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What is the winter tyres legislation abroad?

In the UK, winter tyres are not compulsory. But, are you sure you know the regulations in Europe for your next ski trip?

Winter tyres legislation in Germany
In Germany, the law concerning winter tyres has changed in 2010. It is compulsory to fit winter tyres on snow or ice covered roads. Generally, the period ranges from October to Easter but please do check the specific region legislation before your journey. Please note that when encountering the specific snow chain sign on the road, it is compulsory to fit snow chains to vehicles. Should you not comply with these rules, you might be fined and the level of your insurance could be reduced by 30%.

Winter tyres legislation in Switzerland
In Switzerland, winter tyres are not mandatory. Nevertheless, during the period from October to Easter, it is strongly advised to drivers to fit winter tyres. If they fail to do so and have an accident, the insurance company might not cover the damage in its entirety and even take action against the client for negligence. Also, if you see the sign for snow chains on the road, it means that snow chains are compulsory during the cold weather months.

Winter tyres legislation in Italy
In Italy, the use of snow tyres and chains is regulated by municipalities, provinces, regions or motorway companies. The period of use stretches from 15 November to 15 April. In some areas, you may also encounter road signs indicating that you should fit snow chains on your vehicle. In such cases, snow chains become compulsory and are an alternative to snow tyres.

One last tip for the trip
If you are renting a car abroad, don’t assume that they will be fitted with winter tyres automatically. You often have to ask for winter tyres to be fitted and this will come at an extra cost.

More advice and videos


To equip your vehicle and drive in winter

All our winter advices


To use your winter tyres better

Everything on winter tyres


My Winter with Michelin Be safe in winter



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