Sixt car rental now offering winter tires

55 posts in this topic

Posted

post-7478-1161252002.jpg
Sixt has reacted to the new regulation on "tires appropriate to the weather conditions", not necessarily meaning that winter tires are mandatory during the winter season but stating that drivers of vehicles without appropriate tires can be fined between €20 and €40 (including a point in the Central Register).

So Sixt is now offering the option of equipping your rental car with winter tires against a surcharge of €15.50/day (maximum €120/month). Their internet booking site comes up with a window if you do not click the option "winter tires" asking you if you expressly want a car without winter tires. However, the winter tire option is subject to availabilty. So if you know when you'll be renting a car to go skiing or just into the snowy mountains, reserve early.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

All car hire companies offer winter tyres on the vehicle for a surcharge. But as with Sixt, this is subject to availability.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's always been the case that winter tyres were an option with almost all the rental companies, but since the change in law last year the rental offices now have you sign a disclaimer if you don't take winter tyres in winter conditions...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

All car hire companies offer winter tyres on the vehicle for a surcharge. But as with Sixt, this is subject to availability.

This is not true. I booked a car with Budget last year, and just before I was due to pick it up we had that first big snowfall of the winter (around the 20th of November). So before picking it up, I thought I would ring up and make sure that the car was going to have winter tyres on it. The guy was incredible abrupt and rude, and the conversation went basically like this:

Me: "Its been snowing hard, will my car have winter tyres on it?"

Him: "No"

Me: "So are they all weather tyres?"

Him: "No, they are summer tyres"

Me: "Well, thats crazy, its snowing and its freezing, can you make sure my car has winter tyres on it when I come to pick it up, I'll pay the surchage"

Him: "No, we don't do winter tyres"

Me: "You don't do them at all? How do you expect me to drive safely out there in this weather with summer tyres? What about all the people going to the Alps on ski trips"

Him: "Well, its up to you, its 700 euros excess if you crash. We can cancel your booking if you like"

Me: "Can I pick the car up from another branch who do have winter tyres"

Him: "No, Budget doesn't do winter tyres."

Me: "You'd better cancel the booking then"

Crazy.. anyway.. I won't go back to Budget just on the conversation I had with this guy even if I'm renting in the Summer. I actually managed to get just as good a last minute deal with Sixt luckily, who did give me winter tyres at the surcharge price. I really think its amazing that these companies in Munich, seeing as we are so close to the Alps where people holiday, give out cars with Summer tyres on them.

Further to that, charging 15 euros a day for them is a joke. When November comes, they should swap the tyres on all of their cars. Its not costing them 15 a day to do that, they must be making a fortune off it. Its not as if its costing them anymore than the swapping and storage fee of the summer/winter tyres in the off months.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yeah, I don't get it either.

The surcharge is way over the top and there's no reason not to have their entire fleet on winter tyres for 6 months of the year and summer tyres for the rest.

In fact, it would be preferable to just have all weather tyres on all year around than summer tyres - if the switch really did cost that much. That would be safer.

Coming from Australia, I didn't even know about the concept of winter tyres before I moved here. So if I was on holidays here in winter and intended to hire a car in Munich to go to the snow, I would not even know to ask for tyres suitable for the road conditions. As the customer, I would assume that a car I hired to be roadworthy for the road conditions of the majority of roads of that country.

A few years ago, I hired a car and specified that I wanted ski racks. I did this over the phone and it wasn't until someone pointed out to me that winter tyres are not standard, that I called back and had to ask for them specifically. If I want ski racks, than they should have a pretty good idea of what I intend to do and at least ask. As far as I'm concerned, not asking is neglecting their duty of care. They know that winter tyres aren't standard and a lot of customers do not - so they should have to make people aware of this.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Odd, I got my rental car from SIXT last winter (end of January) and it came with winter tyres without me even asking.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Sixt used to - grudgingly - offer rental chains if the car had summer tires. Of course, subject to availability.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

... there's no reason not to have their entire fleet on winter tyres for 6 months of the year and summer tyres for the rest.

There probably is, actually. The cars are purchased new with summer tyres and are usually sold on within 15-20,000km, so the tyres nmever need replacing. To add winter tyres would add to the capital outlay, and would have to be reflected in generally higher rental charge. It's better from a business perspective to offer cheaper prices and winter tyres as a chargeable option.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

In that case it would be their best deal to equip the new cars with "Ganzjahresreifen" (all-season tyres). Personally I'm no friend of them b/c it basically means that no matter what time of the year, your tyres are always inferior compared to the appropriate season tyres, but most of them do fulfil the legal requirements in winter (they need to have a snowflake molded on the side of the tyre) and in winter are certainly better than summer tyres. And, they're not really more expensive than summer tyres.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

In that case it would be their best deal to equip the new cars with "Ganzjahresreifen" (all-season tyres).

Indeed it would, but that assumes such tyres are available as an option from the manufacturer in the first place. Most rental vehicles are not built to order in any case, but are simply the manufacturer disposing of unsold stock (hence there are often unusual mixes of options)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

That was last year, this year it is different for the car hire companies as the laws have changed regarding winter tyres.

What I know from some other car hire companies is -

National - 90% of their German fleet will be fitted with winter tyres.

Budget - 100% of their German fleet will be fitted with winter tyres.

But with both you need to start when booking you want winter tyres, and you will be charges something upto 15euro per day + tax for them.

Check out travel agencies and car rental brokers such as Holiday Autos and FTI as they have special deals with certain car hire companies and have (for some categories) the winter tyres included in the price.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Surely if they're fitting them all with winter tyres you don't need to state that you want them, they'll be on anyway. This sounds like they're just trying to get you to pay for something that's already included,a bit like when they try to sell you an upgrade when they haven't actually got the car you reserved, so you get a better car anyway. This has happened to me several times.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

i don't know of any manufacturers in Europe that equip any of their cars ex-factory with anythig other than summer tyres. The cost of replacing the fleet's tyres would fall on the hire-car company and result, as YL6 pointed out, in higher rental charges for all customers.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I noticed this thread is a few years old, so I'm wondering if anyone has more current information.

When renting a car during the winter (now), what tires are mandatory on rental cars? i.e. winter tires or all-season tires?

Then the second question depends on the answer to the first - what do you get when you opt for "wintertaugliche reifen"? Don't all-season tires fit into this definition (wintertaugliche = suitable for winter)? What would you get if you don't check this option?

Thanks for the help!

cheers,

dave

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Winter tyres are not mandatory in Germany, but they are in Austria. In Germany you are required to have suitable tyres for the "conditions" you are driving in. What this boils down to is that if you have an accident in snow without winter tyres fitted then you can be held partially responsible, even if the actual accident was not completely your fault. This makes it a difficult decision to have them or not, but in general it's always a good idea to have them fitted when driving in winter as you can never know what conditions to expect. Of course, the problem then is that the rental companies only offer them as a chargeable option, and often not cheap too. "All Season" tyres are acceptable only if they have the "M&S" insignia on them indicating they are acceptable as winter tyres, as well as for other seasons.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks YorkshireLad!

So if I agree to pay for "wintertauglichereifen", will I get actual winter tires? Or can the rental company say that the "all-season" tires are adequate and I'm paying extra for nothing?

Sure, it's not a big deal around here, but if I'm planning a ski trip in the alps, winter tires (or chains for that matter) are nice to have.

cheers,

dave

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yeah, I don't get it either.

The surcharge is way over the top and there's no reason not to have their entire fleet on winter tyres for 6 months of the year and summer tyres for the rest.

In fact, it would be preferable to just have all weather tyres on all year around than summer tyres - if the switch really did cost that much. That would be safer.

Coming from Australia, I didn't even know about the concept of winter tyres before I moved here. So if I was on holidays here in winter and intended to hire a car in Munich to go to the snow, I would not even know to ask for tyres suitable for the road conditions. As the customer, I would assume that a car I hired to be roadworthy for the road conditions of the majority of roads of that country.

A few years ago, I hired a car and specified that I wanted ski racks. I did this over the phone and it wasn't until someone pointed out to me that winter tyres are not standard, that I called back and had to ask for them specifically. If I want ski racks, than they should have a pretty good idea of what I intend to do and at least ask. As far as I'm concerned, not asking is neglecting their duty of care. They know that winter tyres aren't standard and a lot of customers do not - so they should have to make people aware of this.

I know that this reply is about 3.5yrs late.

I think this is a scam set up by the tyre companies to extract more money out of the general public (two sets of tyres instead of one set). Why are they not offering an all season type of tyre within their product line? It has been available in other countries for quite a while now.

To take a quote from above "As far as I'm concerned, not asking is neglecting their duty of care. They know that winter tyres aren't standard and a lot of customers do not" , It is because the people behind the desk (sales agents) simple do not care, or plain dumb, take you pick. As of the last time that I rented a vehicle a few months ago in Nov. 09 from enterprise car rental company they had winter tyres on their vehicles. I do not remember paying a surcharge for them either, But Hertz did charge for them, not on daily basis but a single charge. I think they called it "installation fee" and it was about 15euros. FYI this was in the Ffm area.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I know that this reply is about 3.5yrs late.

I think this is a scam set up by the tyre companies to extract more money out of the general public (two sets of tyres instead of one set). Why are they not offering an all season type of tyre within their product line? It has been available in other countries for quite a while now.

It's not a scam, it's business. As I said in my earlier replies to this topic, the larger rental chains take excess stock from automotive manufacturers, usually with regular summer tyres fitted on delivery. To change those tyres for all-weather versions or to supplement them with winter variants adds a substantial cost (comparatively) on a very tight financial calculation to recover their investment and make a profit through rental on a vehicle they only keep in their inventory for a few months. This means that the rental charge will be higher throughout the year, or that customers have to pay extra for the option in the winter.

I generally think and agree that winter tyres should not be an option when renting rom an Alpine-near station, but I guess their sales approaches dictate that they maintain price competitiveness at the point of offer, and add the costs later...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

We paid Europcar for winter tyres and got all-year M+S - not quite the same, but did the trick. Not sure what 'winter equipment' they charged the extra 35 EUR for, though, as there wasn't any in the car.

The person next to us, trying to get a car 'he could legally drive' in Germany in the winter was told by the Sixt guy that he hadn't ordered winter tyres, so could get a car with summer tyres or go elsewhere, without actually answering the question whether summer tyres would be legal in temperatures below zero in Germany...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I generally think and agree that winter tyres should not be an option ...

Yorkshirelad got it pretty close.

I just got back from reserving a car from Europcar, and paying extra for winter tires is mandatory. Even though if you book thru the internet, winter tires are listed as option, that's not the case when you show up in person (though I'd to find out what actually happens).

That pretty much answers my previous question about what I'd get if didn't pick the winter tire option - it's simply not allowed. Anyways, we wanted winter tires and that what we're getting. Now if only he gives us a diesel and an Autobahn Vignette... ;)

Sweetsilence, I never heard of all-season M&S, and until now thought M&S (Mud and Snow) meant winter tire. A quick google points out another designation for Severe Snow Use - there's a Mountain/Snowflake symbol next to the M&S designation. FYI! B)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The person next to us, trying to get a car 'he could legally drive' in Germany in the winter was told by the Sixt guy that he hadn't ordered winter tyres, so could get a car with summer tyres or go elsewhere, without actually answering the question whether summer tyres would be legal in temperatures below zero in Germany...

It's perfectly "legal" to drive with summer tyres at any temperature, no matter how negative...

Sweetsilence, I never heard of all-season M&S, and until now thought M&S (Mud and Snow) meant winter tire.

All-season tyres are quite common, but a compromise for year-round use, as they typically wear faster than normal tyres. Most (but not all) have the "M+S" symbol on them which makes them acceptable as "winter tyres" in the case of a winter incident...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's perfectly "legal" to drive with summer tyres at any temperature, no matter how negative...

But why didn't the Sixt guy just say so? He made quite a point of not answering that particular question.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's perfectly "legal" to drive with summer tyres at any temperature, no matter how negative...

It's legal but if you get into an accident due to insufficient equipment you're dead meat as the insurance doesn't cover you.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It seems to me that SIXT has a responsibility to ensure that the car is not just legal but safe to drive.

It could easily be argued that driving around Munich in the winter with summer tires is inherently unsafe, and so renting out a vehicle without winter tires is negligent.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Picked up a car from Sixt 2 days ago. Looking around the car park, I could only see one car (in the 12 or so I checked) that didn't have winter tyres. I talked to the lady and she said it was unclear if insurance would cover you if you had an accident in summer tyres during snowy conditions. Not a chance I want to take, though the saving of €40 is very tempting.

In January I rented a car from Europcar at Munich Airport at the last minute, and they only had cars with summer tyres available - not a problem for my journey that day though.

Winter tyres must represent a significant revenue at a decent margin for car hire companies.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now