Rental cars may not have snow tires

Compiled Story and photo by Petra Lessoing
435th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Customers renting a car from a rental agency in winter should make sure the car is equipped with snow tires.

Car rental agencies are not obliged to put snow tires on all of their cars. If an accident occurs due to ice and snow, the renter is fully liable. Even if renters get a collision damage waiver, they will be made liable for damages, said officials of the German automobile club, ADAC.

According to German traffic law, each motorist is responsible for adapting his or her vehicle’s equipment to the current weather conditions. Ensuring a vehicle has suitable tires for current road conditions is part of this process. When customers make a reservation for a rental car, they should get confirmation from the rental agency that the vehicle they desire is equipped with snow tires.

If the car rental agency cannot provide the vehicle with the requested tires on pickup day, the renter does not have to take the vehicle.