Rental cars are cars rented out by car rental agencies for periods ranging from a few hours to a few days and sometimes for a few weeks. It goes without saying that these rental cars go for a fee as determined by the agencies.
Do Rental Cars Offer All-Season Tires?
Many times, rental cars offer solutions to the plights of people who need a car for a particular purpose and would rather not buy or lease. However, before finishing up the deal, renters may have a few concerns, one of which is whether the car has all-season tires.
This concern is particularly valid during winter when the roads become overly soaked and driving gets tricky.
In this article, we’ll be exploring whether rental cars typically sport all-season tires.
Here’s The Short Answer To Whether Rental Cars Offer All-Season Tires:
Many rental car agencies offer all-season tires, so you don’t have to worry if you are looking to rent in snowy weather. All you need to do is contact a car rental that offers all-season tires on their cars and has an active customer support line in case of any tire issues.
Which Kind Of Tires Do Rental Cars Have?
We took a look at multiple rental car agencies and found that a great percentage of them offer vehicles with all-season tires.
This is to help forestall any likelihood of tires going flat or berserk as a result of extraordinary weather conditions.
Many rental cars are also equipped with tires carrying a clear “M+S” sign which basically means the tires are mud and snow rated.
So if you are looking to rent a car, these are some of the things you need to check out and make sure your tire has.
The foremost reason why rental car companies go for all-season tires is because season-specific tires aren’t fit for certain weather conditions. All-season tires, on the other hand, will hold their own in any condition, as the name implies.
Do Rental Cars Have Snow Tires in the Cold Season?
Snow tires indeed come in handy during snow weather as they help cars move better in such conditions. However, rental car companies, especially in the U.S, do not typically offer snow tires, chains, or other such equipment.
This is usually to avoid the risks that such tires and equipment may pose to the car. In addition to that, most car rental contracts prohibit customers from trying to add these equipment by themselves.
Defiance of this could render the entire contract void and may even result in court-enforced damages.
However, in countries outside the U.S., the status quo is shockingly different. For instance, in Canada, certain provincial laws require all cars, including rental cars, to have winter tires during the winter months (October to April).
This is also the case in some European countries like Germany and Austria.
Basically, if you are looking to rent a car in the U.S., don’t even count on your rental car having snow tires let alone snow chains.
Can You Ask For Snow Tires At a Car Rental?
In the U.S., car rental agencies do not offer snow tires, and asking for them is usually just a waste of time.
What you can demand, however, are all-season tires if the car you are looking to rent doesn’t already have them.
However, in countries like Canada and Germany, where snow tires are required during those times, customers are well within their rights to demand snow tires.
Related: Are Tires All Practically the Same? (Explained!)
Do Rental Cars Have Spare Tires?
Truth is, rental cars aren’t required or obligated to have spare tires, so customers really can’t insist on that. However, there are rental car agencies that offer spare tires as a way of guaranteeing full customer satisfaction and staying above the competition.
However, the question then begs, what if one rents a car without spare tires and the tires go flat on the move? Well, the answer to that is simple- make a call or text and contact the agency you rented the car from.
In other words, if you get a flat tire on your rental car, the first call you should make is to the rental car agency.
Once you make the call and they have your location, they would typically send over some road assistance and maybe a replacement rental car.
All you have to do is be upfront with them.
It is for this very reason that rental car agencies give you a number you can call in the event of such emergencies.
If you are wondering why rental cars don’t have spare tires, we can call it a smart move by agencies to forestall foul play. Having spare tires on a rental car could provide the leeway for unscrupulous renters to swap the tires with rusty/damaged ones.
Also, rental agencies care about your safety, and they’d rather not have you changing the tires yourself in the middle of nowhere.
Basically, if you are looking to rent a car, you’ll most likely not get spare tires. In such cases, make sure you get a helpline from the agency in case of flat tire situations.
It would be best to inspect the tires before renting to make sure they are in good condition, as that would help reduce the chances of a flat tire.
Related: Do You Get Refunded When Returning Rental Cars Early? (Solved)
What If I Want to Drive to a Colder State?
Some states and regions are significantly colder than others, which means wintry weathers are often at insane levels in such states.
If you are looking to rent a car you can drive in such places; it is normal to be worried, especially when you consider that there is close to zero chance of getting snow tires.
Below are some measures you can take to help improve your winter driving experience in those sub-zero places:
1. Rent a Car With All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive and 4-Wheel Drive vehicles are renowned for their abilities to handle off-road scenarios and wade through deep snow.
However, you should know that it would cost you a lot more than front-wheel-drive cars or two-wheel-drive cars.
The best way to swiftly find a 4WD/AWD rental car is by ordering from an airport location mainly targeted at ski resorts during winter. Rental companies around these areas are more likely to have 4WD/AWD cars(mostly SUVs).
2. Rent a Car With ABS
This goes without saying-cars perform better in tricky weather conditions if they are equipped with an anti-lock braking system. As a matter of fact, federal laws require every car in the U.S. to have an anti-lock braking system, so ordinarily, your rental car should have it.
We advise checking and making sure, though; you know, just to be safe.
Anti-lock brakes will help keep your car from skidding out of control when you are braking during winter drives.
Related: Toyota Camry In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)
3. Get Familiar With the Car
It is important that you get familiar with whatever car you have rented before taking it on a long trip.
You don’t want to drive far out of state only to discover you don’t actually know how to switch to All-wheel Drive.
Get familiar with the safety system, the GPS, alarms, braking systems, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, amongst other features. This would help you prepare for eventualities that could come up when you are deep into your journey.
In addition to all that, you should also fill up the tank completely to avoid the risk of getting stranded in the cold.
You can also take with you some warm clothes and cardigans that would protect you against cold.