Winter Tyres & Snow Chains - When to use them in Europe

Is it a legal requirement to have winter tyres in Europe? We look at where it's mandatory to have winter tyres and snow chains in the EU

Whether you are travelling to Europe in your own car, or renting a car, it's wise to know if you need to have winter tyres fitted by law and if you need to have snow chains and how to fit them. We've looked at winter tyre laws in Europe to offer advice and also where it's recommended or mandatory (or neither) to have snow chains in the car.

When to use Winter Tyres in Europe

winter tyres in europe

When to use Snow Chains in Europe

snow chains in europe
 

Are Winter Tyres / Snow Chains a Legal Requiremnt?

Country
Winter Tyre
Snow Chains
Notes
Andorra
NO
Compulsory when signage indicates
 
Austria
YES (1st Nov - 15th April)
Compulsory when signage indicates
Min 4mm tread depth required
Belgium
NO
Must be carried between 1st Nov - 31st Mar
 
Cyprus
NO
NA
 
Czech Republic
NO*
Compulsory when signage indicates
*Between 1st Nov - 1st April local requirements may apply
Denmark
NO
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Estonia
YES (1st Dec - 1st Mar)*
Permitted when conditions appropriate
*local requirements outside of these dates may apply
Finland
YES (1st Dec - 1st Mar)
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
France
NO*
Compulsory when signage indicates
*local requirements may apply
Germany
YES (when lying snow / ice)
Compulsory when signage indicates
Fine for non compliance, find doubled in involved in accident / causing obstruction
Greece
NO
NA
 
Hungary
NO
Compulsory when signage indicates
 
Iceland
YES (1st Nov - 15th April)
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Ireland
NO
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Italy
NO*
Compulsory when signage indicates
*local requirements may apply
Latvia
YES (1st Dec - 1st Mar)
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Lithuania
YES (10th Nov - 1st Apr)
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Luxembourg
YES (when lying snow / ice)
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Netherlands
NO
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Norway
NO*
Permitted when conditions appropriate
Driver is resposible to ensure vehicle to safe, no winter tyre law although highly recommended. Studded tyres can be used at certain times / locations
Poland
No
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Portugal
NO
Compulsory when signage indicates
 
Romania
YES (1st Nov - 31st Mar if lying snow/ice)
Compulsory when signage indicates
 
Serbia
YES
Compulsory when signage indicates
 
Slovakia
NO
NA
 
Slovenia
YES (15th Nov - 15th Mar)
Compulsory when signage indicates
 
Spain
NO
Permitted when conditions appropriate
 
Switzerland
NO*
Compulsory when signage indicates
*Recommended when conditions require
Sweden
YES (1st Dec - 31st Mar)
Compulsory when signage indicates
Min 3mm tread depth required
UK
NO
Permitted when conditions appropriate
*Recommended when conditions require, should I buy winter tyres?

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