NEWSLETTER SPECIAL: Who are the UK's most trusted garages? Sign-up NOW for this week's exclusive. | No thanks
Ask Honest John  
Ask a Question

What's your question? Search here

Winter tyres and snow socks
Here in the UK I drive a 4X4 fitted with M+S rated tyres.

How do these compare with "winter" tyres as, for example, required by law to be fitted on all cars in Germany for the winter months beginning on Dec 1st? I was most impressed last week, driving on widespread ice and in deep snow in Bavaria and eastern Germany, with the road-holding capabilities of my small rented Renault Twingo which had winter tyres fitted.

On a related subject, how legal are the various snow socks now being sold, in respect of legal minimum tread depths of tyres, seeing as the socks completely cover the tread?

Asked on 20 December 2010 by royalblue

Answered by Honest John
If they have mountain or snowflake symbols on them they are legal as winter tyres in Germany and Austria. They are just less effective than full winter compound tyres, but have the advantage they can stay on all year round.

Snow socks can only be used in soft snow, so tyre tread depth is irrelevant because the treads are completely covered and the snow socks provide traction by picking up snow that provides traction against snow.
Similar questions
I had Pirelli "Sottozero" winter tyres (Sotto means 'under' in Italian) fitted to my Vauxhall Vectra and found them so much better on lightly snowed roads....
I have a Mercedes A-Class (2002) and wanted to know whether it was best to get winter tyres and steel wheels or to go for winter tyre socks. Any advice...
After begin rear-ended (twice in the same acccident by the same person), I now have to buy another car quickly. I was thinking about a Volvo S40 or S60,...
Related links
Cold-snap snow-how: Advice on coping with the freezing weather, including videos, facts and winter driving advice.

Cars For Sale




Reader Offers and Prizes

Buying Advice

Honest John's Newsletter

Latest News & Road Tests

Connect with Honest John

Facebook YouTube