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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.

Why is it not compulsory to have winter tyres?

There are several reasons that explain why winter tyres are not compulsory in the UK. The most obvious one is that in many parts of the country, the cold weather conditions are rarely ever so harsh that it has to be regulated to fit winter tyres. The second reason is that due to the rarety of snow and ice on the roads, a majority of drivers will simply not take their car out in case of a bad weather spell. Please note that even though snow chains are not mandatory, you are authorised to use them in the United Kingdom.

Winter tyres and insurance

As winter tyres are not mandatory in the UK, there have been examples in the past of insurance companies adding a premium for users running winter tyres. This point has been regulated by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). They issued a statement signed by several insurers who have agreed not to apply a premium or change your cover if you fit winter tyres.Nevertheless, it is strongly advised to give your insurer a courtesy call to inform them that you are running winter tyres.

One last tip for the trip

If you want to avoid any trouble with your insurer, make sure that your winter tyres are correctly fitted according to your vehicle’s specification.

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