×
10% off Continental All Season Contact & up to 15% off Michelin CrossClimate tyres
 
choose our fully fitted service
2,500+ local fitting partners
 
over 2 million customers served
21 years of exceptional service

Help > Tyres > European winter tyre laws

European Winter Tyre Laws


In many countries within Europe, there are laws which require the fitment of winter tyres during the winter months.

If you are planning on taking a trip abroad during the winter, it is highly advised that you research the laws of the country and make sure that if you are driving your own car in a country, you have the correct type of tyres fitted.

We have compiled this list of countries where there is either a law in place or where there are certain regional laws that require winter tyres to be fitted.

Austria

In Austria, the law states that between 1st of November and the 15th of April, a car - that has a maximum weight 3.5 tonnes - can only drive in winter conditions (i.e. snow, ice, slush, etc) as long as winter tyres have been fitted.

If an all season tyre bears the "M + S" mark on the sidewall, these will be considered as an adequate alternative.

If you do not follow these laws, you risk a fine of around €5,000 as well as your vehicle being seized.

Bosnia Herzegovina

Motorists in Bosnia Herzegovina are required to fit winter, all-season or snow chains as mandatory onto their vehicle from the 15th of November to the 15th of April.

Denmark

During winter, Denmark experiences some very low temperatures. For this reason, the Government strongly recommend the use of winter tyres or all season tyres. However, Danish law does not require this as mandatory.

Finland

Finland suffers from some serious winter weather and as such the fitting of winter tyres is compulsory from the 1st of December to the end of February. When defining what constitutes a winter tyre, the law states that it must have the M&S symbol on its sidewall.

France

As a general rule, the fitting of winter tyres is not compulsory. There are however, certain regions in the mountains that will indicate when the use of winter tyres is necessary.

Germany

According to the law, motorists must have winter tyres (that bear the M+S symbol) if they are driving on snow, black ice or roads covered in frost.

If you are caught driving in these conditions without the appropriate tyres fitted, you are likely to be fined €60. This amount will be doubled if you are the reason for any delays to traffic. You will also lose one point on your driving license.

Hungary

Fitting winter tyres is not a legal requirement. However, a vehicle must have snow chains onboard in case winter driving conditions become extreme.

When arriving at a border point, if there are signs up which indicate that snow chains must be fitted, only vehicles with satisfactory snow chains onboard is allowed to enter the country.

Iceland

From the 1st of November up to 15th of April winter tyres are compulsory in Iceland. These dates are subject to change and if you are planning on visiting Iceland, you should check this out before driving during the winter.

Italy

Winter tyres are not compulsory in Italy. However, if local signs indicate that snow chains should be carried in the vehicle, you are required to do so.

One region which differs is the Val d'Aosta area (in the north-west of the country). From the 15th of October to the 15th of April vehicles must be either fitted with winter tyres or snow chains.

Luxemburg

The use of winter tyres is not compulsory. However, tyres which are deemed to be inappropriate for winter conditions are used then you could – and you are involved in an accident – then you could face fines as much as €145.

Poland

You do not need to fit winter tyres according to Polish law. However, they are highly recommended by the Government, especially in rural areas. This is because there is very little in the way of snow clearing on the smaller country roads.

Norway

Surprisingly, winter tyres are not compulsory here. That is unless there is ice or snow covering the roads. In this case winter tyres or tyres with snow chains fitted must be used.

Slovakia

There are no specific laws in Slovakia concerning the use of winter tyres. However, in the case of an accident, if a motorist does not have winter tyres fitted to his/her vehicle they have a far greater chance of receive the responsibility of any damage incurred from the collision.

Sweden

Winter tyres are mandatory from the 1st of December until the 31st of March. The winter tyres must also have a minimum tread depth of 3mm and the marking M&S on their sidewall.

Spain

When driving in Spain, you will need to have winter tyres fitted if you spot a traffic sign indicating that winter tyres (or snow chains) are compulsory in that area.

Switzerland

There are no specific laws in Switzerland concerning the use of winter tyres. However, in the case of an accident, if a motorist does not have winter tyres fitted to his/her vehicle they have a far greater chance of receive the responsibility of any damage incurred from the collision.

In certain areas there is a requirement to use winter tyres. Road signs are used to indicate to a driver whether or not they are on a road that winter tyres must be fitted.

United Kingdom

There are no laws requiring the fitment of winter tyres in the UK. However, it is recommended that motorists fit winter or all season tyres during the winter months to ensure the greatest level of safety and performance from their car.

Please Note

This page had been created as a general guide to European winter tyre laws and is not to be used as basis for legal requirements – always check with the appropriate Governmental Institution to ensure your compliance with current legislation.