Are studded snow tyres legal in the UK?

Thursday 9th September 2021

what makes tyres illegal

In short, no – studded winter tyres are illegal in the UK. Although this type of tyre is available for use in other countries – especially those with harsh, cold winters – studded snow tyres are not permitted in the UK as they would cause significant damage to the road surface of UK roads.

However, there are a number of circumstances where you are able to use studded winter tyres in the UK – learn more from this guide today.

What are studded tyres?

Firstly, it’s worth explaining exactly what studded winter tyres are, and how they would help your vehicle’s performance in harsh temperatures.

Studded tyres are a type of winter tyre designed with extra metal studs which are inserted into the tyre tread. Typically, the number of studs you can expect to find on these tyres ranges from 60 – 120 studs.

This design feature is used to provide an increased grip on road surfaces which are susceptible to wintery weather conditions – such as snow, ice, hail, and more. The main purpose of these tyres is to improve the safety and handling of vehicles during the colder seasons.

When can you use studded tyres in the UK?

You can only legally use studded winter tyres in the UK if you’re driving off-road. There is a significant amount of damage that studded tyres can cause to the UK road surfaces and tarmac terrains – meaning that it is illegal to use them on your vehicle for your day-to-day driving.

There are some tyres companies in the UK that provide a tyre studding service – but since you could only use these tyres off-road, it’s unlikely to be a worthwhile investment. If you’re looking to drive around specific European countries in winter, however, it’s worth learning more about how studded snow tyres could help – as, in some countries, they’re a legal requirement during the winter months.

Which countries can use studded winter tyres legally?

Due to the vast changes of climates between countries around the world, there is a different requirement for tyres country-by-country. There are countries similar to the UK – such as France and Germany – which have banned studded snow tyres, but a number of European countries and states in the US not only use them, but have them a mandatory requirement. Examples of some of the European countries which use studded winter tyres include:

  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Switzerland

Searching for the perfect winter tyres to battle against the harsh weather of winter? We provide a wide range of winter tyres that are legal here at Formula One Autocentres. Locate your nearest centre to book your tyre fitting today.

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