In every country it is DIFFERENT with winter tires, avoid problems!

Illustrative image for the article OVERVIEW: Winter tires are DIFFERENT in every country, avoid problems!

If you tend to travel by car to neighboring or other European countries, be smart. Not everywhere, the rules regarding winter car maintenance are the same as here.

If you tend to travel by car to neighboring or other European countries, be smart. Not everywhere, the rules regarding winter car maintenance are the same as here.

Illustrative image for the article OVERVIEW: Winter tires are DIFFERENT in every country, avoid problems!

The legal obligations associated with winter tires vary from country to country, the minimum mandatory tread depth in Europe ranges from 1.6 to 4 millimeters (mm). Continental drew attention to this.

Similar to Slovakia

According to her, European countries do not have uniform conditions for the legal obligation to have winter tires on the car. While in Slovakia the driver must use winter tires if there is a continuous layer of snow, ice or frost on the road, in some European countries this regulation applies regardless of the weather. However, winter tires are mandatory in most countries.

A similar wording of the Act on Winter Tires, which applies in the Slovak Republic, can also be found in other European countries. Especially in those where drivers drive for winter sports, such as Austria, Italy, France or Switzerland, the company said.

Regardless of the weather

She added that in some countries winter tires must be worn even if there is no snow or ice on the road. Such countries include, for example, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway or Finland.

In the Nordic countries, winter tires are always mandatory because there is a continuous layer of snow and ice there for most of the year.

Neighboring countries

The opposite is the case in countries such as Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Greece or Cyprus. In them, the obligation of winter tires is not enacted. Other countries that belong to this group are, for example, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Bulgaria.

In Slovakia, for winter tires, if there is a continuous layer of snow, ice or frost on the road, the minimum tread depth is three mm for cars up to 3.5 tons and six mm for vehicles over this weight. However, in some countries such as Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, the laws set the minimum tread depth of winter tires at 1.6 mm. On the contrary, in the Czech Republic, drivers must be careful that the minimum depth of the sample does not fall below four mm.

Tire marking

“With decreasing tread depth, tire performance decreases, especially on wet surfaces. To ensure reliable traction and good grip on snowy and icy surfaces, the tread depth should always be sufficient,” said the head of technical customer service at Continental Barum Aleš Langer.

Winter tires should have a symbol of a snowflake with three alpine peaks on their sidewall, where the tire must demonstrate winter performance in tests. This designation is required in Germany, Norway, Finland or Switzerland, for example. The basic marking with the letters M+S, i.e. mud plus snow, is sufficient from the point of view of the law in Slovakia or the Czech Republic, but it does not guarantee even the minimum winter properties of the tire, the company concluded.

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Source: TASR

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