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Winter Tyre Obligation in Europe

In some European countries winter tyres are obligatory under certain conditions, that are mostly related to the weather conditions or a specific period. While there are no legal requirements on these issues in countries like Albania or Malta, in countries like Germany driving without winter tyres is punishable. So you should check the rules just before the winter holidays.

In some places, winter tyres are bound to speed limits, elsewhere snow chains may not be used. Basically we can say, that countries with a lot of snow and high mountains have stricter rules as those in Southern Europe for example. But also Poland, the Netherlands and Ireland have no winter tyre obligation and spike tyres are even forbidden here. Because there are many exceptions and the rules differ from country to country, we have summarized the winter tyre obligation and regulations for snow chains and spike tyres for you.

CountryWinter Tyre ObligationSnow ChainsSpike Tyres
Albania None None None
Belgium No legal obligation Allowed on snow- or ice-covered roads. Allowed between 1st November and 31st March for coaches and vehicles with up to 3.5 t (and trailers); assembling on all tyres mandatory. Speed limit 90 km/h (56 mph) (motorway / dual carriageway), resp. 60 km/h (37 mph) (all other roads); decal at the rear with speed "60" mandatory.
Bosnia-Herzegovina Obligation between 15th November an 15th April. M+S tyres / winter tyres have to be assembled at least at the drive wheels. Allowed Disallowed
Bulgaria Situational winter tyre obligation at winterly weather conditions (ice, snow). Obligation doesn't apply for vehicles licensed abroad. Winter tyres have to be assembled at all wheels. Allowed and can be prescribed by signs; speed limit 50 km/h (31 mph). Disallowed
Denmark No legal obligation Allowed Allowed between 1st November and 15th April; assembling on all tyres mandatory.
Germany

Situational winter tyre obligation at winterly weather conditions (M+S tyres).

Fine for offences: 40 €, resp. for traffic obstruction: 80 €.

Only allowed at special signage; speed limit 50 km/h (31 mph).

Disallowed

Except in a 15 km zone at the border to Austria (motorways excluded).

Estonia Winter tyre obligation depends on the weather between 1st December and 1st March. Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Allowed from 1st October to 1st March.
Finland Winter tyre obligation between 1st December and 28th February (M+S tyres). Allowed as long as they don't harm the road. Allowed from 1st November to first Monday after Easter; Spike tyres have to be assembled at all wheels.
France No legal obligation; Winter tyres (M+S designation) can be prescribed by special road signs. Allowed and can be prescribed by signs; Speed limit 50 km/h (31 mph). Allowed from the Saturday before 11th November to last Sunday in March for vehicles with up to 3.5 t. Maximum speed of 90 km/h (56 mph), decal at the rear with speed limit mandatory.
Greece No legal obligation Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Disallowed
Great Britain No legal obligation Allowed as long as they don't harm the road. Allowed as long as they don't harm the road (only at winterly weather conditions).
Ireland No legal obligation; if winter tyres are used, they have to assembled at all wheels. Disallowed Disallowed
Iceland Winter tyre obligation depends on the weather between 1st November and 14th April. Allowed, when usage is necessary. Allowed; speed limit of 90 km/h (56 mph)
Italy Winter tyres can be short-dated obligatory between 15th November and 31st March on certain roads by specials signs (at winterly weather conditions). On certain routes, e.g. Aosta Valley, winter tyres are obligatory from 15th October to 15th April (winter tyres or snow chains). Allowed, snow chains or winter tyres can be prescribed by signs. Speed limit with snow chains is 50 km/h (31 mph). Allowed between 15th November and 15th March for vehicles with up to 3.5 t; Spike tyres have to be assembled at all wheels (also at trailers). Maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) (motorways), resp. 90 km/h (56 mph) (B-roads). Splashguard is mandatory (for foreign cars only recommended).
Croatia

No general legal obligation; Winter tyres (M+S designation) can be prescribed between November and April at winterly weather conditions (Snow shovel and snow chains for the drive wheels must be carried along).

Allowed and must be carried along in the vehicle (at least for the drive wheels). Snow chains are mandatory for icy conditions or 5 cm snow; general obligation in the Lika / Gorski Kotar region. Disallowed
Latvia Winter tyre obligation from 1st December to 1st March for cars (and trailers) with up to 3.5 t. Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Allowed between October and April.
Liechtenstein No legal obligation; winter tyres are recommended for winterly road conditions. Allowed and can be prescribed by signs; Speed limit 50 km/h (31 mph). Allowed between ca. 1st November and 30th April for vehicles with up to 3.5 t. Spike tyres must be assembled at all wheels. Disallowed on motorways / clearways. Speed limit 80 km/h (50 mph); decal at the rear with speed limit mandatory.
Lithuania Winter tyre obligation between 10th November and 1st April. Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Allowed in Winter; decal at the rear mandatory.
Luxembourg Obligation for winterly weather conditions (snow, ice, frost, ...). Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Allowed from 1st December to 31st March; assembly at all wheels mandatory. Speed limit max. 90 km/h (56 mph) (motorways), resp. 60 km/h (37 mph) (all other roads); decal at the rear with speed limit mandatory.
Malta None None None
Macedonia Winter tyre obligation from 15th November to 15th March for vehicles with up to 3.5 t. Heavy vehicles have to use winter tyres or carry along snow chains for the drive wheels. Coaches and vehicles with more than 3.5 t have to carry along a snow shovel. Allowed; Speed limit with snow chains is 70 km/h (44 mph). Disallowed
Montenegro Winter tyre obligation between 15th November and 31st March. Allowed and can be necessary on some routes. Disallowed
Netherlands No legal obligation Disallowed Disallowed
Norway No legal obligation; it is recommended to carry along snow chains for the drive wheels at winterly weather conditions. Winter tyres have to be assembled at all wheels. Allowed and vehicles with more than 3.5 t have to carry along snow chains in winter (entry can be refused otherwise). Allowed from 1st November to the Sunday after Easter; Spike tyre assembly at all wheels mandatory. On certain routes vehicles with spike tyres have to obtain an extra ticket, driving without the ticket carries a fine of ca. 97 €.
Austria

Winter tyre obligation from 1st November to 15th April for vehicles with up to 3.5 t and winterly road conditions. M+S tyres at all wheels or carrying along snow chains for the drive wheels at least. Heavy vehicles needs winter tyres for the drive wheels at least (minimum tread depth: 6 mm).

Fine for offences: 35 €resp. up to 5.000 €for endangering road traffic.

Allowed and usage can be obligatory for vehicles with up to 3.5 t without winter tyres from 1st November to 15th April at snow / ice. Recommended speed limit of 50 km/h (31 mph). Allowed between 1st October and 31st May for vehicles with up to 3.5 t; Spike tyre assembly at all wheels mandatory. Speed limit 80 km/h (50 mph) (B-roads) resp. 100 km/h (62 mph) (motorways / clearways; decal at the rear mandatory). Spikes with maximum 2 mm above the tread are allowed.
Poland No legal obligation Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Disallowed
Portugal No legal obligation Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Disallowed
Romania No legal obligation Allowed, carrying along is recommended. Disallowed
Russia Winter or spike tyres (esp. in Sibira) recommended. Allowed Disallowed
Serbia Winter tyre obligation from 1st November to 1st April at winterly weather conditions (ice, snow) for vehicles with up to 3.5 t. Heavy vehicles have to carry along a snow shovel. Allowed and must be assembled at certain weather situation or signage. Disallowed
Sweden

Winter tyre obligation between 1st December and 31st March for vehicles (trailers) with up to 3.5 t, when weather is winterly (M+S tyres). Carrying along a snow shovel and antifreeze is mandatory.

Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Allowed depending on the weather situation from 1st October and 15th April (exceptions: Stockholm, Uppsala and Gothenburg); spikes tyre assembly at all wheels mandatory. Max. 50 spikes per 1m tyre rolling circumference.
Switzerland

No legal obligation; winter tyres recommended at winterly road conditions (traffic obstruction without winter tyres can carry a joint liability or fine).

Allowed and must be assembled at certain weather situation or signage. Allowed (uo to 3.5 t) from 1st November to 30th April; spikes tyre assembly at all wheels mandatory. Not allowed on motorways / clearways; Speed limit max. 80 km/h (50 mph) (decal at the rear mandatory).
Slovakia

Conditional winter tyre obligation for vehicles with up to 3.5 t at winterly weather conditions. Lorries with more than 3.5 t have to be equipped with winter tyres between 15th November and 31st March.

Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads for drive wheels. Disallowed
Slovenia

General winter tyre obligation from 15th November and 15th March; in addition at winterly road conditions. At all wheels for vehicles with up to 3.5 t, for heavy vehicles only at the drive wheels. Or alternative: Carrying along snow chains.

Allowed; speed limit with snow chains is 50 km/h (31 mph). Disallowed
Spain No legal obligation Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads; Maximum speed 50 km/h (31 mph). Disallowed
Czech Republic

Winter tyre obligation: At winterly road conditions between 1st November and 31st March vehicles with up to 3.5 t must be equipped with winter tyres. Heavy vehicles need them only at the drive wheels (minimum tread depth of 6 mm). Signage can prescrice winter tyres as well.

Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Disallowed
Turkey No general legal obligation, at winterly weather conditions between December and March Allowed on snow- and ice-covered roads. Disallowed
Ukraine Winter tyre obligation from November to March; minimum tread depth of 6 mm Allowed Allowed
Hungary No legal obligation; winter tyres can be prescribed by special signs Allowed and must be assembled at certain weather conditions and signage. Maximum speed of 50 km/h (31 mph); entry can be refused without snow chains. Disallowed
Zypern No legal obligation Allowed on roads in the mountains Allowed on roads in the mountains

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mytyres.co.uk - an offer by Delticom AG 20.01.2021 06:55