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Winter tyres in Germany


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If anyone is interested, I have translated this article from the ADAC website regarding new rules regarding winter tyres.


New "Alpine" symbol becomes mandatory

Whoever now buys winter tires should pay attention not only to quality, individual driving characteristics and the price, but also to the so-called "Alpine" symbol.


The three-prong mountain picogram with the snowflake in the middle is compulsory for all winter tires, which will be produced from 1 January 2018. The previous M + S sign is no longer enough for newly produced winter tires. However, as a matter of course (until September 30, 2024), already produced tires with M + S marking still meet the winter tire requirement. Consumers do not have to replace their existing winter tires immediately. 


No summer tires in winter road conditions

The new symbol is based on a higher quality requirement: while the designation M + S does not require a uniform winter test criterion, tires for the "Alpine" symbol have to prove minimum quality on a snow test. 


What remains is the regulation on the existing situational winter tire obligation: In winter ice, frost and ice smoothness, snow and Schneematsch, car tires must have reared. In other words, summer tires are prohibited in winter road conditions. Otherwise, fines (60 or 80 euros, depending on traffic obstructions) threaten a point in Flensburg and delicate effects on hardship and liability when an accident happens.


Also the vehicle owner is liable

What is new, however, is that now the vehicle owner must also face a fine and a point if he orders or permits a ride without winter tires in the aforementioned winter road conditions. This applies in particular to car rental tenants. 


By the way, motorcycles are exempted from winter tires. On the one hand, there are hardly any tires on the market which have the appropriate marking. On the other hand, motorcyclists leave their bikes largely in winter anyway.


Do you have questions about the new "Alpine" symbol and the winter tire? Put them in the new ADAC community!

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