Do Hire Cars Come With Snow Tyres?

Do Hire Cars Come With Snow Tyres? At the moment, snow tyres are not mandatory but a choice. A smart choice.

When it comes to Hiring a Car in Winter a question we get asked a lot is, do hire cars come with snow tyres?. The answer really depends on where you are wanting to hire the vehicle.

If you are hiring a vehicle in the UK then you will find that the cars do not come with snow tyres, as mentioned above it is not mandatory in the UK right now therefore suppliers are not forced to equip the vehicles with them.

If you are not hiring in the UK then below is a list of countries that do force people to use winter/snow tyres, the general public and vehicle providers must adhere to these rules, so chances are when hiring in one of these countries the vehicle will have snow tyres. Please bear in mind that the legislation is different in every country, so the dates you are travelling are important. Contact us if you have any questions regarding this subject.


Snow tyres are mandatory in Switzerland between 1/11 and 15/4 for vehicles not using snow chains. These dates may be extended if bad weather conditions persist.

Snow chains can only be used if the roads have a complete covering of snow and must be fitted on at least two of the driving wheels.


Snow tyres are mandatory in Austria. The law states that passenger cars with a maximum weight of up to 3.5 tonnes may be operated only between 1/11 and 15/4 in winter conditions such as snow, slush or ice if winter tyres have been installed on all wheels. Tyres are considered winter tyres if they have the “M+S” mark.

As an alternative to snow tyres, snow chains may be used on at least two driving wheels, however, these may only be used if the road is covered by a complete or scarcely broken snow cover or sheet of ice. Failure to comply with the law results in a fine up to €5,000 and the vehicle could be impounded. Insurance is deemed void if a vehicle which is involved in an accident between 1/11 and 15/4 and is not fitted with winter tyres.


In Finland winter tyres are compulsory from 1/12 to the 1/3 unless otherwise indicated by road signs. Winter tyres must be marked with the M&S symbol.

Spiked tyres may be used from 1/11 until the first Monday after Easter.

Snow chains are allowed but only where there is sufficient snow to avoid any damage to the road surface.


Snow tyres are compulsory from 1/12 until 1/3, Spiked tyres are not allowed from 1/5 until 1/10


Winter tyres are not compulsory,however snow chains are as dictated by local road signs, in the event that there is ice or snow covering the roads winter tyres or tyres with snow chains must be used.

Spiked tyres may be used from 1/11 until the first Sunday after Easter. If spiked tyres are fitted there is a charge (in Oslo, Bergen and Trondhelm) stickers are available to buy daily, monthly or yearly.

From 15/10 until 1/5 you are permitted to use spiked tyres in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark.


Winter tyres which must be marked M&S are compulsory from 1/12 until 31/3 with a minimum tread depth of 3mm.

Spiked tyres may be used from 1/10 until 15/4 but must be fitted to all wheels. Please note that local authorities have the power to ban the use of spiked/studded tyres on their roads.

Snow chains may be used if weather/road conditions require.


Snow chains must be carried from 15/11 until 15/03 (and when the winter weather conditions necessitate) by cars and vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes unless the vehicle is fitted with four winter tyres with a minimum tread of 3mm. Spiked tyres are prohibited.


Motorists are obliged to make sure they have correct tyres to suit the winter weather conditions. This may mean the use of winter tyres (with M&S or snowflake symbol) and in extreme weather, the additional use of snow chains.

Vehicles with summer tyres fitted are not allowed to be driven on roads covered with snow and ice. Fines are in place for vehicles found to be doing so.

For more details about Winter Car Hire, or Ski Car Hire please contact our Car Hire experts over the phone on +44 (0)113 880 0748 or via email on