United Kingdom

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.


Our winter tyre tips

How many winter tyres do I need?
How many winter tyres do I need?

Many people wonder if they need to fit 2 or 4 winter tyres on their car. Check out below the reasons why, contrary to popular misconceptions, it is better to fit all four wheels.

Read more
What is the winter tyres legislation in the UK?
What is the winter tyres legislation in the UK?

In Europe, each country has specific legal requirements concerning the use of winter tyres. Winter tyres are not legally required in the United Kingdom.

Read more

More advice and videos

Tips to equip your vehicle adn drive in winter
All our winter advices
Tips to use your winter tyres better
Everything on winter tyres
My Winter with Michelin Be safe in winter


  • car
  • 4x4 / suv
  • van / motorhome