Winter tyres – regulations in Germany require use of M/S tyres or winter tyres
Since 2010, regulations in Germany has made winter tyres mandatory when driving in wintry conditions in all German states.
In theory, you can get by on your summer tyres, but as soon as temperatures drop to below 3 degrees, drivers risk a fine or risk to have to stop their journey completely if the car has not been fitted with either winter tyres or M&S (mud & snow) tyres.
The reality of driving in Germany from approximately mid October to mid March will, therefore, include fitting winter tyres. The regulations applies to all vehicles including foreign registered cars.
See more about winter driving regulations in Germany.
The Audi Q5 fitted with ski holiday equipment
Other countries where winter tyres are required
In Austria, in Sweden, in Slovakia, in Finland and in the Czech Republic, winter tyres are mandatory driving requirements in the winter time.
For Switzerland, winter tyres are recommended by authorities and if any vehicle is impeding traffic because of no winter tyres or M/S tyres fitted, the driver is liable for a fine. Some roads in Switzerland cannot legally be accessed without snow chains in the winter. Carrying snow chains in Switzerland is mandatory – if they are needed.
In France, the use of snow chains are compulsory on some roads, although the use of winter tyres in France is not mandatory.
In both Switzerland and France, local sign posting for the use of snow chains are in place.
Andorra has regulations for carrying snow chains in much the same way as France and Switzerland, but winter tyres are not required; although recommended.
Norway also requires snow chains to be available in the car in the winter.
In Italy, local authorities can decide that winter tyres are mandatory, and snow chains should be available when conditions require them.