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Winter Regulations

Winter 2018/2019

Winter Regulations

European regulations for winter equipment on trucks and buses


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). Trucks > 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 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 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 only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed between 15 October and 31 March.
FinlandVehicles > 3,5 t GVW Dec-Feb: on drive axle min. 5 mm and all other axles  min. 3 mm tread depth. Winter tires are mandatory on drive and steer axle, but not defined in the legislation. In explana-tions, winter tires are defined as M+S.Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires allowed between 1 November to 31 March if winter conditions prevail. There is no overrun test for studded tires.
FranceNo general winter tire regulations. Exceptions are indicated by traffic signs. Winter equipment is mandatory for vehicles driving on roads marked with the B26 sign.Use of snow chains when indicated by traffic signs.Vehicles < 3.5 t GVW: Studded tires allowed from first Saturday before 11 November to last Sunday of March, max. speed 90 km/h. Vehicles with studded tires have to be labelled with a sticker. Studded tires are prohibited for vehicles >3.5 t GVW.
Germany„In certain situations in winter conditions. Vehicles < 3.5 t GVW must be equipped with tires marked with the Alpine sym-bol (3PMSF) from 1 January 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 ax-les. From 1 July 2020 at the latest, tires marked with the Alpine symbol are also mandatory for front steer axles. In wintry conditions this is also valid for tires produced as of 1 January 2018. M+S tires produced before 1 January 2018 are accepted as suitable winter equipment 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/distur-bance of traffic due to unsuitable tires; €100 fine for causing  hazardous situation due to un suitable tires; €120 fine for causing an accident due to un-suitable 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, but only on snow & ice covered roads, and 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.
IcelandNo winter tire regulation yet, new technical regulation is expected.

IrelandNo general winter tire regulations.Snow chains only allowed when roads covered with snow and ice.Studded tires are allowed, but only on snow & ice covered roads, 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 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 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 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 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

Vehicles > 3.5 t GVW min. 5 mm tread depth compulsory between 1 November and including first Monday after Easter (South Norway) and between 16 October and including 30 April (North Norway). Mandatory use of tires marked M+S and/or with the Alpine symbol (3PMSF) on all axle positions from 15 November to 31 March.


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 1 November to the first Sunday after Easter. In Nordland, Troms and Finnmark:  from 16 October to 30 April  Trucks and trailers: studded tires  on the same axle. If twin-mounted, one tire is sufficient.
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

In winter conditions, minimum tread depth is 5 mm on all tires except trailer tires. When winter weather prevails, from 1 December to 31 March, vehicles GVW ≤ 3.5 t must be equipped with 3PMSF or studded tires.

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. On trailers ≤ 3.5 t GVW, M+S tires (specially developed for winter) are  allowed until 30 November 2028.

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 regulations,  regional regulations are possible in  wintery road conditions (e.g. alpine passes). In case of an accident with summer tires in wintry conditions, be aware of liability issues. Only 3PMSF tires are considered as suitable tires for wintry conditions. Minimum tread depth for winter tires 1.6 mm, 4 mm is the recommended tread depth.If authorities announce mandatory snow chains, only snow chains are permitted. 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. 
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.

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