As the weather is getting colder, do you spare a thought for your safety? And have you considered fitting winter tyres? Here’s everything you need to know on the subject. Are you an Arval client and would you like to fit your car with winter tyres? Contact your fleet manager to check whether winter tyres are included in your contract. You can also find this information in your car policy. If your employer uses this system, summer tyres are replaced in winter by winter tyres and vice versa. Twice per year (before winter and before summer), you will receive an email from us with details of the authorised tyre centres.
Need to make an appointment to fit your winter or summer tyres?
You can make your appointment online for the fitting of a new set of tyres, or to change from or to winter tyres. You can do so at one of our certified partners:
VPLH - Q-team Lambrechts
DO - Donckers
EC - Eurotyre-Ceva
TSE - PointS - Profile - Vulco
List of tyre centres to fit your winter or summer tyres
Types of winter tyres
All tyres marked M+S, M&S or M.S are considered as winter tyres, but this does not say anything about the winter properties of the tyre. This symbol often appears on less recent tyres. Current winter tyres carry the letters M+S and the snowflake symbol: these symbols are an indication of the winter properties and mean that the tyre meets the minimum requirements on snow.
The 4 wheels must be fitted with winter tyres.
The efficiency of a winter tyre decreases significantly when the profile depth is less than 3 mm. Bear in mind that in certain countries where winter tyres are mandatory, a minimum residual profile depth may be imposed.
Why switch to winter tyres?
Simply because if the temperature falls below 7°C, your tyres become less efficient. This is because, below this temperature, the rubber hardens and causes a loss of efficacy. The use of silicon in winter tyres and their different construction enables them to:
- Reduce the braking distance by 10% in the event of rain and 20% in the event of snow
- Guarantee better grip, which is synonymous with security
- Reduce the occurrence of aquaplaning
When should you fit winter tyres?
The use of winter tyres is recommended between October and April.
What does Belgian law say about winter tyres?
In Belgium, winter tyres are recommended but not compulsory. In the event of an accident, an authorised person (e.g. police officer) may note the absence of winter tyres in a report, but this has no particular impact from a legal point of view, nor with regard to your insurer.
Snow chains or winter tyres?
In most countries the use of spiked tyres and snow chains are regulated and, in certain places, indicated by specific traffic signs. Motor vehicles with more than two wheels must use snow chains on roads indicated with a traffic sign (blue disc with the symbol of a wheel with snow chain).
When snow chains are used, they must only be fitted to the two driving wheels. For 4-wheel drive vehicles, snow chains must be mounted to the driving wheels, but the user instructions for the vehicle and the placing of the snow chains are decisive in this respect. We advise you to have snow chains available for your vehicle when you drive through wintery countries.
In which countries are winter tyres and snow chains compulsory?
Winter tyres may be compulsory abroad in certain cases. To find out in which countries winter tyres are compulsory, consult the table below.
Table: Winter tyres en snow chains Country Winter tyres Snow chains Germany Vehicles must be adapted to the weather conditions. This means that in case of wintery weather conditions, winter tyres are compulsory.
Recommended minimum profile depth: 4 mm.
Verplicht op plaatsen waar ad hoc signalisatie is aangebracht.
Maximumsnelheid: 50 km/uur
France Winter tyres are not compulsory but recommended when the roads are covered with snow or sleet. Compulsory in areas where ad hoc signs have been placed.
Minimum profile depth: 3.5 mm.
Compulsory in areas where indicated by an ad hoc road sign. Authorised on road covered with snow, prohibited on motorways.
Maximum speed: 50km/hour.
Italy Winter tyres are compulsory between 15/10 and 15/4 for vehicles that drive through Aosta Valley. Other municipalities may impose snow tyres (local signs) between 15/11 and 15/4. Snow chains in the boot constitute an alternative to winter tyres. Compulsory in areas where indicated by an ad hoc road sign. Compulsory on board when using summer tyres between 15/11 and 15/4. Compulsory only on driving wheels.
Maximum speed: 50 km/hour.
Luxembourg Winter tyres are compulsory under wintery weather conditions. Snow chains are not compulsory. Snow chains may be used only if the road is covered with snow or sleet. It suffices to use them on the driving wheels. Austria Winter tyres are compulsory between 1/11 and 15/4 in case of wintery weather conditions.
Minimum profile depth: 4 mm.
Compulsory in areas where indicated by an ad hoc road sign.
Maximum speed: 50km/hour.
Spain Winter tyres are not generally compulsory but are compulsory where signs are posted in certain regions. Compulsory where indicated by an ad hoc road sign. Czech Republic Compulsory from 1 /11 to 31/3 if the roads are covered with snow or sleet on all wheels for vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes). Winter tyres are required when the temperature falls below 4°C or if there is a chance of snow or sleet on the road, even outside this period.
Minimum profile depth: 4 mm.
Compulsory in areas where indicated by an ad hoc road sign. Compulsory also for four-wheel drive vehicles (if there is no exception indicated on signs).
Authorized if road is sufficiently covered with snow. Snow chains on driving wheels suffice.
Switzerland The use of winter tyres is not compulsory. Nevertheless, if a vehicle is not equipped to drive on a snow-covered road, (no winter tyres, no snow chains, no spiked tyres) and it hinders traffic, the driver is liable for a fine. Compulsory in areas where indicated by an ad hoc road sign. This requirement applies also to 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Additional information about winter tyres