When should you fit winter tyres?
Don't just wait for the first snow to fall: the right time is when the temperature drops.
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The rule is to fit winter tyres when the average temperature falls below 7°C. Why 7°C, and not 5 or 10? Simply because this is the so-called "glass transition" temperature, i.e. the temperature at which the rubber in summer tyres hardens and loses its grip.
Winter tyres use rubber compounds designed to deliver performance at low temperatures. Moreover, their tread is notched and siped to preserve grip and traction on wet, snow-covered or icy roads.
Conclusion: don't wait until winter is here to make up your mind. A good reminder: when the clocks go back, on the last Sunday of October.
Winter tyres will ensure your safety and driving comfort from when the temperatures fall until spring returns. Or from November to March in most regions.
Are winter tyres mandatory in some European countries?
Yes, it is obligatory to fit winter tyres in Scandinavian countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden), Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and in Slovenia. They are strongly recommended in Germany where, since 2006, drivers are responsible for preparing their cars for the arrival of winter. However, this regulation does not apply to foreign vehicles.