Have chosen Europe as your winter vacation destination? Spot on! When it comes to scenic wintry landscapes and spectacular Christmas markets, the Old Europe is definitely the best wintertime getaway. Unlike in summer, you won’t have to share every square inch of its breathtaking scenery with other tourists, but what you definitely have to prepare yourself to is learning some local winter driving laws.
As the climate in the UK is much milder than that of the mainland Europe, winter tyres, which aren’t mandatory here, become a legal requirement there. Find out what to expect when you are abroad and get some wintry road trip ideas for a perfect vacation!
Are winter tyres required for winter vacations in Europe?
Whether you are going to hit the slopes on a ski resort or you just want to enjoy some astonishing winter views from your car en route, you need to comply with the local winter tyres laws. Winter rubber is compulsory in some European countries and recommended in others.
If you are going to transit at least one of these countries – Austria, Germany, Finland, Check Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Estonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, or Iceland – having winter tyres mounted on your wheels is a must during winter months.
Using winter rubber and snow chains in other European countries can vary from recommended to mandatory depending on weather conditions. For example, winter rubber isn’t mandatory for the whole territory of Italy, but driving in some of its regions (like, say, Aosta Valley) will require using winter tyres and snow chains from October, 15 to April, 15. In France, police require getting ‘dressed’ in winter tyres and tyre chains during heavy snowfalls, while if the weather allows, you aren’t required to use either of them.
Before hitting the wintry road abroad, you should check the winter tyres requirements for your specific route. These laws can get updated or changed, so you need to get informed and equipped in advance.
Driving ideas for winter vacations
Explore Iceland, the realm of volcanoes, geysers and hot springs, circumnavigating the island using its Route One road. Enjoy discounted hotel rooms, almost tourist-free and pure beauty Venice and join its Carnevale festivities. Witness the probably the most beautiful Europe’s advent market in Vienna and the true winter wonderland Salzburg while on your drive to Austria’s world-famous skiing destinations.