European legislation concerning winter tyres and tyre chains

It’s important for you are familiar with the latest legislation concerning winter tyres and tyre chains on commercial vehicles heavier than 3500 kg. We realise exactly how important this is! That’s why we are pleased to inform you about the latest requirements in Europe’s main transport countries.
European legislation concerning winter tyres and tyre chains

It’s important for you are familiar with the latest legislation concerning winter tyres and tyre chains on commercial vehicles heavier than 3500 kg. We realise exactly how important this is! That’s why we are pleased to inform you about the latest requirements in Europe’s main transport countries. A table containing useful information can be found below.

If you need information about other European countries, please download our white paper for a complete overview.

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Country

Rules concerning winter tyres

Rules concerning tyre chains and tyres with spikes

Belgium

No general winter tire regulations. Symmetric fitting compulsory for M+S and winter tires.

Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and/or ice. Studded tires prohibited.

Germany

In certain situations in winter conditions. Vehicles < 3.5 t GVW must be equipped with tyres marked with the Alpine-Symbol (3PMSF) from 1 January 2018 on all axle positions. Vehicles with > 3.5 t GVW must be fitted with tyres marked with the Alpine-Symbol (3PMSF) at the wheel positions of the permanently driven axles and front steering axles. In wintry conditions this is also valid for tyres produced as of 1 January 2018. M+S tyres produced before 1 January 2018 are accepted as suitable winter equipment until 30 September 2024.

Use of snow chains when indicated by traffic signs. Studded tires prohibited. Exception:  Route via “Kleines Deutsches Eck”. €60 fine for unsuitable tires; €80 fine for causing obstruction/distur-bance of traffic due to unsuitable tires; €100 fine for causing  hazardous situation due to un suitable tires; €120 fine for causing an accident due to un-suitable tires. Plus 1 point in each case (Flensburg points system).

France

No general winter tyre regulations. Exceptions are indicated by traffic signs. Winter equipment is mandatory for vehicles driving on roads marked with the B26 sign. French winter regulation currently under modification and changes could be relevant for winter season 2021/2022.

Use of snow chains when indicated by traffic signs. Vehicles < 3.5 t GVW: Studded tires allowed from first Saturday before 11 November to last Sunday of March, max. speed 90 km/h. Vehicles with studded tires have to be labelled with a sticker. Studded tires are prohibited for vehicles >3.5 t GVW.

Italy

No general winter tire regulations.

An anti-skid device (e.g. snow chains) must be carried in the vehicle. Winter regulation prot. RU/1580 applies only to the following vehicles categories: M1, N1 and O1. In the event of snow the local police may impose a transit prohibition on some highway sections.

Luxembourg

All drive axles on trucks and buses need to be equipped with winter tires (M+S suffices) during winter conditions (snow, ice, glazed frost).

Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice. Studded tires prohibited.

Netherlands

No general legislation for winter tyres on trucks.

Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle from October 15 to March 15 if vehicle has only standard tires fitted. Coaches and heavy trucks must carry snow shovels. Studded tires prohibited.

Austria

Winter tires compulsory from 1 November  to 15 April. Risk of driving ban and heavy fines if you do not comply (€35 up to €5,000). Trucks > 3.5 t GVW must be equipped with tires marked M+S and/or with the Alpine symbol (3PMSF) on at least one drive axle with a min. tread depth of 6 mm (bias) and 5 mm (radial). Winter tires are compulsory for buses (categories M2, M3) from 1 November to 15 March. 

Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle for at least two drive axle tires from November 1 to April 15. Exceptions for public service buses apply. Use on roads covered with snow and ice. Studded tires are prohibited for vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW.

Poland

No general legislation for winter tyres on trucks, but they are recommended.

Snow chains only allowed on roads covered with snow and ice. Adequate traffic signs on roads where snow chains are compulsory. Studded tires prohibited.

Romania

In case of wintry road conditions M+S or winter tires are compulsory for the drive axle of all vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW and vehicles transporting people (with more than 9 seats).

Vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW have to be equipped with snow chains which need to be mounted when indicated by respective traffic signs. Shovel and sand required for vehicles  > 3.5 t GVW. Studded tires prohibited.

Spain

High mountain roads with red level (15/TV-87): Buses can drive with tires marked with the 3PMSF symbol (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol) in all positions and minimum tread depth 4 mm. Rigid trucks between 3.5 t and 7.5 t GVW only for garbage collection, food distribution, transport of fluxes and assistance vehicles can drive with winter tires in all positions and minimum tread depth 4 mm. Other trucks not allowed to drive.

High mountain roads with red level (15/TV-87): Snow chains in rigid trucks between 3.5 t and 7.5 t GVW and buses, if no winter tires are fitted. Usage of studded tires with up to 2 mm studs are allowed on snow-covered roads.

Switzerland

No general winter tire regulations,  regional regulations are possible in  wintery road conditions (e.g. alpine passes). In case of an accident with summer tires in wintry conditions, be aware of liability issues. Only 3PMSF tires are considered as suitable tires for wintry conditions. Minimum tread depth for winter tires 1.6 mm, 4 mm is the recommended tread depth.

If authorities announce mandatory snow chains, only snow chains are permitted. Use of snow chains in case of respective road signs and conditions (four-wheel drive vehicles may be excluded). Studded tires are allowed for vehicles < 7.5 t GVW between 1 November and 30 April on snow-covered roads. Max. speed 80 km/h. Studded tires have to be labeled with a sticker 80 km/h.

M+S aanduiding winterband

M+S labelled winter tyres

Tires marked with M+S (Mud+Snow) provide a tread pattern or structure that is designed to deliver performance that exceeds that of a standard tire in snowy conditions. The M+S label is not subject to a defined test procedure.

> View our range of M+S labelled truck tyres

3PMSF symbool winterband

3PMSF certified winter tyres

3PMSF stands for Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake. 3PMSF tires deliver winter performance that is legally certified. These tires have to pass a test on a snow-covered road and have at least 25% better traction than a standard reference tire.

> View our offer in 3PMSF certified truck tyres

Like to know more?

Do you need advice? Please contact us, our experts will be pleased to assist you. Contact our experts at +31 (0)523 - 850 850 or by e-mail to info@heuver.com. You can also read all about trucks on the truck knowledge-page.