Travel by car in Europe – countries where winter tires are mandatory


From December 1st winter tires are legally mandatory in Sweden, but what does the law say for the rest of Europe? Here you find what applies when you are driving on the roads within EU, in Iceland and Norway this winter.

In most of the EU countries winter tires for cars are not mandatory, but there are plenty of exceptions. Here the ECC-net has compiled the rules of the road that apply during the winter months in each country within EU, in Iceland and Norway.

Winter tires are legally mandatory:

  • Bulgaria: November 15 - March 1
  • Estonia: December 1 - March 1
  • Finland: December 1 - first Monday after Easter
  • Croatia: November 15 - April 15
  • Latvia: December 1 - March 1
  • Lithuania: November 10 - April 1
  • Slovenia: November 15 - March 15
  • Sweden: December 1 - March 31

Winter tires are mandatory if weather conditions so require:

  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Slovakia

Winter tires are mandatory only if there is a specific road sign:

  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain

Winter tires are not mandatory:

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Island
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • United Kingdom

More information

In Winter tires within Europe, in Iceland and Norway (pdf) you will find complete information about time periods for winter tires, and what kind of tires or equipment that are allowed. In our article travel by car you get tips on what to keep in mind before taking the car out on the roads in Europe.