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Continental Winter Tires

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Winter Regulations

European regulations for winter equipment on trucks and buses - Winter 2017/2018

Country Tire regulationsSnow chain regulationsFurther information

 

Albania

 

No general winter tire regulations.

 

Snow chains for the drive axle must be carried in the vehicle. Use according to traffic signs and road conditions.

 

Studded tires prohibited.

Austria

Winter tires compulsory from November 1 to April 15. Risk of driving ban and heavy fines if you do not comply (€35 to €5,000). Trucks  > 3.5 t GVW must be equipped with M+S tires on at least one drive axle with a min. tread depth of 6 mm (bias) and 5 mm (radial). Winter tires are compulsory for buses (categories M2, M3) from November 1 to March 15.

Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle for at least two drive axle tires from November 1

to April 15. Exceptions for public service buses apply.

Use on roads covered with snow and ice.

Studded tires are prohibited for vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW.

Belgium

No general winter tire regulations. Symmetric fitting compulsory for M+S and winter tires.

Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and/or ice.

Studded tires prohibited.

Bosnia-

Herzegovina

From November 15 to April 15 there are two options that are mandatory for vehicles with more than 8 seats and for vehicles with > 3.5 t GVW:

Option 1: Tires with winter profile on the drive axle with min. 4 mm tread depth.

Option 2: Tires with standard profile with min. 4 mm tread depth; in case of winter conditions (e.g. snow fall, freezing rain), snow chains need to be mounted on the drive axle.

Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle from November 15 to April 15. 

A snow shovel and a bag of sand weighing between 25 kg and 50 kg must be carried in the vehicle. Studded tires prohibited.

Belarus

No general winter tire regulations.

Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.

Studded tires allowed.

Bulgaria

From November 15 to March 1 summer or winter tires with minimum 4 mm tread depth are mandatory.

Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle from November 1 to March 31. Usage is compulsory on mountain passes when indicated by traffic signs.

Studded tires prohibited. Without adequate winter equipment, may be refused or a driving ban may be issued.

Croatia

Winter tires compulsory from November 15 to April 15. M+S tires are compulsory on the drive axle of vehicles > 3.5 t GVW.

Snow chains required for the drive axle in certain conditions (if the vehicle is equipped with SU tires). Snow chains compulsory in some regions (Lika/Gorski Kotar).

Studded tires prohibited. Commercially used vehicles must carry a snow shovel.

Czech

Republic

Winter tires compulsory from November 1 to March 31 depending on road conditions in winter or if indicated by "winter kit" sign. M+S tires are compulsory on the drive axle of vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW with min. 6 mm tread depth.

Differing traffic signs possible. Snow chains are compulsory if indicated by traffic signs on at least 2 drive wheels of vehicles with 3 or more axles.

Studded tires prohibited.

DenmarkNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains allowed from November 1 to April 15.Studded tires allowed from November 1 to April 15. Studded tires should be mounted on all tires during this period.
EstoniaWinter tires compulsory (radial tires with min. 3 mm tread depth) from December 1 to March 1 (also from October to April depending on weather conditions).Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires are prohibited for vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW.
FinlandVehicles > 3.5 t GVW Dec.-Feb.: on drive axle min. 5 mm and all other axles min. 3 mm tread depth.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed from November 1 to first Monday after Easter. Depending on the weather conditions this period may be extended. Max. speed 80 km/h for vehicles > 3.5 t GVW. Allowed are: Average saliency max. 1.5 mm and max. 50 studs per meter circumference in tires produced after July 1, 2013.
FranceNo general winter tire regulations. Exceptions are indicated by traffic signs.Use of snow chains when indicated by traffic signs.Vehicles  < 3.5 t GVW: Studded tires allowed from first Saturday before November 11 to last Sunday of March, max. speed 90 km/h. Vehicle with studded tires have to be labelled with a sticker. Studded tires are prohibited for vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW.
GermanyIn certain situations in winter conditions. 
Vehicles < 3.5 t GVW must be equipped with tires marked with the Alpine-Symbol (3PMSF) from January 1, 2018 on all axle positions. Vehicles with > 3.5 t GVW must be fitted with tires marked with the Alpine-Symbol (3PMSF) at the wheel positions of the permanently driven axles. This holds for tires produced as of January 1, 2018. M+S tires produced before January 1, 2018 are accepted as suitable winter equipment until September 30, 2024. From July 1, 2020 at the latest, tires marked with the Alpine-Symbol are also mandatory for front steer axles.
Use of snow chains when indicated by traffic signs. Studded tires prohibited. Exception: Route via "Kleines Deutsches Eck“.€60 fine for unsuitable tires; €80 fine for causing obstruction of traffic due to unsuitable tires; €100 fine for causing hazardous situation due to unsuitable tires; €120 fine for causing an accident due to unsuitable tires. Plus 1 point in each case (Flensburg points system).
Great BritainNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed as long as the street surface does not get damaged. Otherwise a regress is possible.
HungaryNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice. It may be compulsory to apply and carry snow chains under certain weather conditions (max. speed: 50 km/h). In wintry conditions, foreign vehicles may be denied access if no snow chains are carried on board.Studded tires prohibited.
IrelandNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains only allowed when roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires are allowed, max. speed 96/112 km/h (national road/motorway).
ItalyNo general winter tire regulations.An anti-skid device (e.g. snow chains) must be carried in the vehicle.Winter regulation prot. RU/1580 applies only to the following vehicles categories: M1, N1 and O1. In the event of snow the local police may impose a transit prohibition on some highway sections.
KosovoNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains for the drive axle must be carried in the vehicle. Use according to traffic signs and conditions.Studded tires prohibited. Buses and trucks must carry a snow shovel.
LatviaWinter tires (M+S) compulsory for vehicles < 3.5 t GVW from December 1 to March 1. Min. 4 mm tread depth.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed between October 1 and April 30 for vehicles > 3.5 t GVW.
LiechtensteinNo general winter tire regulations. However, there are liability issues if unsuitable tires are used.  The vehicle equipment must be suitable for the weather conditions.Snow chains allowed. Not necessary in val- leys. In the mountains, traffic signs indicate if snow chains are compulsory.Vehicles > 7.5 t GVW: Studded tires allowed from November 1 to April 30, max. speed 80 km/h. All tires should be equipped with studded tires. Vehicles with studded tires have to be labelled with a sticker.
LithuaniaWinter tires compulsory for vehicles < 3.5 t GVW from November 1 and April 1.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed between November 1 and April 1.
LuxembourgAll drive axles on trucks and buses need to be equipped with winter tires (M+S suffices) during winter conditions (snow, ice, glazed frost).Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires prohibited.
MacedoniaNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle from October 15 to March 15 if vehicle has only standard tires fitted.Coaches and heavy trucks must carry snow shovels. Studded tires prohibited.
MontenegroTires marked with the M+S symbol or winter tires compulsory from November to April on specific roads, specified by Ministery of Police.
Min. 4 mm tread depth.
Snow chains for the drive axle must be carried in the vehicle. Use according to traffic signs and conditions.Studded tires prohibited. Buses and trucks must carry a snow shovel.
NetherlandsNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains not allowed on public roads.Studded tires prohibited.
Norway

From November 15, to March 31, vehicles >3,5 t GVW must be equipped with winter tires (M+S) on all axle positions with a minimum tread depth of 5 mm.

Please find a list with approved winter tires on www.stro.no.


It is mandatory for vehicles > 3.5 t GVW to carry snow chains in the period when it is legal to use studs.

A truck with trailer must carry 7 chains.

 Studded tires (average protrusion:
1.7 mm) allowed from November
1 to the first Sunday after Easter.
In Nordland, Troms and Finnmark: from
from October 16 to April 30.
Trucks and trailers: studded tires on
the same axle. If twin-mounted, one tire is sufficient.
In Trondheim and Oslo a fee is
charged for the usage of studded
tires: daily tickets may be acquired at
vending machines along the arterial
roads or by telephone or text message (send
from a Norwegian, Swedish or
Danish telephone number). Monthly
and annual tickets for Trondheim
may be acquired at Trondheim City
Parking Office in Erling, Skakkes Gate
40, 7012 Trondheim. Daily
tickets cost about €3.90,
monthly tickets about €52 and
annual tickets about €155 (costs
double for vehicles > 3.5 t GVW).
A violation is fined with €97.
PolandNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice. Adequate traffic signs on roads where snow chains are compulsory.Studded tires prohibited.
PortugalNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains temporarily compulsory when indicated by traffic signs (high-altitude regions only).Studded tires prohibited.
RomaniaIn case of wintry road conditions M+S or winter tires are compulsory for the drive axle of all vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW and vehicles transporting people (with more than 9 seats).Vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW have to be equipped with snow chains which need to be mounted when indicated by respective traffic signs.Shovel and sand required for vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW. Studded tires prohibited.
RussiaNew Technical Regulation expected. In December, January and February, passenger, light truck, trucks and buses must be equipped on all axles with tires marked M+S or with the 3PMSF-Symbol (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol). Minimum tread depth: 4 mmSnow chains are recommended but not compulsory.Use of studded tires is forbidden in the summer months (June, July, August).
SerbiaTires marked with M+S symbol or winter tires compulsory from November to April. Min. 4 mm tread depth. Use according to traffic signs and conditions.Snow chains for drive axle must be carried in the vehicle. Use according to traffic signs and conditions.Studded tires prohibited. Buses and trucks must carry a snow shovel.
SlovakiaWinter/M+S tires compulsory for trucks > 3.5 t GVW from November 15 to March 31 on drive axle (min. 3 mm tread depth). Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle.
Use according to traffic signs and conditions.
Studded tires prohibited.
Slovenia

From November 15 to April 15 there are two options that are mandatory on vehicles > 3.5 t GVW:

Option 1: winter tires at least on the drive axle (min. 3 mm tread depth)

Option 2: standard tires, but chains must be carried in the vehicle to be mounted on the drive axle in case of winter conditions.

Snow chains must be carried in vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW if no winter tires are fitted.

Studded tires prohibited.
SpainHigh mountain roads with red level (15/TV-87): Buses can drive with tires marked with the 3PMSF symbol (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol) in all positions and minimum tread depth 4 mm. Rigid trucks between 3.5 t and 7.5 t GVW only for garbage collection, food distribution, transport of fluxes and assistance vehicles can drive with winter tires in all positions and minimum tread depth 4 mm. Other trucks not allowed to drive.High mountain roads with red level (15/TV-87): Snow chains in rigid trucks between 3.5 t and 7.5 t GVW and buses, if no winter tires are fitted.Usage of studded tires with up to 2 mm studs are allowed on snow-covered roads.
Sweden

From December 1, to March 31, vehicles >3,5 t GVW must be equipped with winter tires (M+S) on the drive axle with a minimum tread depth of 5 mm. For tires on the steering and trailer axles the M+S marking is not mandatory. The minimum tread depth is 5 mm for steering tires and 1.6 mm for trailer tires.

For a list of approved winter tires for the drive axle please visit www.stro.se.

Snow chains recommended to be carried in the vehicle.Studded tires are allowed from October 1 to April 15. Depending on the weather conditions this peri- od may be extended. Maximum of 50 studs per meter circumference in tires produced after July 1, 2013. Please note exceptions on specific roads.
SwitzerlandNo general winter tire regulations, regional regulations are possible in wintery road conditions (e.g. alpine pass-roads). Min tread depth for winter tires 1.6 mm. In case of an accident with standard tires in wintry condi- tions, be aware of liability issues.If authorities announce snow chain obligation, only snow chains are permitted (four-wheel drive vehicles may be excluded). Use of snow chains in case of respective road signs and conditions.Studded tires are permitted for vehicles < 3.5 t GVW between November 1 and April 30 or on snowcovered roads. Max. speed 80km/h. Studded tires have to be labled with a sticker 80km/h.
Turkey

It is obligatory to use winter tires for 4 months between December 1st and April 1st. Local governors decide whether to enforce winter tires regulation and make necessary announcements according to average local temperatures. It is obligatory to fit winter tires on drive axles of trucks, tractors and buses, and on all axles of light trucks, minibuses and cars. Any tire to be replaced on the road has to be replaced with a winter tire. Within the obligatory period, winter tires should bear (M+S) symbol or snowflake symbol or both on the sidewall. The tread depth and pattern of retreaded tires should comply with winter tires even if they bear (M+S) symbol on the shoulder. Winter tires should have a tread depth of min. 4 mm for trucks, tractors and buses and 1.6 mm for light trucks, minibuses and cars.

Having or using a tire chain with the vehicle does not absolve drivers from their obligation to use winter tires.Only studded tires that can be used on ice can substitute winter tires. The tread depth should be measured from the tread center. 
UkraineNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires are allowed.


We are currently not aware of general winter tire rules / snow chain regulations

for trucks in the following countries: Cyprus, Greece and Malta. Please consult the traffic regulations in the respective countries for special snow chain and studded tire rules.

 

Despite careful research, we cannot guarantee that the information is correct and complete.