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Winter 2019/2020

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 1 November to 15 April. Risk of driving ban and heavy fines if you do not comply (€35 up to €5,000). Vehicles > 3.5 t GVW must be equipped with tires marked M+S and/or with the Alpine symbol (3PMSF) 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 1 November to 15 March.

Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle for at least two drive axle tires from 1 November to 15 April. 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. v

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

Bosnia-

Herzegovina

From 15 November to 15 April 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 15 November to 15 April. 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 15 November to 1 March summer or winter tires with minimum 4 mm tread depth are mandatory.Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle from 1 November to 31 March. Usage is compulsory on mountain passes when indicated by traffic signs. Studded tires prohibited. Without adequate winter equipment, entry into the country may be refused or a driving ban may be issued.

Croatia

Winter tires compulsory from 15 November to 15 April. 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 1 November to 31 March depending on road conditions in winter, or if indicated by „winter kit“ sign. M+S tires with min. 6 mm tread depth must be fitted on the drive axle of vehicles > 3.5 t GVW.

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 1 November to 15 April.Studded tires allowed from 1 November to 15 April. If fitted, studded tires should be mounted on all axles during this period.
EstoniaWinter tires compulsory for vehicles < 3.5 t GVW (radial tires with min. 3 mm tread depth) from 1 December to 1 March (also from October to April depending on weather). Heavier vehicles do not require winter tires, but minimum tread depth of 3 mm is mandatory.Snow chains are compulsory if indicated by traffic signs on at least 2 drive wheels of vehicles with 3 or more axles.Studded tires allowed between 15 October and 31 March.
FinlandMandatory winter tires from 01.11-31.03, if winter conditions; on non-steering drive axles 3PMSF or POR or studded tires. M+S marked tires allowed until 30.11.2024 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 between 1 November to 31 March if winter conditions prevail.
FranceWinter equipment is mandatory for vehicles driving on roads marked with the B26 and/or B58 sign. The following changes apply from 2021: From November 1 to March 31, at the discretion of the local authorities (préfectures), vehicles > 3,5 t GVW must be fitted with 3PMSF tires (minimum of two 3PMSF tires on one steer axle and minimum of two 3PMSF tire on one drive axle) or mount snow chains for the drive axle. There is a transition period until 2024 for M+S tires already in use.Use of snow chains when indicated by traffic signs.Vehicles < 3.5 t GVW: Studded tires allowed from 1 November to 31 March, max. speed 90 km/h. Vehicles with studded tires have to be labelled with a sticker.
Germany

In wintry weather conditions vehicles with > 3.5 t GVW must be fitted with tires marked with 3PMSF at the wheel positions of the permanently driven axles and front steering axles. M+S tires produced before 1 January 2018 are accepted until 30 September 2024.

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/disturbance 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.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.
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.
IcelandNo general winter tire regulations.
IrelandNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains only allowed when roads covered with snow and ice.
ItalyNo general winter tire regulations. Exceptions are indicated by traffic signs. An anti-skid device (e.g. snow chains) must be carried in the vehicle.
KosovoNo general winter 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 1 December to 1 March. Minimum 4 mm tread depth. Heavier vehicles do not require winter tires, but a minimum tread depth of 3 mm is mandatory.

Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed between 1 October and 30 April 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 valleys. In the mountains, traffic signs indicate if snow chains are compulsory.Vehicles > 7.5 t GVW: Studded tires allowed from 1 November to 30 April, max. speed 80 km/h. If fitted, all tires should be equipped with studs. Vehicles with studded tires have to be labelled with a sticker.
LithuaniaWinter tires compulsory for vehicles < 3.5 t GVW from 1 November to 1 April. Heavier vehicles do not require winter tires, but a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm is mandatory.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed between 1 November and 1 April.
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 15 October to 15 March if the 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

Vehicles > 3.5 t GVW must be fitted with winter tires from 15 November until 31 March: 3PMSF tires on drive axle and front steer axle, M+S or 3PMSF tires on free roling axles. Depending on the region, tires must have min. 5 mm tread depth during the winter season. In south Norway: between 1 November and first Monday after Easter. In north Norway: between 16 October and 30 April.

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.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.
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.
RussiaIn December, January and February, passenger light truck, trucks and buses must be equipped on all axles with tires marked M+S or with the 3PMSFSymbol (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol) Minimum tread depth: 4 mm.Snow chains are recommended but not compulsory.Use of studded tires is forbidden in the summer months (June, July, August).
SerbiaWinter tires (M+S) and min. 4 mm tread depth compulsory from November to April. 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 15 November to 31 March on the 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 15 November to 15 March 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.
Spain

High mountain roads with red level (15/TV-87): Buses can drive with tires marked with the 3PMSF symbol (ThreePeak 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

In wintry weather conditions, minimum tread depth is 5 mm on all axles except trailers (1,6 mm). Vehicles > 3.5 t GVW must be equipped with 3PMSF, POR or studded tires on front and drive axles, on other axles M+S tires are also allowed. Until 30 November 2024, it is allowed to use M+S (specially developed for winter) on all axles.

Snow chains recommended to be carried in the vehicle.Studded tires are allowed from 1 October to 15 April. Depending on the weather conditions this period may be extended. Maximum of 50 studs per meter circumference in tires produced after 1 July 2013. Please note exceptions on specific roads.
SwitzerlandNo general winter tire obligation exists. However, the vehicle must be equipped according to the road conditions and be safe to operate. If unsuitable tires were fitted in case of an accident, be aware of potential liability issues (e.g. limited insurance benefits). In winter conditions, situational regulations (snow chains) are possible, e.g. on Alpine passes.Use of snow chains in case of respective road signs and conditions (four-wheel drive vehicles may be excluded).Studded tires are allowed for vehicles < 7.5 t GVW between 1 November and 30 April on snow-covered roads. Max. speed 80 km/h. Studded tires have to be labeled with a sticker 80 km/h. 
TurkeyIt is obligatory to equip vehicles used for passenger and goods transport with winter tires on regional roads for 4 months between December 1st and April 1st. Within the provincial borders, local governors decide whether to enforce winter tire regulation and make necessary announcements according to average local temperatures. It is obligatory to fit winter tires on drive axles of trucks, tractors, tankers and buses, and on all axles of light trucks, vans and taxis, minibuses, vans and commercial 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 (3PMSF) 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, tankers and buses and 1.6 mm for light trucks, vans 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.


Tires marked with M+S (Mud+Snow) provide a tread pattern or structure that is designed to deliver performance that exceeds that of a standard tire in snowy conditions. The M+S label is not subject to a defined test procedure.


Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) tires deliver winter performance that is legally certified. These tires have to pass a test on a snow-covered road and have at least 25% better traction than a standard reference tire.


Winter tires from Continental are marked with the snowflake symbol on the tire wall. Not only do Continental winter tires easily outperform M+S tires, they also significantly exceed the requirements of the “Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake“ symbol (3PMSF). The development of winter tires from Continental is based on many years of experience and practical knowledge gained from using the tires in the low temperatures found in Scandinavian countries. These special winter tires offer a distinct advantage for a safe journey on snow-covered or icy roads.


For optimum traction and high driving safety in colder weather, Continental recommends fitting winter tires on all axles of your trucks and buses.