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post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
For anyone who are Going to Europe to ski and will rent a car:

DON'T FORGET TO ASK FOR WINTER TIRES.

HERTZ rental car and, I believe the all others companies, will not to offer you the Winter tires and if you get involved in an accident ( right probability, since you'll going to mountains).

The responsibility will be integrally yours, believe it.:

That awful situation happens with us last Feb.
post #2 of 20
Sorry about that.. You should always be aware of such stuff - the companies will always try to cheat you..
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlam View Post
HERTZ rental car and, I believe the all others companies, will not to offer you the Winter tires, and if you get involved in an accident (right probability, since you'll going to mountains) the responsibility will be integrally yours, believe it.: .
This is true in the states, too. And, rightfully so, imo.

I don't think rental companies should ever take the blame for somebody getting in an accident while driving one of their cars because it didn't have snow-tires or chains.

THAT'S THE DRIVER'S RESPONSIBILITY!!!

"My car didn't have headlights, I couldn't see, it's not my fault."
:
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
This is true in the states, too. And, rightfully so, imo.

I don't think rental companies should ever take the blame for somebody getting in an accident while driving one of their cars because it didn't have snow-tires or chains.

THAT'S THE DRIVER'S RESPONSIBILITY!!!

"My car didn't have headlights, I couldn't see, it's not my fault."
:

Ok, But, they must consider some important points:
We live in Brasil, an Equatorial country, hot! HOT! The winter mean temps are 15C°. Far way of snow or icy or freeze conditions. Hello there, we don't have snow from here!!! We don't to know about winter tires, chains, whatever. We are contracting a service you(Hertz, at all) know about the place conditions where the car will be used. Hello you must to offer me the adequate equipment !!!:::

Well, my point of view.

I'm considering to sue Hertz, since local justice understand that is responsibility of the service provider offer the correct set of equipments not the opposite.

Eduardo
post #5 of 20
Suing is way more difficult in Europe than it is in the USA. The European law says that you are held responsible if the vehicle you are driving does not work properly.. You learn that when you get your driver's licence..
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlam View Post
We are contracting a service you(Hertz, at all) know about the place conditions where the car will be used. Hello you must to offer me the adequate equipment !!!:::

Well, my point of view.
I fully agree with you, Eduardo. A GOOD rental (or any service provider) should recommend other options and explain risks - especially regarding safety. Their customers will have a good feelings, because the rental is caring for them, and rental company higher profits (or turnover, at least ;-)).
On the other hand, I do not think that you can succeed suing the rental company - it's the drivers responsibility to check if everything is OK.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlam View Post
Ok, But, they must consider some important points:
We live in Brasil, an Equatorial country, hot! HOT! The winter mean temps are 15C°. Far way of snow or icy or freeze conditions. Hello there, we don't have snow from here!!! We don't to know about winter tires, chains, whatever. We are contracting a service you(Hertz, at all) know about the place conditions where the car will be used. Hello you must to offer me the adequate equipment !!!:::
Eduardo
fair enough. I hear that.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Even when you said where you are going to go and also ask for tire chains?
post #9 of 20
Sorry for your bad experience, but to expand on what samurai posted, you should be aware that US-based car rental firms do not provide chains, and in fact do not allow you to put chains on the car.

From Hertz' website (www.hertz.com then click on Customer Support, then on FAQ, then search for "snow tires")
Quote:
Originally Posted by hertz.com
Does Hertz Provide Snow Chains?
Question


Does Hertz provide snow chains?
Answer


No, Hertz neither provides snow chains nor allows chains to be put on the tires of the vehicle in the United States and Canada.
In fact, drivers of passenger vehicles even here in the mountains rarely use chains. Many of us do put winter tires ("Snow Tires") is the US term, but many more don't. Almost nobody down in the flatlands do.

I think you'll find that all the rental companies consider their vehicles are properly equipped for snow, because they have "All-Season" tires, which have been standard on almost all cars in the US market for 20 years or so.

Beyond that, it's skill, experience, and caution driving in snow.

Perhaps in Europe it's possible to request vehicles with winter tyres and/or chains. However I think you would have to be very specific and follow up with the rental location, not just with their website. You also might be better there renting from a European-based company rather than the European branch of a US company, because the US-based parent company mentality might influence what Hertz does or doesn't offer.
post #10 of 20
If you rent a car in Switzerland, a 'Winter Driving Kit' including chains is included. I have no idea about Austria. The first thing you should do is find out if the rental company was actually required to include this. If it was, case closed.

What surprises me is that they didn't try to SELL you chains.

And tell us more about this rather important point that you did not mention in the original post, but did write later:

Quote:
Even when you said where you are going to go and also ask for tire chains?
So if I got this right, you requested chains and they were not provided? When was this request made and do you have a record of it? This is somewhat contrary to your original post, in whch you say:

Quote:
DON'T FORGET TO ASK FOR WINTER TIRES.
I am therefore rather confused about your situation at this point due to these conflicting statements.
post #11 of 20
In France, most rental companies rent specialy equiped vehicles (snow tyres + chains), or 4wd, in winter, from "alpine" airports or train station. "Alpine" meaning gates to the alps.
But you need to specify the right group.
See here for instance http://www.avis.fr/flotteneige

I spent the last week end in the tarentaise and Avis in Lyon rented me a 4wd SUV with a set of chains in the trunk for the price of an intermediate car.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Ok !

"...I am therefore rather confused about your situation at this point due to these conflicting statements...."

Ami, let me try to explain.

When I said Don't forget to ask for chains... I would to say even asking about it they can do a big mess (my case). Sorry I really do it in a wrong way(my poor English).

I rented the car from Paris.

- The first contact was through the Hertz page, made the reservation and NOTHING came on screen to say me about tires or chains.

- After that, I've made a call to hertz to check if they have some "promotion". Again, even after said about the plan to travel for many Europe countries, nothing was said about special tires or chains.

- Here, at the Forum, many fantastic information were gathered about Austria road condition, Sticker and so on. Those mates concerns let me to be in tune about chains.

- At the Hertz pick up at Charles airport, they ask us where we were going and we answer - France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. The only would to know it to warning us about the restriction of go to East Europe countries. I ask again about chains. the response: No chains, you must to buy at a gas station if you want it. No mention of snow tires or whatever.

Mark

In the same trip we were at US, Washington DC, Jan, 29 for a day(rent Avis) and back Feb, 12 and go to NY under a big snow storm, that force us to sleep at North of Chesapeake bay. Well they gave us cars with the correct tires. we need to ask for Nothing "special" on this way(Avis again).

My point is: even told the Hertz people about our itinerary and showing the countries where the winter tires are mandatory, they don't oriented us or gave us a car with the right tires. And, for sure, if anyone must to knows about the security issues and about the rules and laws this must to be the Hertz not me.

In my opinion all the Hertz procedures should be revised. Also the people who treat with us at Paris were absolutely under trained and almost can't spoke in English. A total shame for Hertz.:

Well, that's it!
post #13 of 20
^^ good points ^^^
Looks like Hertz has a partial responsability here.
The strangest part is the refusal to provide chains.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
What I want posting this issue here??

Keep the people informed and advised about how dreadful could a simple car rental be.

Mainly for us who love ski and usually drive on mountains and icy conditions, many of that, using rented cars.

And, Phillipe, for sure, beside the problem with Hertz, we absolutely loved Paris, France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland all places and people we were visited.

Cheers,
Eduardo
post #15 of 20
Personally, I think it's the responsibility of the consumer to figure out if the car has winter tires or not. If you are unable to ascertain this information, then do not rent the car. This is just common sense. If you get into an accident, I do not believe that this is the company's fault at all. People need to start taking responsibility for themselves and stop blaming others for their own faults.
post #16 of 20
OK, you were renting the car in Paris, not Austria. That may help to explain a few things.

To my knowledge, and I accept that knowledge may be incorrect, rental car companies in France are not required to provide winter driving equipment. That is one reason why it is generally regarded as better to rent a car on the Swiss side of the Geneva airport than on the French side. That does you no good in Paris, of course.

So you were renting the car in Paris, which is nowhere near any mountains. It is therefore not terribly surprising that they did not stock chains or winter tires. They did, however, tell you where you could get chains, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. They answered your question. I would add that buynig chains at the petrol station is probably cheaper than getting them from the rental agency, anyway.

They asked where you were going and warned against restrictions in driving in Eastern Europe, but not about needing chains. This is simple to explain. Auto theft is more or a problem in Eastern Europe, and the rental car company doesn't want its car getting stolen. That's why they place restrictions. They were asking you a question regarding their company's own restrictions, not about driving in Europe in general.

I think it is somewhat unrealistic to think that a rental car company in Paris is going to warn you about every driving rule in every country, especially since it is actually your responsibility, not theirs. It is also unrealistic to expect a rental car company in Paris to necessarily have a fleet with winter tires installed.

I don't think the issue here is that Herz in Paris rented you a car without winter tires. The issue is that you didn't take their advice and buy some chains.
post #17 of 20
Hey Eduardo,

i think that hertz has some fault here. Depending on how expensive the damage you had to pay was and how difficult it will be for you i would advise you to contact hertz and make your case clear to them.
Demand that they pay for some part of the expenses.
If they refuse then you should consider suing them. Unfortunally i am unable to give you advice regarding french law, but generally speaking european courts are quite objective and reasonable.
post #18 of 20
ami in berlin, I think that, even in Paris (ie, far from the mountains) it's reasonable to expect from a major rental company a basic information re driving regulations in Europe. Especialy when dealing with brazilians intending to drive in switzerland and austria in winter.
And, yes, they should stock snow chains in winter. As a matter of fact, they frequently do.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ami and mrzinwin

I totally disagree with you both.

"...I think it is somewhat unrealistic to think that a rental car company in Paris is going to warn you about every driving rule in every country, especially since it is actually your responsibility, not theirs. It is also unrealistic to expect a rental car company in Paris to necessarily have a fleet with winter tires installed..."

1 - It's not simple rule - It is a major rule regarding safety and other countries law.

2 - Yes, they must to advise about the major rules of every country.

3 - Not a fleet but some ones.


"...People need to start taking responsibility for themselves and stop blaming others for their own faults.


4 - I'm not to push my responsibility. As I said, I did my home work and got so many informations as I could and try hard to handle with all issues on my travel. Because I do not want to have troubles on a family holidays.
And repeat NEVER HERTZ SAY ANYTHING ABOUT WINTER TIRES ON 3 CONTACTS AND SEVERAL QUESTIONS/ANSWERS later. I can't be responsible for something I have no idea about.

5 - They cannot ask for something that I don't Know. And if not the company to support me and show me the right way, Who else will?

6 - Of course they are concerned about theft in East Europe and not about tires, since it's far easy to put the cost of the all mess on your credit card.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
philippeR

You absolutely got the point!!

Also, just to point it out: the conditions were to winter tires not to chains. Austria Police statement !
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