Hiring skis can be an easy option for holiday-makers who hit the pistes just a few times each season.

You can hire directly in the shop, but it can be even cheaper to go through a Web site. With several online hire options in France, skiers can save anywhere from 10 to 50 percent on their gear hire.

Here's a brief recap on how it works. Generally, the dates for which you reserve will determine the discount - French school holiday periods tend to mean lower discounts. The site will then pull up a selection of different offers. Afterwards, you may enter your height, weight, and shoe size, pay online, then pick up your gear once you arrive at the resort. Of course, you will still need to make sure everything fits before getting on the snow.

In France, some of the biggest names in gear hire include:

Skimium: a subsidiary of the sports shop giant Decathlon. You can save up to 50 percent and Skimium is present in more than 100 resorts in France and Andorra.

Skiset: with 135 shops in France and 350 in other European countries, you can take advantage of up to 40 percent off the in-shop hire price. Skiset also gives renters their seventh day for free. With the promotional code netafffrfdd, the administration fee is free until April.

Twinner: offers up to 40 percent off in-shop prices and even gives a 20-percent discount during high periods (most renters offer minus 10 percent). Twinner has around 170 shops in resorts throughout France.

Intersport: has around 100 shops in resorts all over France and offers the seventh day of ski hire for free and offers up to a 40-percent discount. Intersport is also present in Switzerland and Austria.

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