I would like to drive from Venice to Neuschwanstein Castle next March. I have read that Austria (and now possibly Germany) require cars to be equipped with winter tires until April 15th. Is this true? Does this apply during all driving conditions or just during "wintery" conditions. I am aware I need to purchase a sticker for my rental car before driving in Austria.
Yes, you must have winter tires in Austria, snowy conditions or not. It's not only risking a fine for not having them, but IF you are in an accident during wintery conditions and you don't have them on the car, guess where the liability for causing it points to. If you really want to drive, best bet is to train to Innsbruck and get the car there. I've heard too many people try to rent a car in Italy and request winter tires and the rental co. would not guarantee the car would have them if they said it might have them at all. Cars are cheaper in Austria than in Italy anyway. They're cheaper in Germany than in Austria also. You could train to Garmisch if you really wanted to and get the car there.
We've rented cars in Munich for 2 trips in late Nov. and early Dec., which we also went to Austria and Italy recently and requested winter tires.
That is correct, Germany also requires winter or all-weather tires.
If you rent the car in Austria or Germany, it should come with the proper tires for the time of year.