Winter and studded tires in Europe

Toll roads. Traffic rules. Fuel prices.

Requirements for the use of winter tires and snow chains in Europe

The road conditions in winter in Northern and Central (in mountainous areas) Europe, especially in places of winter rest, are significantly complicated. Snow and ice on the roads at this time is a common occurrence. As a result, the adhesion of tires to the road deteriorates.



    In some countries it is required that drivers always use winter tires at a certain time of the year. In other countries it is necessary to use only under certain road conditions. And somewhere it is purely advisory.

    Rules for the use of winter tires in Europe

    Not in all European countries winter tires are mandatory. But even in these countries entry to some roads on summer tires without snow chains can be prohibited. In addition, the winter tires should be marked with one of the signs M+S, M.S, M-S, M&S and have a minimum depth of the tread pattern of at least 3 mm.

    On the map below you can see in which countries in winter the use of winter tires necessary all the time, and in which only when the appropriate weather conditions occur.

    Weather conditions are considered winter, when on any part of the road there is snow, ice or slush. And if the road is wet in combination with a temperature of about or below 0 degrees.

    Map of the using winter tires in Europe

    – use of winter tires are compulsory

    – compulsory under appropriate weather conditions

    – winter tires are optional

    In which countries studded tires is forbidden

    Studded tires is forbidden in most countries of Eastern Europe - Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, as well as in Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.

    Map of use of studded tires in Europe

    granted forbidden

    Common requirements for winter equipment in Europe

    The table below shows the requirements for winter and studded tires for vehicles, the total weight not exceed 3.5 t.

    The data in the table can be sorted in ascending/descending order by clicking on the column header.

    Requirements for winter equipment in Europe
    Country Winter tires Studded tires Snow chains
    Austria compulsory 1
    01.11 - 15.04
    granted
    01.10 - 31.05
    granted
    Azerbaijan no legal requirement granted  
    Albania no legal requirement granted granted
    01.11 - 30.04
    Andorra compulsory 1 granted
    01.11 - 15.05
    granted
    Armenia compulsory
    01.12 - 01.03
    granted granted
    Belarus compulsory
    01.12 - 01.03
    granted granted
    Belgium no legal requirement forbidden 2 granted
    Bulgaria compulsory 3
    15.11 - 01.03
    forbidden granted
    01.11 - 01.03
    Bosnia and
    Herzegovina
    compulsory
    15.11 - 15.04
    forbidden granted
    01.11 - 15.04
    Great Britain no legal requirement granted granted
    Hungary no legal requirement forbidden granted
    Germany compulsory 1 forbidden granted
    Greece no legal requirement granted granted
    Georgia no legal requirement granted granted
    Denmark no legal requirement granted
    01.11 - 15.04
    granted
    Ireland no legal requirement granted granted
    Iceland compulsory
    01.11 - 14.04
    granted
    01.11 - 14.04
    granted
    Spain no legal requirement granted
    15.11 - 31.03
    granted
    Italy no legal requirement granted
    15.11 - 15.03
    granted
    Cyprus no legal requirement granted granted
    Latvia compulsory
    01.12 - 01.03
    granted
    01.10 - 30.04
    granted
    Lithuania compulsory
    10.11 - 31.03
    granted
    01.11 - 09.04
    granted
    Luxembourg compulsory 1 granted
    01.12 - 31.03
    granted
    North
    Macedonia
    compulsory 1
    15.11 - 15.03
    forbidden granted
    15.10 - 15.03
    Malta no legal requirement    
    Moldova compulsory 1
    01.12 - 01.03
    granted
    01.12 - 01.03
     
    Netherlands no legal requirement forbidden forbidden
    Norway no legal requirement granted
    01.11 - 15.04
    granted
    Poland no legal requirement forbidden granted
    Portugal no legal requirement forbidden granted
    Romania compulsory 1
    01.11 - 31.03
    forbidden granted
    Serbia compulsory 1
    01.11 - 01.04
    forbidden granted
    Slovakia compulsory 1
    15.11 - 31.03
    forbidden granted
    Slovenia compulsory
    15.11 - 15.03
    forbidden granted
    Turkey compulsory 1 forbidden granted
    Ukraine no legal requirement granted granted
    Finland compulsory
    01.12 - 01.03
    granted
    01.11 - 15.04
    granted
    France no legal requirement granted
    10.11 - 31.03
    granted
    Croatia compulsory 1
    15.11 - 15.04
    forbidden granted
    Montenegro compulsory 1
    15.11 - 01.04
    forbidden granted
    Czech
    Republic
    compulsory 1
    01.11 - 31.03
    forbidden granted
    Switzerland no legal requirement granted 4
    01.11 - 30.04
    granted
    Sweden compulsory 1
    01.12 - 31.03
    granted
    01.10 - 15.04
    granted
    Estonia compulsory
    01.12 - 01.03
    granted
    15.10 - 31.03
    granted
    Russia compulsory
    01.12 - 01.03
    granted granted

    1 Under certain weather conditions (for example, snow or ice on the road).

    2 In exceptional cases (in difficult weather conditions) can be allowed from November, 1 to March, 31 for vehicles up to 3,500 kg.

    3 Winter tyres are compulsory for vehicles registered in Bulgaria during wintry road conditions and are strongly recommended for visitors.

    4 It is forbidden to use when driving on motorways.

    What tires do I need to go to Europe in winter?

    In our opinion a universal solution:

    But the chains can be needed if you have to go to the mountainous areas only.

    In conclusion, a small video on how snow chains can help in difficult weather conditions.

    You can watch other videos on our channel on YouTube.

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