Winter tyre obligation: These regulations apply to trucks

Winter Tyres
The first of November: Although it is still relatively mild in most European countries, winter is in the starting blocks. This makes the change to winter tires mandatory for many vehicles. Especially transport companies in international traffic now have to deal with the winter tire obligation of the different countries and their winter tire regulations for trucks. Here we summarize the most important.

Winter tires for trucks and general winter regulations for commercial vehicles in Europe.

In Germany, for the winter of 2022/2023, tires on trucks must be fitted to all permanently driven drive axles of vehicles over 3.5 tons in “winter conditions”, i.e. in cold, slippery, snowy or slushy conditions. But: Since 2021, there are also some new rules for trucks. These stipulate that commercial vehicles with a maximum permissible mass of over 3.5 tons (classes M2 and M3 as well as N2 and N3) must be equipped with winter tires in winter conditions not only on the drive axle, but also on the “front steering axles”.


Further conversions to follow next year in 2024

Soon come the winter months and with them ice and slippery.

There is a further innovation that has been given a little more time: from 2024, M+S tires may no longer be used on drive and steering axles in winter conditions, but only those with the symbol of the three mountain peaks and the snowflake (three-peak mountain snowflake symbol, 3PMSF). The long deadlines were granted to give industry, retailers and transport companies enough time to adapt. M+S tires may still be used until the winter of 2024/25, but only those manufactured before Jan. 1, 2018.

For fleets that are procuring new tires for the upcoming winter season, it makes sense to purchase “proper” winter tires directly. It is important to note that winter tires will be mandatory for steering axles since 2020. “It is important to note that only a tire that bears the symbol of a mountain with a snowflake will then be considered a winter tire according to the regulation,” says Koch. Whether it is a new, used or retreaded tire is irrelevant, explains the expert, DEKRA tire expert Christian Koch.

“Real” winter tires compared to M+S tires

Winterreifenpflicht 2022
For trucks, special rules apply to winter tires.

However, the tires with the mountain peaks and the snowflake – just like the M+S tires – are not really winter tires, but rather a compromise: they can be used all year round. Those who drive to Norway in winter should rather buy real winter tires. These provide a much better grip in snow and black ice, as this test also shows. Disadvantage: If one drives with these winter tires in warm areas (over 6°C), one would have to change the tires again. Because the softer “real” winter tires then wear out much faster and make the vehicle run much more unsteadily. The all-season tires, on the other hand, have much less rolling resistance and more mileage.


What regulations apply to the winter tire obligation abroad?

Anyone who drives a truck to Austria or another EU country must inform themselves about the regulations there. This is because the regulations sometimes differ considerably from country to country. With the help of Continental’s comprehensive overview, we show here how other countries handle the winter tire obligation.


Currently, no general winter tire regulations for trucks are known for the countries Greece, Malta, and Cyprus. For specific snow chain and spike regulations, please refer to the traffic regulations of the respective countries.

Despite careful research, we cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information. This table with status as of 26.10.2022 is subject to constant updates, therefore Saloodo! assumes no liability in case of errors or updates. Source: Continental Tires.

What are the fines for non-compliance?

Those who do not adapt their tires to the new rules must expect a fine:

  • Defective tires: 60 EUR plus one point in Flensburg.
  • In the case of obstructions caused by defective tires: 80 EUR plus one point in Flensburg.
  • In the event of an accident caused by defective tires: 120 EUR plus one point in Flensburg.


Fines abroad for violation of the winter tire obligation

Country Compulsory winter tyres Compulsory snow chains Fee
Austria Yes, for winter road conditions
1.11 to 15.4
indicated by signs up to 5.000 Euro
Switzerland No, but joint liability in the event of
an accident in the event of an accident
caused by unsuitable tyres
indicated by signs approx. 90 Euro
Italy Not uniform. Sometimes
indicated by signs,
in South Tyrol from 15.11. to 15.4.
indicated by signs 87 – 345 Euro
France Yes, in some regions
Permanent obligation to have winter tyres
indicated by signs 135 Euro (no further driving possible)
Slovakia Yes, in winter road conditions no starting from 60 Euro
Norway No Nein, aber Fahrzeuge mit Sommerreifen
müssen bei winterlichen Straßen
mit Schneeketten ausgerüstet sein
starting from 75 Euro
Poland No indicated by signs
Czech Republic Yes, general winter tyre obligation
from 1.11 to 31.3 of the following year
no 55 – 92 Euro
Serbia Yes, for winter road conditions
conditions from 1.11 to 1.4.
Must be carried in the boot
and fitted if necessary
and mounted if necessary
amount not known

The ADAC table as of 26.10.22 is subject to constant updates, therefore Saloodo! assumes no liability for errors or updates. Source: ADAC


Advantages and disadvantages of winter tires for HGV

The advantages are obvious

  • safe progress in ice and snow
  • increase mobility
  • significantly reduce the risk of accidents
  • ensure shorter braking distances

But there are also disadvantages

  • not yet mandatory on all axles
  • no guarantee for mobility in winter


Winter Tyres Truck


Janine Wolff
Janine Wolff is a business economist and design enthusiast, has a passion for blogging and logistics and is our Social Media and Content Manager at Saloodo!.

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