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European winter tyre laws

Austria

Winter tyres; mandatory from 01/11 – 15/04, minimum of 4mm
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 31/03, maximum speed 37mph highway/56mph motorway, speed rating stickers mandatory
Extras – snow chains may be used on the drive wheels (in combination with summer tyres) as an alternative. Safety vest and warning signs mandatory

Belgium

Winter tyres; no regulations
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/10 – 31/03, maximum speed 50mph highway/62mph motorway
Extras; snow chains are recommended, safety vest and warning triangle mandatory

Bulgaria

Winter tyres; no regulations
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; snow chains are mandatory from 01/11 – 31/03, safety vest and warning triangle mandatory

Croatia

Winter tyres; mandatory in wintry conditions, minimum 4mm tread depth
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; snow chains, safety vest and warning triangles are compulsory

Czech Republic

Winter tyres; highly recommended and can mandated by signs
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; snow chains mandatory in signed areas, warning sign also mandatory

Denmark

Winter tyres; no regulations
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 15/04
Extras; snow chains and safety vest recommended, warning triangle mandatory

Estonia

Winter tyres; compulsory 01/12 – 28/02, although this date can vary depending on conditions – minimum 3mm tread depth
Spiked tyres; permitted 01/10 – 01/03
Extras; snow chain, safety vest and warning triangle are all recommended

Finland

Winter tyres; mandatory, minimum 3mm of tread
Spiked tyres; permitted 01/11 – 31/03, maximum 1.2mm height above tyre surface
Extras; chains are not regulated, safety vest recommended and warning triangles are compulsory

France

Winter tyres; not mandatory, but are required when indicated by signs, this is often the case in the Alps
Spiked tyres; only allowed 01/11 – 31/03 on special ‘public’ vehicles, speed stickers mandatory
Extras; snow chains can be mandated by signs, safety vest and warning triangles are also mandatory

Germany

Winter tyres, mandatory in wintry conditions – not for caravans/trailers
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras, snow chains mandatory, safety vest recommended

Further info; on the 4th December 2010, new regulations regarding winter tyre requirements were introduced in Germany. This new regulation applies to all motorised vehicles using roads in Germany, including those registered abroad so vehicles registered in the United Kingdom are affected. It is now prohibited to use summer tyres in Germany during winter weather conditions. Winter weather conditions include black ice, snow, ice, slush and hoarfrost. Please bear in mind that these conditions may also be present even if the temperature is above 0 degrees. German law specifies that the tyres must be winter tyres or all season tyres designed for use in wintry conditions. Suitable tyres will normally be marked with a snow flake or snowy mountains symbol. Motorists, whose car is equipped with summer tyres may not take the car on the road in winter weather conditions. Motorists in violation face fines of €20. If they actually obstruct traffic, the fine is €40. You may also be prevented from continuing your journey unless the tyres are changed or the weather conditions change.

Hungary

Winter tyres; recommended
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; snow chains, warning triangle and safety vest are mandatory

Italy

Winter tyres; recommended, can be held liable for collision damage and can be mandated by signs
Spiked tyres; allowed 15/11 – 15/03, maximum speed 56mph highway/75mph motorway
Extras; snow chains, warning triangle and safety vest are mandatory

Lithuania

Winter tyres; mandatory for all vehicles inc caravans/trailers
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 01/04
Extras; snow chains and safety vest are recommended, warning signs are mandatory

Luxembourg

Winter tyres; recommended
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/12 – 31/03, maximum speed 56mph highway/75mph motorway
Extras; snow chains are recommended, safety vest and warning triangle are mandatory

Latvia

Winter tyres; mandatory, minimum 3mm tread depth
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/10 – 01/03
Extras; safety vest recommended, warning triangle compulsory

Netherlands

Winter tyres; no regulations
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; safety vest recommended and warning signs mandatory

Norway

Winter tyres; mandatory in wintry conditions
Spiked tyres; allowed 16/10 – 30/04, maximum height above tyre 1.2mm
Extras; snow chains recommended, warning triangle mandatory

Poland

Winter tyres; not a legal requirement however because there is minimal snow clearing on country roads driving without winter tyres is a major risk
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; snow chains are mandatory as is a warning triangle, safety vests are advisable

Romania

Winter tyres; no regulations
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; safety vest is recommended and warning triangles are mandatory

Serbia

Winter tyres; recommended
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; safety vest is recommended and warning triangles are mandatory

Spain

Winter tyres; not compulsory but either winter tyres or chains can become mandated by signs
Spiked tyres; allowed 15/11 – 30/03
Extras; snow chains are recommended, safety vest and warning triangle mandatory

Sweden

Winter tyres; mandatory, must have a minimum of 3mm of tread, also applicable for trailers
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/10 – 30/04, maximum height above tyre 1.2mm
Extras; Snow chains and safety vests are recommended, warning triangles are mandatory

Slovenia

Winter tyres; legal requirement between 15/11 – 1/03, minimum tread depth is 4mm
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; Snow chains, safety vests and warning triangles are all mandatory.

Slovakia

Winter tyres; legal requirement between 15/11 – 1/03, minimum tread depth is 4mm
Spiked tyres; forbidden
Extras; Snow chains, safety vests and warning triangles are all mandatory

Switzerland

Winter tyres; recommended, if you have an accident and are not using winter tyres and it is deemed that they should have been used then you can be held liable.
Spiked tyres; allowed 01/11 – 30/04, forbidden on motorways
Extras; snow chains are optional but can be mandated by signs, warning triangle mandatory


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