus how to get there! All of which means you don't need to worry about messing round with snow chains or finding your way to, and around resort.
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