Summer’s almost gone and winter’s coming soon to the popular ski resorts in Europe. If you are up for a ski trip to a European country, it is worth knowing what kind of tyres are required where, as it is the driver who is responsible for the proper winter equipment. Here is a little help from Auto Europe: country listing with winter equipment requirements.
When snowfall begins in Germany, winter tyres become automatically mandatory. All season tyres with the M+S marking can also be used. Generally, German citizens try to change their tyres before November starts. Car rental companies also fit their fleet with the required tyres, and therefore, additional local charges may apply. Snow chains are allowed in certain regions, which are marked by local road signs.
Winter tyres are mandatory from the 1st of November until the 15th of April, and outside these dates if there are winter conditions on the roads. The same rule applies to spikes in Austria and in Germany: they are allowed depending on the region and local weather.
Snow tyres are not mandatory, but they are recommended. What that means is that if you are caught by the police for driving during winter conditions without winter tyres, you will be fined. Luckily, all rental companies in Switzerland provide cars fitted with the required tyres.
In certain regions, it is mandatory to fit cars with winter tyres or snow chains from the 15th of October until the 15th of April. While car hire suppliers don’t usually equip cars with winter tyres, it is best to ask for snow chains at the rental desk.
How to recognise if your hired car has winter tyres? Winter tyres, as well as all season tyres, are marked with the M+S sign or the snowflake symbol on the side.
To avoid extra local costs for winter tyres, look for the “Winter Tyres Included” indication on our booking engine.
Spikes can be purchased locally at the rental desk. It should be noted that in Italy, snow chains are often cheaper in local supermarkets than at the rental desk.
Ski racks can be ordered on our website. It is crucial to provide the number of skis you are bringing with you, so that the rental company can prepare enough pairs of ski racks. Ski racks fee, as any other additional equipment prices, can be found on our booking engine in “Product Information” section.
And remember you can always call our toll free line and our agents will be happy to assist you with your winter car hire requests.