From November 1 through March 31, winter tires (tyres) are now mandatory with two rental car companies in Germany, Europcar and Avis.

Autobahn from the airThey are still optional with Hertz and Sixt. Germany's somewhat subjective law says winter tires are required when driving conditions are “wintery.” Since there are many days in Germany during this time period when conditions are not “wintery,” until this year car rental companies did not require their use. In fact, rental companies required that they be ordered in advance. This led to much confusion among renters, some of whom were charged for tires they did not want or need, and others who wanted their cars equipped with winter tires but, since they did not order in advance, didn't get them.

Charges

Europcar charges €7.75 per day for snow tires on rentals up to 15 days, €5.4 per day on rentals of 16 to 24 days, and €3.6 euros per day for rentals longer than 24 days. The Avis fee is €14 per day to a maximum €140, Hertz charges €15 per with a maximum of €120, and Sixt is €15.99 per day to €123 per month.

Tire Season

Depending on the country rental company, the winter tire season can extend from as early as October 15 through April 15.

Winter tires are also mandatory in Austria and Switzerland, but virtually unavailable in France and Italy. Avis Austria's winter tire fee is €4.80/day (max €96), while Europcar charges a flat €2.40. In Switzerland, Avis charges CHF 9.7 per day, the Hertz fee is CHF 11 (max CHF 226), and Europcar includes winter tires in its basic rates.

Book your rental car in Europe with Gemütlichkeit's travel department and get the best rates, personalized, knowledgeable service and our unique at-the-rental-counter safety net that ensures our customers get what they are promised. We book with all the major companies in more than 35 countries. If you have questions about rentals in Europe, or simply prefer to deal in-person, phone us at 800-521-6722.