The winter and snowy months are usually a fun, however for driving a vehicle in it, it could also be not so safe. Do you need winter tyres, maybe?
Well, before you’ll book your winter rental car, it is important that you can understand the winter season road regulations of the place you might be going to, asking to yourself “do I need winter tires?”.
Winter Car Hire and Tyres in the world
Throughout Austria, for example, winter tyres tend to be imperative legally to be fitted to the vehicle amongst the first November and the April 15th. In Iceland too, out of the summer period or in particular zones of the country. Generally in most regions of Spain you wouldn’t consider the tires on your vehicle. On the other hand journey to the Spanish Pyrenees region between November and March and you may need to have a set of snow chains with you in the vehicle as winter tires will not be offered.
When you are traveling in France, prerequisites is dependent upon the region you were traveling to. In the Southern area of the country certainly, there won’t be just about any necessity for wintertime gear; therefore in the Alpine region, it is strongly advised that you simply pre-book winter tires and it is obligatory to possess snow chains in the vehicle. You must order winter tires or perhaps you get the car with ordinary ones.
While in Germany from December ’10 winter tires or all season tires designated M&S have to be utilized in wintry conditions. These situations comprise of: snow, ice, slush and black ice. Swiss law only proposes the employment of winter tires therefore you really should have snow chains while venturing throughout the high altitude regions in the vehicle. Being without suitable winter equipment will result in significant charges in the event that stopped by Swiss police. Italy guidelines furthermore recommend that you use winter tires and snow chains in extreme winter conditions, nevertheless this isn’t a necessity of legal requirements and you have to order them on request.
But if you don’t have winter tyres in Italy, you must have snow chains with you in the car (they are not so easy to install: take a look here: www.chamonix.net/english/chamonix/how-to-fit-snow-chains-to-your-tires). In any case where you know you will be visiting mountainous terrain, we highly advise booking winter package, everywhere you are.
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Do you need winter tyres in modern rental cars?
Many new cars these days are front-wheel drive and handle fairly well in moderate snow. What you do want to make sure you get is a car with an anti-lock braking system. In general, the most dangerous part of driving in the snow is braking, particularly on a curve. Anti-lock brakes help to keep the car from sliding out of control. It will not prevent slides completely. No matter what car you drive, your best course of action is to slow down.
Leave much more space between you and the car in front. Most people tailgate these days, but if there’s a time to break the habit, it’s in the snow, when sudden stops and swerves can cause big pileups. Make sure the car has all-season tires in good condition. Also check the spare. In a perfect situation you might stop at a gas station and check the air pressure, but you could also trust the rental company. Fill the gas tank when it goes below half, you don’t want to run out if you find yourself in a bad traffic jam or if you get stranded – fuel means heat. Keep the rental company’s roadside assistance number handy: this could be very important.
Make sure you have good insurance: it might even be a good time to pay for the rental company’s collision damage waiver. Driving in winter conditions can be challenging for all of us, to better prepare drivers for travelling in winter conditions, legally some countries will have restrictions on the equipment a vehicle should carry or have fitted, including in particular, snow tires.
Whilst driving abroad it’s important to adhere to the driving laws in that country. Failure to do so could result in a fine or temporary loss of your vehicle.
Do you have any more doubts? Check our Rental Cars FAQ!