Winter tyres are required by law for trucks (m ≥ 3.5 tonnes) and buses from 15 November to 31 March and in weather conditions. Any trailer coupled to a vehicle must comply with the rules relating to winter tyres. If the vehicle has studded tires, the trailer must do the same. If the vehicle uses friction tires, it is acceptable to use friction tires or studded tires. Today, the M+S marking is no longer sufficient in countries such as Germany, where the legal definition of a mandatory winter tyre is the symbol of the snowflake. Also in the Nordic countries, the M+S marking will be replaced by the Snowflake symbol. Use of snow chains if indicated by road signs. Studded tires prohibited. Exception: Route via „Kleines Deutsches Eck“. €60 fine for unsuitable tyres; €80 fine for obstruction/disruption of traffic due to unsuitable tyres; €100 fine for causing a dangerous situation due to unsuitable tyres; Fine of €120 for causing an accident due to unsuitable tyres. Plus 1 point each (Flensburg points system).
In the UK, it is not necessary to fit winter tyres at any particular time of the year. However, it is safer to drive in winter with winter or all-season tires, and these tires become more efficient below 7°C. To know when to replace your summer tires with winter tires, think about when the road cools more regularly or if there is snow and ice. Remember this basic rule: „When the road temperature drops below 7°C, it`s time to put on your winter tires!“ Another guide is to switch to winter tires for Halloween and summer tires for Easter. At temperatures below 7°C, summer tyres are less efficient. The best solution is to use certified tires for the winter. These are designed for use in cold weather and make it easy to control your vehicle on wet and snowy roads. Winter tire braking distances are shorter in winter conditions and drivers may feel more grip while driving on them compared to summer tires. Some countries require drivers to always use winter tires at a certain time of year. In other countries, it is necessary to use only in certain road conditions.
And somehow, it`s purely advisory. Winter tyres are not mandatory in the Netherlands. The use of studded tires and snow chains is not permitted as they damage the roadway. In Romania, winter tyres are mandatory on snowy, icy or black roads. These tyres must be fitted to all wheels. Tyres must be marked M+S or M&S. Winter tyres shall have a tread depth of at least 1,6 mm over at least two-thirds of the tread width. It is permitted to use such tires outside the winter season if weather or road conditions require it.
Winter tyres manufactured after 31 December 2017 must bear the Alpine symbol (mountain with snowflake). M+S (mud and snow) tyres manufactured before 31 December 2017 can be used until 30 September 2024. After this date, only tyres bearing the Alpine symbol are allowed. Good to know: It should be noted that not changing winter tires can sometimes be described as gross negligence by the insurer and makes it difficult to obtain compensation in the event of an accident. Good to know: It is the legal responsibility of the driver to carry the necessary winter equipment; Therefore, it is important to check if it is included in each rental car. This regulation applies both to vehicles registered in Austria and to vehicles registered abroad. Buses and trucks must be equipped with winter tires or use snow chains on driving axles. In Austria, vehicles must be fitted with winter tyres from 1 November to 15 April if weather conditions so require. These tires must be mounted on all wheels when roads are covered with snow or ice.
Tyres shall have a minimum tread depth of 4 mm for radial tyres (the most common) and a minimum tread depth of 5 mm for transverse tyres. In muddy or snowy conditions, or in harsh conditions for other reasons, the tread depth of winter tires must be at least 5 mm. This is a new regulation in France introduced in November 2021. The measure requires light commercial vehicles, as well as trucks without trailers or semi-trailers, to have 4 winter tires (labeled M+S/MS/M&S) or install snow chains on two-wheel drive. OTRE. High mountain roads with red walking (15/TV-87): Snow chains in rigid trucks between 3.5 t and 7.5 t GVW and buses if no winter tire is fitted. The use of studded tires with studs up to 2 mm is allowed on snowy roads. Winter tyres: not mandatory, but pay attention to liability issues in the event of an accident with summer tyres in winter conditions. Only 3PMSF tires are considered suitable for winter conditions.
Minimum tread depth for winter tires 1.6 mm, 4 mm is the recommended tread depth. Studded tyres: allowed from 1 October to 15 April or in winter conditions. Winter tyres are mandatory in some European countries at certain times of the year. In other places, such as the UK, winter tyres are optional. Given the large differences in winter tyre regulations from one country to another, we thought it would be useful to give a summary of the rules governing the use of winter tyres by our nearest European neighbours. Studded tires are not illegal. However, studded tyres should only be used on compacted snow or ice in Ireland. Vehicles equipped with summer tires must have chains, see below. All-season tyres can therefore only be used as winter tyres if they bear a snowflake marking. In Croatia, winter tyres and additional winter equipment are mandatory for all types of motor vehicles between 15 November of the current year and 15 April of the following year. In Slovenia, between 15 November and 15 November, there are a large number of countries of 15 December. Winter March tyres mandatory.
Snowflake Three-Peak Mountain Tires (3PMSF) offer legally certified winter performance. These tires must pass a test on a snowy road and have at least 25% more traction than a standard reference tire.