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    Winter Road Rules

    The snow season is always a fun one but for driving a vehicle in it, it can also be a dangerous one. Most people from the UK are used to some snow and have had some experience driving in it, but head over to Europe in the winter months and you could be in for a shock; the snowfall there is generally a lot heavier than in the UK and it lasts longer!

    Before you book your car hire for a winter fun holiday, it is a good idea to understand the winter road rules of the country you are visiting. A point to remember is that while you may be collecting your vehicle from a city location - where snow is usually not a big issue - you may then wish to drive into snow areas; for example driving a car hire to France and visiting the Alps. You must advise this information when booking a vehicle so that the depot is made aware of what may be required on the vehicle to ensure your safety.

    In Austria winter tyres are required by law to be fitted to the vehicle between the 1st November and the 15th April. You can also use all season tyres, as long as they have been marked by the manufacturer with M&S; meaning that they are suitable to be used in mud and snow. The law also recommends that you have snow chains with you at all times. If you are stopped by the police during severe winter weather conditions and you do not have snow chains fitted to the vehicle, they can stop you from continuing on with your journey.

    If you are driving in France, requirements will depend on the area you were visiting. In the South of France there won't be any need for winter tyres; in The Alps region, however, it is recommended that you have winter tyres and it is compulsory to have snow chains in the vehicle.Spain has a similar situation to France, in that most of Spain you would not think about the tyres on your vehicle. But travel to the Spanish Pyrenees area between November and March and you may need to have a pair of snow chains with you in the vehicle.

    Italy also recommends that you use winter tyres and snow chains in severe winter conditions, but this is not a requirement of law.

    The Germans passed a new last on the 4th December 2010 stating that winter tyres or all season tyres marked M&S must be used in winter conditions. These conditions include: black ice, snow, ice and slush.

    The Swiss police can stop you to check if your vehicle is kitted out for the weather. Switzerland recommends the use of winter tyres and you must have snow chains when travelling through the mountain areas. If you are found to not have the correct winter equipment fitted you may face fines.

    One thing you can't control is the weather, but you can prepare for it!

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