Winter Driving In Australia

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Alpine Driving In Australia

Driving in the Snow

Winter in Australia provides a great opportunity to get out of major towns and cities to experience seasonal activities, whether that be exploring the ski slopes down south or escaping to the country to gather around an open fire. In any instance it's no surprise it remains a busy time on Australian roads.

At Hertz, we want to ensure your trip to the snow goes to plan and a key part of this is your transportation. Here is some important information you should know.

  • Check the vehicle you have reserved can go above the snow line before departing on your journey. If you’re not sure, just ask our friendly staff.
  • The accident damage excess included in your rental rate covers you travelling to Alpine Regions. For added peace of mind, you may choose to purchase optional protection covers including Loss Damage Waiver, Maximum Damage Waiver and Super Damage Waiver to reduce your Loss Damage Liability.
  • In Alpine regions such as Jindabyne (NSW), Bright (VIC) or Tasmania, drivers must ensure snow chains are fitted correctly.
  • If you're not sure how to fit the snow chains, refer to the vehicle's manual guide for further assistance. Depending on the vehicle make and model, you may be required to remove plastic hubcaps before fitting the snow chains. Remember to install hubs back on the vehicle once snow chains have been safely removed,


Please note - Hertz Australia does not supply snow chains and you will be required to source your own before entering Alpine regions and/or driving above the snow line.

Hertz Vehicles

Hertz vehicles should not be driven in the snow without the permission of Hertz. Specifically the vehicle should not be driven above the snowline in New South Wales (Jindabyne), Victoria (being Bright) or Tasmania. If the vehicle is driven without permission above the snow line then you will be liable for the amount of the excess applicable to your rental.

Hertz does allow the following vehicle groups into Alpine Regions:

  • Economy (A)
  • Compact (B)
  • Intermediate (C, H, S)
  • Fullsize (D)
  • Large SUV (E, E1)
  • Full-Size 4WD (F, R)
  • Premium Fullsize (F5)
  • Small SUV (G)
  • Medium SUV (I, V)
  • People Mover (T)
  • 4WD Full Size Ute (U)
  • Prestige Medium SUV (V5)
  • Prestige Compact (H5)
  • Prestige Large SUV (J5)
  • Mine Equipped Dual Cab 4WD (L)
  • 12 Seater Commuter Bus (M)
  • Economy Pickup (N)
  • 4WD (O)
  • 1 Tonne 4WD Ute (Z)


We DO NOT allow the vehicle groups to be driven in Alpine Regions:

  • Premium Fullsize (P)
  • Adrenaline Collection (B5, M5, G5, U5)
  • Sports EV (D5)


Alpine Driving Tips

When travelling across unknown terrain, it is often unknown what conditions will impact a journey. Upgrading to an AWD or 4WD is a smart choice if you're driving across challenging ground, especially if there's rain, snow or icy conditions. The added traction will provide more grip on the road and in some scenarios will mean you'll be safer and more confident.

The following tips may come in handy.

  • Know where you're going before you set out in your car. Things can look very different under a layer or thick snow, and signs may be observed. If you have a sat nav / GPS, program it to find the best route before you set off.
  • It is compulsory for the driver and all passengers to always wear a seatbelt.
  • Take a break - Fatigue is a key contributor to road accidents in Australia, given the distance between destinations. Always plan rest stops and pull over in a safe place if you're tired or have been driving for a long time.
  • Listen to weather and traffic forecasts and check for road closures. If bad weather is predicted, listen for guidance from weather forecasters and traffic agencies. Sometimes it may be advisable to delay your trip; even just a few hours can make a difference.
  • Before you drive, warm the car and ensure that all lights, windows and mirrors are free from any condensation. Condensation can quickly impact visibility, so ensure to turn on the vehicle's air conditioning and demister. A thorough clean of a vehicle's interior and exterior windows will also assist in eliminating condensation.
  • Make sure that you and your passengers are equipped for bad weather. Dress warmly and have a rug or blanket in the boot of the car. Winter sun can be low and cause glare, especially in snowy conditions, so have suitable driving glasses on hand.
  • Visibility. Sun glare reduces visibility making it more difficult to see the road ahead, which is particularly common at sunrise and sunset. It's always a good idea to have a pair of good quality sunglasses to protect your eyes and reduce any hazardous conditions.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer when the weather is bad. Accelerating, stopping, turning ... nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to manoeuvre by driving slowly.
  • Increase following distance. The normal dry road following distance of three to four seconds should be increase to eight to ten seconds in wet or icy conditions.
  • Watch out for black ice. Remember it may not always be visible. Drive your car with extreme caution. Try not to brake sharply. If you do go into a skip, drive into it and never brake on ice.
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