Explained: The rules about snow tyres and chains in France 

Snowfall is expected throughout this week and into the next, providing perfect conditions for the thousands of families heading into the mountains for a spot of skiing during the school holidays. But before you head off, it is important to check that your vehicle is correctly equipped for the road. 

Until 31st March, it is obligatory for all vehicles with four or more wheels in mountainous areas in France to be fitted with winter tyres on all wheels or to carry the correct-sized snow chains or socks for at least two tyres.  

Details on the correct form of winter tyres has been published on the French Public Service website and can be viewed, in French, here

According to the website, the term ‘winter tyres’ covers all tyres that are marked with M+S, M.S, M&S or the alpine symbol known as 3PMSF (3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake) alongside an MS variation. All season or four weather tyres are not considered acceptable if they don’t have one of the previously mentioned symbols.  

From 1st November 2024, only tyres with the 3PMSF option will be accepted as winter tyres.  

See more: When and where you’ll need snow tyres this winter

The communes affected by the rules in the Alpes-Maritimes are: Amirat, Andon, Ascros, Auvare, Bairols, Belvédère, Beuil, Bezaudun-les-Alpes, Bonson, Breil-sur-Roya, Briançonnet, Caille, Caussols, Chateauneuf-d’Entraunes, Clans, Coaraze, Coursegoules, Daluis, Duranus, Entraunes, Escragnolles, Fontan, Gars, Gilette, Gorbio, Gourdon, Gréolières, Guillaumes, Ilonse, Isola, La Bollène-Vésubie, La Brigue, La Croix-sur-Roudoule, La Penne, La Tour, Lantosque, Le Mas, Les Mujouls, Levens, Lieuche, Lucéram, Malaussène, Marie, Massoin, Moulinet, Peille, Péone, Pierlas, Pierrefeu, Puget-Rostang, Puget-Théniers, Revest-les-Roches, Rigaud, Rimplas, Roquebillière, Roubion, Roure, Saint-Antonin, Saint-Auban, Saint-Dalmas-le-Selvage, Sainte-Agnès, Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée, Saint-Léger, Saint-Martin-d’Entraunes, Saint-Martin-Vésubie, Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée, Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, Saorge, Sauze, Seranon, Sospel, Tende, Thiery, Toudon, Touët-sur-Var, Tourette-du-Chateau, Tournefort, Utelle, Valdeblore, Valderoure, Venanson, Villars-sur-Var and Villeneuve-d’Entraunes. 

See more: From Monaco to the mountains: a guide to the best ski resorts these school holidays

In the Var, the communes affected by the wintertime rules include: Aiguines, Baudinard, La Roque-Esclapon, Montmeyan, Ampus, Brenon, La Verdière, Régusse, Artignosc, Chateaudouble, Le Bourguet, Seillans, Aups, Chateauvieux, Les Salles-sur-Verdon, St Julien le Montagnier, Bargème, Comps sur Artuby, Moissac-Bellevue, Tourtour, Bargemon, La Bastide, Mons, Trigance, Bauduen, La Martre, Montferrat and Vérignon. 

A full list of communes across France that require specific winter equipment for vehicles can be found here


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Photo source: Daniel J. Schwarz, Unsplash