Winter Tyre Regulations France
On 1 November 2021 the so-called ‘mountain law II’ will come into force in 48 French mountainous regions. From this moment on anyone travelling in or through one of these areas between 1 November and 31 March will be obliged to fit approved winter tyres or snow chains to their car. Here you can read all about which regions will be affected, the vehicles to which the rules apply and the regulations concerning the equipment itself.
Mandatory snow tyres
Approved snow tyres are winter or all-season tyres that carry the Mud & Snow (M+S) marking. A winter or all-season tyre may also bear the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol which shows the tyre is capable of handling extreme winter conditions. The 3PMSF marking is based on a standardised European tyre snow performance test and a guarantee of true winter performance in all weather conditions.
From November 2024, however, winter tyres or all-season tyres will only be considered ‘snow tyres’ in France when they are also equipped with the 3PMSF symbol. All Vredestein winter and All-season tyres have both the M+S and 3PMSF markings.
Mountain law II regions
The obligation to fit winter tyres in the given time frame only applies in 48 appointed municipalities, mainly in the so-called ‘mountainous regions’ (Alps, Corsica, Massif Central, Jura mountains, Pyrenees and Vosges Mountains) shown in the map below. You also need to carry snow chains in the car for at least one full driving axle as it is mandatory to fit them on certain roads when covered with snow or ice.
To which vehicles do these rules apply?
Light vehicles, VANs and camping cars
Within the given areas, small vehicles such as passenger cars, SUVs, light trucks and camper vans either have to fit snow tyres or have removable non-slip devices such as metal snow chains or hybrid chain on at least 2 driven wheels. Note that snow chains cannot be used in all weather conditions, for example when roads are not covered in snow or ice. It is therefore recommended to always wear winter tyres within the given time frame and regions.
Buses and heavy vehicles without trailer or semi-trailer
Heavy vehicles such as coaches, buses and trucks without a trailer or semi-trailer must also use winter tyres on at least 2 steering wheels and 2 driven wheels or chains on at least 2 driven wheels.
Heavy vehicles with trailer or semi-trailer
For heavy vehicles with trailer or semi-trailer, such as transport trucks, chains should be applied on at least 2 driven wheels, even if equipped with winter tyres.
I live outside of France and am only transiting through one of the regions. Do I still need to comply?
Yes. The regulations state that winter tyres should be fitted from October to April in the given regions, irrespective if you are only passing through or visiting.
Will I be fined if I don’t comply with the regulations?
Yes. Failure to comply runs the risk of receiving a fine of €135 (2021).
What about the regulations before 1 November 2021?
Winter tyres are currently advised but not compulsory in France. However, snow chains are obligatory on snow-covered roads when codified with sign B26 (compulsory special equipment).
Do all-season tyres also comply?
All Vredestein all-season (and winter) tyres are equipped with the M+S and 3PMSF marking, allowing you to safely travel in or through the given municipalities between October and April.
Can I drive on summer tyres with chains and still comply?
Yes, technically you can, although chains are only allowed when roads are fully covered with snow.