Europe driving in winter

Dec 10th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 98
Europe driving in winter

WeŽll pass Holidays and January travelling in Europe by car.
How is driving from Prague to Innsbruck in the first days of January? Is ist possible? It will be necessary winter tires or chains?
Your help will be important for us because we live in Brazil
Thanks a lot
libanio is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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could be but hard to tell i think

PalenQ is online now  
Dec 10th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Winter tyres are a really good idea, and if you can hire chains and know how to fit them then do so, just in case, I would say.
I don't know if hire cars are normaly fitted with winter tyres though.
hetismij is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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In Germany, when driving on snowy roads, snow tyres are mandatory. You'll be fined if you don't have them fitted. In case of an accident you'll be held responable for the excess damage that occurred violating that law. (i.e. if snow tyres would have prevented the accident, you're responsable for it.) However, rental agencies won't provide snow tyres unless asked to do so.
logos999 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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In addition to what logos already said:

Winter tires are an absolute MUST for driving in Czech, Southern Germany, and Austria during that time of the year.

Snow chains are only needed when your travels take you up small, secondary or rural roads in the Alps. You don't need them on regular highways since winter tires are also designed to handle snow to some extent.

The biggest "threat" IMO is to get stuck on a motorway because someone else (usually trucks with inadequate tires) caused an accident, and the motorway is blocked for some time. Therefore, I would always suggest to be more careful about the gas in your tank and make sure you never run on empty. If you get into a traffic jam, you will be happy to have enough gas to keep the engine running and stay warm inside.

Rental car companies sometimes only adjust the level of anti-freeze in your windshield washer tank to local standards. In the mountains you may need extra anti-freeze since night time temperatures can easily be low as minus 10 or 20 C. You will find ready bottles with anti-freeze at any gas station for a few Euros.

With regard to driving in Austria, you probably know already that you have to get a toll sticker for the motorways (available at gas stations near former border crossing). In Czech you pay at toll plazas as you go, in Germany the motorways are toll-free.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 01:38 AM
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Thank to you all for your helpful informations.
libanio is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Starting January 1st, 2008, it is mandatory for a car to be equipped with 4 winter tyres with a tread profile depth of at least 4mm. The fine for non-compliance is €5,000!

So make sure your rental car fully complies...
Andreas_US_GER is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 03:59 AM
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Andreas US GER,
thanks for your information. This rule applies in all Europe?
It was established by whom?
libanio is offline  

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