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Nov. rental car in Germany/winter tires?

Hi all,

Just wondering, are "winter tires" necessary? We will be driving (last week of Nov.)from Munich to Mittenwald, possibly the Zillertal (Austria)and then the Berchtesgaden area and back to Munich. I couldn't believe they (rental co.'s) want about $20 a day extra for winter tires. I live in the north east, really don't mind driving in snowy weather and have never used "snow tires".

We've driven in these area's many times before (never later than the first week of Nov.), if that matters.

Paul

Posted by
5720 posts

You may be considered negligent if driving without winter tires in the snow and an accident occurs.

Take the train. Bayern tickets (daypasses) cost 28 Euros/day for 2-5 people.

Posted by
2297 posts

Snow tires are mandatory in Germany. This means as soon as there is snow on the road you get fined if you're driving in a vehicle without snow tires. I know lots of people who live in Northern Germany where snow is a rarity who gamble and don't put on snow tires. They simply don't drive during the few days there's snow on the road. Last winter, lots of people lost that gamble and got stuck at home for days in regions that hardly ever see snow.

Bavaria is a different question. Snow is much more likely in winter. Last week of November I'd say it's still more likely that it won't snow. But you never know ...

This website gives more explanation and the legal basis for the winter tire situation. And apparently the fine for not using them in snowy conditions would be 20-40 Euro.

www.winterreifen-pflicht.de

Posted by
2762 posts

Thanks for the info. I came across it on the www.gemut.com website also last night. I'll probably go with the "winter tires" since my car rental quote was VERY reasonable. Thanks again.

Paul

Posted by
2876 posts

When you're on the autobahn and you get passed by a Porsche doing 90 mph DURING A SNOWSTORM (happened to me), you'll be glad you have the winter tires.

Posted by
2779 posts

If you rent from a major company like Sixt or Europcar you'll usually get at least M+S tires, which are better than summer tires but not 100% as good as full winter tires - but they're legal to drive in snowy conditions.

Posted by
2762 posts

Andreas, The price I have for a car w/snow tires seems very good compared with cars we rented in Germany the last few years. I think I'd rather be safe than sorry. We reserved through www.gemut.com and it's an Avis car. Paul

Posted by
669 posts

Paul, you've made your decision, but just want to let you know that you'll be glad you did! The winter/snow tires are great- we had them in '08 and drove through a snow storm in the alps with not a problem! I was very impressed with their handling.

Posted by
1064 posts

I never thought I would need snow tires in in the lower elevations in Bavaria in mid-March, either, but I made a last-minute decision for them on a trip there last spring and was glad I did. We drove through two snow storms, and several roads, such as the one to Wies Church included large stretches of packed snow. In November and March, you never know about the weather.

Posted by
2762 posts

Thanks Cate, Roy and everyone else. We'll have the car 8 days. The charge is $14 (US) per day for the tires. $258 for the car (all taxes, fees), so... sounds good for what we want.