As Europe is a big continent the weather varies a lot. The northern parts have 4 clear seasons and some of the southern parts have basically only summer and no winter. There are no because of this no European regulations covering the whole continent. There are even different tyre options available, where the Nordics don’t have all-weather tyres, as there is a real long winter present, so the dedicated winter tyres are a better and safer option. While in the central parts of Europe an all-weather tyre is a perfect option for areas that have sporadic winter weather, where a tyre change might not make sense. Here you can have year-round safety with just one set of tyres. If you don’t have any winter weather present, you can use the summer tyres all-year round.
The Nordic has laws stating that you have to have winter tyres mounted when there are winter conditions. For studded tyres there is also an earliest date when you can have them on your car and there is a last date you can have them on during spring. Both these dates only apply if there are no winter conditions, if you still have winter weather common sense applies and you will not get fined. In central and southern Europe some countries have limitation on the use of winter tyres, and some have made it mandatory. In addition to the Nordics, it is mandatory to have winter tyres during the winter months in Estonia, Latvia Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia. Then you have a few countries where it is mandatory if the weather demands it, these are Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. Where Italy, Spain and France have certain roads demands it. Then you have the countries where they studded tyres are prohibited. These include Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Poland. In addition to those studded tyres are not allowed in Switzerland on the highways.
These restrictions can of course cause some problems if you plan to drive through Europe with winter tyres. In Germany you will get fined if you have studded tyres and will not be allowed to continue before you can change to non-studded tyres. This can cause some big inconveniences and be quite costly. This is why it is very important to plan your trips and also take it into consideration when you make your tyre choice. When countries require winter tyres, you will need to have tyres that have been approved for winter conditions and have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall. Non-studded tyres and winter approved all-weather tyres are ok for all countries and fulfill the regulations of being approved for winter conditions.
For winter tyres it is always important that you change them in time before the snow arrives and also refrain from driving with summer tyres when you have snow or ice on the roads. With all-weather tyres you are always ok to drive if they are winter approved, but you will need to rotate the tyres so that you even out differences in wear between the front and rear tyres.
For more information regarding winter tyres, visit: https://www.nokiantyres.com/