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Which European Countries Require Winter Tyres?

If you’re looking to travel across Europe this winter, you’d be smart to know which countries require you to fit winter tyres. Many Eastern European nations and northern territories have mandatory safety requirements when it comes to tyre specifications. Read on to find out where and why you need specialist rubber to travel free and safe across this beautiful part of the world.

which European countries require winter tyres

See the map above for a quick guide as to where you’ll need winter tyres to travel.
Click the map to maximise.

France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland

The Alps, Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges in these countries means you can find snowy conditions in various regions. In all of the above countries, you’ll find signage warning that you must be donning snow chains or snow socks in order to use the roads safely.

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden

These countries are listed together, not because they have a uniform policy regarding winter tyres and chains but because if you are in this area of the world, you may as well cover your back. You can do this by either fitting all-season or winter tyres to your vehicle and carrying snow chains.

In all of the above countries (many of which border each other or Russia) it is mandatory to be fitted with the correct types of tyre and be carrying heavy duty winter tyre enhancements, such as snow socks or chains.


If you are thinking of undertaking a road trip in Europe and are doing so in winter, be prepared and add snow chains to your kit list. In France, you’ll require many other items in your boot by law, such as a hi-vis vest, warning triangle and other road safety items, so be sure to add winter tyre devices to this box of bits.

Check the tyres of your vehicle before you leave. If they are not all-season or winter tyres, then consider changing them so that you are not stopped in Europe by the police.

Here at Tyres Northampton, we provide and install a huge spectrum of branded tyres for cars, vans and motorcycles alike. Our professionals deliver an efficient and thorough service, and are able to deliver many types of vehicle servicing, including MOTs and exhaust and brakes servicing. To arrange a visit, or to simply find out more about us, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team.


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