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Compulsory to have snow tyres in Germany ?

(13 Posts)
RunforFun Fri 14-Jan-11 11:06:17

Is this true ? Does anybody know ?

We are driving through Germany to get to the Alps this year and have been told by local BMW garage that snow tyres are compulsory.

I'm finding it difficult to believe that a whole country will have to change their tyres to comply with the law, but I am prepared to be wrong.

NightFury Fri 14-Jan-11 11:10:59

Yes it is. Here is an article all about it.

CaurnieBred Fri 14-Jan-11 11:11:54

See here for the AA guideline. It says that they are compulsory.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 14-Jan-11 11:14:50

When I was growing up, in Canada, it was normal to change your tyres twice a year. I think you kept the ones you weren't using to switch back? (dunno, as I was a kid)

Now, everyone has all-season radials. Which are tyres you drive year-round. But they are different from standard UK tyres.

Canella Fri 14-Jan-11 11:17:48

Yes it is for cars in germany - its the first year where they're doing spot checks and there is a fine of 40€ (or there abouts) if u dont have them.

But they are a life saver (literally) in snowy conditions - its only my second winter in germany but i'm already a huge fan!

Canella Fri 14-Jan-11 11:18:29

Yes it is for cars in germany - its the first year where they're doing spot checks and there is a fine of 40€ (or there abouts) if u dont have them.

But they are a life saver (literally) in snowy conditions - its only my second winter in germany but i'm already a huge fan!

CaurnieBred Fri 14-Jan-11 11:20:57

There is a whole thread about it on Snowheads

RunforFun Fri 14-Jan-11 11:25:10

LOL Didnt understand a word of that but I'm guessing the garage was right. !

Wow, every single car in Germany thats a massive undertaking. I am amazed.

I do actually have ST on my BMW at the moment as we live in the frozen NE, but am a bit hrumphh now as we wont be able to drive as fast on the autobahns.

<<speed freak >>

orienteerer Fri 14-Jan-11 14:07:32

RunforFun - I know STs have a lower recommended speed limit but it certainly doesn't seem to stop the Austrians (& now Germans as well)grin.

Canella Fri 14-Jan-11 14:14:52

but its not a new thing to have winter tyres here Runforfun - every person i know here has been changing them march or april then october/november for as long as they've had a car! it would be really frowned upon to not have winter tyres!!

Its just that now it is a legal requirement during winter - previously it would only have been the insurance company who would have penalised you if you'd had an accident in the snow with summer tyres on.

It doesnt seem to stop the speed freaks tho on days like today when there's no snow - they still whizz past you probably going over 100mph!!! so fingers crossed for you that the roads are clear for you to get a bit faster than in the UK!

Canella Fri 14-Jan-11 14:15:32

i meant to write "having winter tyres doesnt stop the speed freaks"! Hope that makes sense now!

LinzerTorte Fri 14-Jan-11 14:42:44

I don't know if it's the case in Germany too, but in Austria an alternative option is to have Allwetterreifen or Ganzjahresreifen (all-weather tyres or all-year tyres), which means that you don't have to change to winter tyres in November. I'm guessing they're different from the normal tyres you have in the UK, though.

AlpinePony Fri 14-Jan-11 22:50:02

First fine is 40 euros. However, if the weather is dodgy and they catch you in summer tyres you'll spend 6 hours in a police station sorting it out and paying a far greater fine - and heaven help you if you have an accident or just need to pull over because you can't get further.

Driving a BMW at speed on snow is just plain daft sorry to say. Assuming it's rear wheel drive of course.

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