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Winter tyre law

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Winter tyre law

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Driving out to the Alps this winter and understand Germany and Austria have laws requiring winter tires. I believe it is possible to use chains in Austria but don't know about Germany..... anybody know the law?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
mike saunders, AA Advice.

As for Austria, see this from the applicable note:
Quote:

Theoretically snow chains on summer tyres can be used as an alternative to winter tyres where the entire road is heavily covered with snow and no damage to the road is caused by the snow chains. In practice though, because road conditions and the weather cannot be predicted, use of winter tyres is effectively compulsory.


I have driven with chains and summer tyres in years gone by. But having been driven around recently in cars with winter tyres, I realise that their grip is really impressive - and if you were the odd one out using summer tyres and needing chains when you could get round to fitting them, these days, I think you'd cause problems.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Having driven to Austria and used chains get yourself some winter tyres.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
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mike saunders, use the forum search (above) and tap in Winter Tyres then put aside several days to read it. And, my 2 penneth, get winter tyres. Not because you should ideally have them out there but because they are great for here.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mike saunders, ....bad news (or maybe not, since winter tyres are a VERY good idea)....Germany has a pretty draconian approach....note from the AA website:

".....Rules are changing though – Germany has recently (4/12/2010) introduced new regulations requiring all passenger cars and motorbikes including vehicles from foreign countries to be fitted with winter tyres or all season tyres on all axles when conditions are wintery.

If during the winter months a vehicle becomes stuck because the tyres are unsuitable, drivers are liable to an on the spot fine in Germany. If the vehicle causes an obstruction and aggravation to other traffic, the fine may be doubled. You may also be prevented from continuing your journey...."

Note the FOREIGN cars bit. You probably won't be stopped and arrested, but it's a serious risk that you might not have valid insurance if you have an accident. Serious stuff.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
As achilles says you might, technically, be able to argue you don't need them for Austria. I've driven to the Alps plenty of times on summer tyres and used chains when needed. Never had any issues. However, laws and local attitudes are changing as indicated by other posters...

I rented a car with winter tyres last season and they were superb. We took a wrong turning and ended up on a farm track knee deep in icy slush on a bed of ice, apart from slowing down a bit to be cautious there was absolutely no problem, the tyres were incredible. I am totally and utterly converted. If I drive out there again I'll get winter tyres and keep them on the car all winter (in fact I may get the tyres regardless of ski trips). It's a bit of a faff to swap them over, but if it saves a fine and more importantly prevents an accident then it's worth it. Also, if it means I don't have to struggle with chains for half an hour by the side of the road in the middle of the night then it's definitely worth it.
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