GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — heat weather is giving way to cold, which means you have to prepare your automobile now for winter. One important thing to know before you fight the roadway in winter is the Germany has different tire needs than the joined States.

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European winter tires have actually two type of markings: a snowflake for snow tires or M+S because that tires designed to work-related in mud and also snow, or “matsch und schnee” in German. All-season or all-weather tires may additionally have the markings and are acceptable for winter driving, however tires designed specifically for eye function much better than all-weather tires.

Because girlfriend reside in Germany, you might be asking: What sort of winter tires walk the German regulation require? First, it is really important to look for particular signs inserted on the tire.

In November 2010, the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, passed a federal legislation that is much an ext specific around winter tires. This German federal regulation was amended in 2015 to need the usage of winter tires when problems are icy. As of January 2018, new winter tires should be marked with the Alpine-Symbol (a 3-peak hill with a snowflake in the center).

If you own all-season tires or winter tires significant with M+S and produced before 2018, they room still approved until Sept. 30, 2024.

The law also apply to motorbikes, trucks and also buses, nevertheless of whether the driver is the owner or is renting the vehicle. Every one of these vehicles must be equipped through winter tires if you journey in eye or icy conditions.


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Winter tires have to be marked with the 3-peak mountain and snowflake by Sept. 30, 2024.


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Tires marked only v M+S, which represents mud and also snow traction, might serve together your winter tire through Sept. 30, 2024.


The German law mandated by the Bundestag inquiry winter tires during icy conditions does no specify details dates, follow to ADAC, the German auto club that offers roadside assistance and also air rescue. Plenty of German drivers, however, abide through the general dominance of “von O bis O” (from O to O), which means snow tires have to be placed on in October and remain on till Ostern (Easter).

According to the USAG Bavaria safety and security office and ADAC, to journey in Germany — no issue the road conditions — ensure you have a tires tread depth the at least 1.6 millimeters. The best is to have actually 4 millimeters, follow to ADAC. A one euro coin deserve to be used for a rapid “tread check.” When placed in the tire’s tread, you have to not have the ability to see the golden edge of the coin. If you can, the tire needs to be replaced.

Community members can change tires, through themselves, in ~ the on-post Auto an abilities Center.

In some parts of Germany, an especially in the southern mountainous region, snow chains might be required if directed by road indicators or police. USAG Bavaria safety and security office  and also ADAC recommend carrying snow chains and also checking your route prior to heading out. Know exactly how to put snow chain on prior to you require them, and also make certain you nothing exceed 50 kph once driving v them.

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If she unsure if other countries have similar tire laws, inspect the European roadway Safety website. And for more on winter driving, examine out the military Europe vehicle drivers Handbook and Examination.