"Calling all skiers and winter buffs" is the greeting you receive when you go to Avis Web site (see link below.) Car rental companies are pleased to help you as you head out to explore the mountains.

Hertz even has a "Winter Driving" brochure which gives tips for best practice, and suggestions for driving in winter conditions. You might also want to check out the OnTheSnow Winter Driving Guide as well.

Hertz claims to be unique among car rental companies in offering all-wheel-drive sedans, such as Subaru, as well as front wheel drive, and all wheel drive vehicles.

The Hertz Web site includes the latest deals. Go to the "special offers" page (see link below), and choose the "featured offers" tab, where you can find a deal for $10 off a day, up to $50 on SUVs and "crossover" vehicles. Hertz can also rent you a ski rack.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has several different discount programs with ski resorts and ski accommodation companies, and advises travelers to check with them to see what discounts are available when booking lodging or ski packages.

An Enterprise spokesman said the company has rental locations serving airports which skiers and riders might use to reach the snow in the U.S. and Canada.

For example, in Colorado, Enterprise has locations in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Eagle/Vail, Avon, and Montrose. They offer GPS, Ski/Snow Board racks and have 20% more SUV's available this year than last.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Utah has more than 25 home city locations across the Wasatch Front which serve as the base to the nine major ski resorts in Utah. Locations in Salt Lake City, Park City, Sandy, Orem, Provo, and Ogden all service the local ski resorts with a variety of SUV's equipped with four wheel drive. Ski and snowboard racks and GPS units are available for rent at these locations as well.

Similar vehicle types and products are also available at Enterprise locations serving ski areas in British Columbia.

Enterprise has rental GPS devices, and ski/snowboard racks. The company has 20 percent more SUVs available this year than last.

Travelers can use the Avis or Budget Web sites (see link below) to scout for the best deals.

Avis lists places they operate in 17 states where people bound for snowy vacations might want to rent a car. Racks are not available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Avis provides racks free for SUVs and mini-vans.

Current Avis deals are $50 off weekly SUV rentals; $25 off other weekly rentals; and up to $20 off on weekends.

The Budget  site can save you $20 on weekly rentals of compact, intermediate, standard, full-size, premium, luxury or mini-vans. You can also get $50 off for week-long rentals of five-person standard SUVs, premium SUVs or full-size SUVs. Booking an SUV or mini-van gets you a free ski rack.

More information: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz