Snow Chains FAQ
1Q: Which Countries in Europe is it mandatory to fit & carry snow chains?
A: Snow Chains are a legal requirement on all European mountain roads. A driver can be fined if he fails to use snow chains when they are needed. Snow socks do not meet the required standard in European ski-resorts.
Countries include ANDORRA AUSTRIA FRANCE GERMANY ITALY NORWAY SWEDEN & SWITZERLAND.
2Q: How many chains do I need?
A: Snow chains are sold in pairs, and need to be fitted to the drive wheels. This meets with legal requirements on mainland Europe & mountain roads. Some drivers prefer 2 pairs i.e. 4 snow chains on 4 wheels for additional traction, and better control on long stretches.
On 4WD vehicles they are generally fitted to front wheels (check manufacturers handbook)
3Q: How fast can I drive with Snow Chains?
A: The maximum speed is 30MPH. A gentle driving style is essential, excessive acceleration will put too much pressure on chains and cause them to snap.
4Q: When should I fit snow chains?
A: Snow chains are designed for use on packed snow & ice. Driving on tarmac can damage vehicle and road.
5Q: Are snow Socks legal in Europe?
A: Snow socks are not officially approved in European ski-resorts, but are a good back up to chains
6Q: Where can I find my tyre size?
A: This is on the tyre wall e.g. 205/55-16 205 is the tyre width, 55 is the distance between wheel rim and tyre, and 16 is the rim wheel size. Do not take tyre size from handbook but directly from tyre.
7Q: Will snow chains damage my alloy wheels?
A: Snow chains will not damage alloy wheels providing they are fitted correctly.
8Q: How do I look after my snow chains?
A: After use wash in warm water, hang to dry, and return to bag. This will prolong their life.
9Q: Do I need anything else for driving in Europe in winter months?
A: Currently it is compulsory to have;
GB sticker, Warning Triangle, reflective high visibility vest, beam deflectors and spare bulbs.
In some countries anyone who exits vehicle must have vest. We recommend all passengers have a vest.
10Q: Are snow chains legal?
A: The use of snow chains is legal in the UK, as long as they are not used in a manner that will damage road surface, i.e. they need to be removed when driving on tarmac.
The use of snow chains is legal across most of Europe, and in many areas compulsory.
Local signs indicate when legally required, and this includes all mountain roads and ski resorts. Outside of these areas any driver found to cause hold up or an accident as a result of not being equipped for snow is liable to be fined.
11Q: My Vehicle has limited clearance, can I use snow chains?
A: Yes we can supply chains for vehicles with limited or no clearance behind the wheel .cars and 4x4 with limited clearance are listed on our website.
12Q: Can I use snow chains on tarmac?
A: Snow chains are designed for Snow & Ice .Driving on tarmac will wear the chains very quickly.
Other uses for chains
1. For use in mud
2. In sandy conditions e.g. beaches, dunes etc.
Snow Chains for Commercial Vehicles.
When do I need to use snow chains in mainland Europe?
Legislation about the use of snow chains on commercial vehicles varies from country to country. Truck and coach operators travelling across mainland Europe need to ensure they comply with the legislation of each country. Drivers may be fined or refused entry to a country if they do not comply with the required legislation.
Snow chains are required as detailed below:
Snow chains should be fitted to at least two drive tyres on snow covered roads
Snow chains should only be used on snow and ice covered roads
Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle, but should only be used on snow and ice covered roads
Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle and used according to relevant road signs
Snow chains are required on snow covered roads
Chains must be fitted to drive axles
Commercial vehicles exceeding 3,500kg are required to carry at least 3 chains, of which one must fit to the front (steering) wheel and 2 must fit on the drive wheels
Combination vehicles (truck and trailer, where both exceed 3,500kgs) are required to carry at least 7 snow chains on the vehicle. One on the front wheel, 4 on the drive wheels and 2 on the trailer.
Snow chains must be carried in the vehicle and used according to local road signs
Snow chains are required on roads marked with the sign 'Chains a neige obligatoires'
Snow chains are recommended in Sweden
For more detailed information please contact the relevant country's automobile authority