Winter tires mandatory use – where in Europe?

Winter tires mandatory use – where in Europe?
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Winter tires use is mandatory, while driving in winter time, in the most of the European countries. Some of the EU member states require the winter tire to be specifically marked (check the links below for more information). Winter tires must be mounted on all wheels of the vehicle, even on the wheels of the trailer!

As a genera rule, while driving in EU, in heavy winter conditions, you are allowed to use snow chains, but onlly on the road sections signalized with the specific road sign! After passing this road section the chow chans must be removed.

Snow chains must be mounted on  all driving wheels of the vehicle. Denmark has specific rules – the snow chains must be mouted on all vehicle weels!

Studded tires use is not popular in the EU countries.

Countries where the winter tire use is mandatory are market with YES (in the first column in the table below):

 country  winter tires use  snow chains use studded tires use
Austria YES

from 1 November to 15 April

YES  from 1 Octomber to 31 May,  on signalized road sections only
Belgium

 recommended

(from 1 October to 30 April)

YES from 1 November to 31 March (in case of extremely heavy winter conditions only)
Cyprus NO  allowed

(in case of extremely heavy winter conditions)

NO
Czech Republic recommended*

(mandatory on the roads signalized with the relevant road sign)

YES NO
Denmark  препоръчително NO
Estonia YES

from 1 December to 1 March

YES

YES

from 15 October to 31 March

Finland YES

during December, January, February

YES

from the beginning of November to the end of March

France YES YES YES

from the last Suterday before 11 November to the last Monday of March

Germany YES YES  –
Greece YES YES  –
 Hungary NO YES NO
 Ireland NO NO NO
 Italy NO** YES

YES

from 15 November to 15 March

 Latvia

YES

From 1 December to 1 March

YES

YES

from 1 December to 31 March

 Luxembourg

YES

from 1 October to 31 March

YES YES

from 1 October to 31 March

 The Netherlands NO YES NO
 Poland NO YES NO
 Portugal NO YES NO
 Slovakia YES

from 15 November to 15 March

YES  –
 Slovenia YES

from 15 November to 15 March

YES NO
 Spain NO YES
 Sweden YES YES

YES

from 1 October to 15 April

 United Kingdom  НЕ YES
 Bulgaria  НЕ YES NO
 Romania YES

from 1 November to 31 March

YES NO
 Croatia YES YES NO
 Macedonia YES

from 15 November to 15 March

YES NO
 Turkey YES YES YES

(on specific and signalized road sections only)

 Albania NO YES NO
 Andorra  recommended YES NO
 Belarus

YES

from 1 December to 21 March

YES YES
 Bosnia and Herzegovina YES

from 15 November to 15 March

YES NO
 Iceland YES

from 1 November to 15 April

YES

YES

from 15 November to 15 April

 Liechtenstein NO ДА НЕ
Moldova

YES

from 1 December to 1 March

YES YES
 Norway NO  YES  YES
 Russia YES

from 1 December to 1 March

YES YES
 Serbia and Montenegro YES

from 1 November to 1 April

YES NO
 Switzerland NO*** YES YES
 Ukraine NO YES YES
 Lithuania YES

from 10 November to 1 April

YES

YES

from 10 November to 1 April

  • * It is highly recommended to use winter tires (M + S) when driving in Czech Republic, at the temperature below 4 °C, or within the period from November 1 to March 31. The roads on which winter tires are mandatory, are equipped with the appropriate sign. In case of absence of winter tires – a fine is from CZK 1,500 to 2,500. .
  • ** There is no legal requirement for the use of snow tires in Italy, but it is recommended that they are used. However, some road signs across Italy indicate when a snow chain or snow tires are compulsory. Moreover, any region can set their own time limits for the use of winter tires and snow chains
  • *** Winter tires are not mandatory in Switzerland. However, vehicles that are not equipped with winter tires and occur a problem for the traffic, may be fined.

 

More information on the traffic rules, speed limits and et.c in the European countries click here.