WINTER TYRES information for the various European Countries. If you need info on other countries, not mentioned below, look on AA or RAC Websites.
Check with the tyre supplier if you are in any doubt as some M + S tyres sold in the UK are summer tyres . These would not meet the requirements even though the sidewall marking M + S, might suggest that they do.
AUSTRIA. Winter tyres are mandatory in Austria. The law states that passenger cars with a permissible maximum weight of up to 3.5 tonnes may be operated only between 1 November and 15 April in winter conditions such as snow, slush or ice if winter tyres have been installed on all wheels. All-season tyres are also considered winter tyres if they have the M + S mark.
As an alternative to winter tyres, snow chains may be used on at least two driving wheels however, these may only be used in case the road is covered by a complete or scarcely broken snow cover or sheet of ice. Failure to comply with the results in a fine up to 5000 Euros and the vehicle could be impounded. Insurance is deemed void if a vehicle which is involved in an accident between November 1 and April 15 is not fitted with winter tyres.
GERMANY. Motorists are obliged to make sure they have correct tyres to suit the winter weather conditions. This may mean the use of winter tyres (with M + S or snowflake symbil) and in extreme weather, the additional use of snow chains.
Vehicles with summer tyres fitted are not allowed to be driven on roads covered with snow and ice. Fines are in place for vehicles found to be doing so.
SLOVENIA. Snow chains must be carried from November 15 to March 15 (and when the winter weather conditions necessitate) by cars and vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes unless the vehicle is fitted with four winter tyres with a minimum tread of 3mm. Spiked tyres are prohibited.
ITALY. It is not compulsory to use winter tyres in Italy. Snow chains should be carried and used as dictated by local signs or road conditions - reduced speed limits may apply.
From 15 October to 1 April vehicles must be equipped with winter tyres or snow chains in the Val d'Aosta area.