Winter and summer tyres - the legalities - Germany

Law regards seasonal changing of car tires

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sosarx
M & S is not quite what is required, the snow crystal symbol is it what has to be on the tyre.
ukpunk1
I'm curious, what does this mean?
an example: 195/65/R15 91H XL. Some are listed on http://www.reifendirekt.de
Allershausen
Just came across this video from BMW comparing an X3 with summer tires and an X3 with winter tyres.
poohsan
different company, different cars, different tests, same results
Hutcho
M & S is not quite what is required, the snow crystal symbol is it what has to be on the tyre.
M + S (Mud and Snow/Matsch und Schnee) are winter tyres..
MrNosey
M + S (Mud and Snow/Matsch und Schnee) are winter tyres..
Not necessarily. The M&S symbol can be used on "All Season" and on other tyres because it is not a protected (quality) symbol.
The tyre manufacturers introduced the Schneeflockensymbol to identify winter tyres that have been tested to a certain level and offer a known minimum traction performance in winter conditions.
HellesAngel
Er, better than Hutcho but still not correct - the snowflake symbol (Schneeflockensymbol) means all year tyres, but you are correct about M+S.
sosarx
Sorry,

but the M&S symbol can be found on summer tyres as well. Happens. SUV- tyres sometimes show this,indicating that the tyre is made for driving in mud. Chinese summer tyres show this symbol sometimes.

M&S is no protected symbol.

So the clear advice is to use tyres that that have that (additional) snow flake symbol. This could be either a typical winter tyre as well as a Ganzjahresreifen.
MrNosey
Helles

"Dieses Symbol wird von der amerikanischen Straßenbehörde NHTSA an Reifen vergeben, die in einem Test eine gewisse Mindesttraktion auf Schnee und Eis erreichen."

OK, could also be on All Seasons I guess but it signifies performance in snow and ice - it doesn't mean that they are "All Season".
djbobbins
YL6 - yes, they carry the requisite "snowflake" symbol! The fronts are Conti TS830 and the backs Toyo SnowProX (XL rated bought as an option by me because it's a Zafira and occasionally we load up with 6 people, luggage and roof box and do 700km+ drive back to the UK).

Interestingly, to buy the same four tyres now from the same website would be a hundred quid more expensive than when I got them three months ago. Supply and demand I guess.
Derek
The rules/laws about winter are clear, I'm in no doubt about that. What about in summer though? Can you drive in summer on winter tyres? How bad would that be? I expect they'd perform well during heavy rain.
HellesAngel
They'd be at best OK during the rain, at worst dangerous during the heat. The law simply states that your vehicle must be equipped with appropriate tyres for the conditions so it covers summer and winter in one hit.
Allershausen
Winter tyres generally have a speed restiction on them, although nowadays it's often something like 190kph, which is probably faster then most people drive. They are pretty noisy at speed though and I believe they will wear out much faster than summer tyres. If you read the report I linked to a few posts back you'll see that some of the summer tyres out performed some of the winter tyres in the wet, probably because it was a little too warm for the winter tyres. In really warm conditions the difference may be much greater. Basically, winter tyres are for winter, summer ones for summer, don't mess about penny pinching with your safety.
Derek
They'd be at best OK during the rain, at worst dangerous during the heat. The law simply states that your vehicle must be equipped with appropriate tyres for the conditions so it covers summer and winter in one hit.
Winter tyres generally have a speed restiction on them, although nowadays it's often something like 190kph, which is probably faster then most people drive. They are pretty noisy at speed though and I believe they will wear out much faster than summer tyres. If you read the report I linked to a few posts back you'll see that some of the summer tyres out performed some of the winter tyres in the wet, probably because it was a little too warm for the winter tyres. In really warm conditions the difference may be much greater.
Fair enough.

Basically, winter tyres are for winter, summer ones for summer, don't mess about penny pinching with your safety.
Hardly penny pinching. I was only wondering out loud.

I just spent 950 euros on a set of winters, the old ones were still legal (but not recommended) at 3mm.
Allershausen
This is from another thread about winter tyres, regarding the cost:

Another point is, how many Kilometers do you drive? I do about 25000km per year, so over a three year period I cover 75000km, which I could never do on one set of tyres. With a set of winter tyres as well I manage ok. So the only extra expense is a set of steel wheels, which are not expensive, plus an hour changing them over. They are of course much safer in the winter.
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