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Snow Chains and Winter Tires

 

Car rental ABCD

If you’re planning a winter holiday somewhere snowy, whether a ski vacation in Aspen or enjoying the beautiful scenery in Switzerland, the snow may pose extra complications for your car rental. Driving in the snow can be tricky, especially in an unfamiliar rental car. It may be worth paying a little extra for snow chains or winter tires.

What Are Snow Chains or Winter Tires Used For?

Snow chains are chains that go around your tires, allowing your tires to have better traction. They also help drivers to be better able to maintain control of their vehicle on very snowy or icy roads. Winter tires are special tires that work better in snowy and cold conditions than normal, all-weather tired. These tires are made from a different composition of rubber than normal tires and improve traction. They can be used as an alternative to snow chains.

Benefits of Adding Snow Chains or Winter Tires to Your Car Rental

The last thing that anyone wants to happen on vacation is to get into an accident. Driving in snowy or icy conditions can be dangerous, especially in unknown terrain like on vacation. When visiting a snowy location, many car rental companies will provide you with optional winter tires or snow chains at an additional fee. While this may seriously increase the cost of your rental car, you may feel it’s worth it for the peace of mind that increased control on the road and overall safety can bring. These features may be especially helpful if renting a vehicle that doesn’t have 4-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, although some experts recommend snow chains or winter tires even if you are driving this type of vehicle.

Some Things to Be Aware of

While adding snow chains or winter tires to your rental car can definitely be beneficial, there are some potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Increased cost. Most rental cars consider snow tires and chains to optional, and they charge an additional daily surcharge for the option. In some cases, especially in Europe, car rental companies make adding on snow tires during bad weather mandatory, but still charge the customer extra for the service. 
  • Decreased speed. Generally you shouldn’t attempt to drive faster than 40 mph with chains or winter tires on your car.
  • Decreased fuel efficiency. This is especially important to consider when contemplating your overall car rental budget.
Many car rental agencies do not keep a large number of winter tires or snow chains on hand. This means in order to guarantee that you have these options included in your car rental, you will need to plan ahead and ask for them at the time of your reservation.

 

 

 

 

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