Driving on winter tyres or chains in certain regions of France will be compulsory from November 1st 2021. The directive, which has already been approved, will serve to limit congestion on roads in French mountainous areas, as well as to improve safety for road users on stretches where, until now, its use was only a recommendation.
HGVs must also use chains in France
Coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles without trailers or semi-trailers must be fitted with snow chains – or other equivalent removable anti-skid devices – on at least two driven wheels, even when fitted with winter tyres. Heavy vehicles travelling with a trailer or semi-trailer must also be fitted with removable anti-skid devices. It should be noted that from November 1st 2024 only 3PMSF tyres will be accepted as chain equivalents.
As for light passenger cars, commercial vehicles and motor homes, they must carry metal or textile snow chains which can be equipped to at least two driving wheels, or carry winter tyres that prevent slipping.
In the case of vehicles equipped with studded tyres, chains are not necessary.
The compulsory nature of the measure will only apply to some French communes
Winter tyres will be compulsory in the prefects of the 48 departments located in mountainous areas of France, such as the Alps, Corsica, Massif Central, the Jura Massif, the Pyrenees and the Vosges Massif.
The final list of the French communes concerned is still to be determined, although you will be able to check it here. In addition, by order of the prefect of the department, exemptions to the equipment requirements may be established for certain stretches of road and certain relief roads.
New road signs to announce affected stretches of road
The new rule will apply temporarily during the winter period, between November 1st and March 31st. As a reminder, new traffic signs will be installed showing the beginning and end of the areas in which winter tyres are compulsory.