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Snow tyres in Poland... legal or reccomended?


Danny_R 1 | 2  
12 Oct 2008 /  #1
Hey,

I'm planning a trip to Warsaw this Christmas with my girlfriend to see her family, we were going to fly but with the price of tickets we are now planning to drive as its gonna be cheaper and we're gonna get to see some of europe on the way and the way back :)

only major question I have is the legality of winter tyres, obviously we never need them here, but having to drive through Germany and obviously Poland I have been researching winter tyres, I read that they are now required in Germany during winter months but I also read that they are not legally required yet in Poland, only reccomended.

so then I thought about snow chains and if I could get away with carrying chains for if/when we come across snowy conditions - If I can get away with this id much preffer it than having to buy winter tyres just to get through Germany.

has anyone done something similar to this? or have any links to EU laws on winter tyres?

any info would be greatly appreciated :)

Many thanks

Danny
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Oct 2008 /  #2
Hello Danny_R,

Are tickets really so expensive? Of course it is Christmas but is it really cheaper to drive from Leeds?

I recommend this drive in Summer for the obvious reason, it'll be freezing.
I am pretty sure winter tyres are a must by the law but i will get back to you on that one.
But in fairness you must have them, it gets cold and snowy.
I think snow chains are illegal on most roads as they destroy the road surface. Again I will ask but I would not get my hopes up.

It is also not just a matter of seeing snow there's black ice and all.
Especially that you are not accustomed to driving in the snow, I certainly would not recommend doing it in summer tyres.

I sound like a prune, but people do crash.

I recommend flying and driving through Europe not in winter.
I have just come back from a trip through Europe.

https://polishforums.com/archives/2005-2009/travel/driving-faro-portugal-krakow-advice-27478/
dnz 17 | 710  
12 Oct 2008 /  #3
I didn't bother last year and managed to drive around (slowly) with the traction control and ABS going crazy non stop, I don't think they are mandatory but I know continental insurance companies are reluctant to pay out if you have and accident and no matter what happens you are instantly at fault. If your car is UK registered it must be legal by UK standards so in my understanding you don't need them but I;m sure zee germans will se it a different way.
inkrakow  
13 Oct 2008 /  #4
We were lucky the last two winters because we had barely any snow, so you could have got away with summer tyres for all but a couple of weeks, but it can snow at the drop of a hat and it's not much fun being out there if you know you can lose control at any moment. Also, you need to worry not only about your own driving here, but that of everyone else as well.

You can't go much faster than 30mph in chains anyway and you should check if they're allowed on tarmac roads.
Sasha 2 | 1,083  
13 Oct 2008 /  #5
I think you may use just winter tyres with no studs. They're surely not prohibited and safe as long as you don't drive on ice. For ice use chains.
ukpolska  
13 Oct 2008 /  #6
Winter tyres are not required by law as they are only a recommendation, but most Poles adhere to it because of safety reasons.
We are spending our Christmas in the mountains as we do most years, and we only attach snow chains as a last resort.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
13 Oct 2008 /  #7
I was told today that you can have universal tyres or winter tyres but NOT summer tyres.

Danny_R you should use snow tyres.
ukpolska  
13 Oct 2008 /  #8
universal tyres

wow, never heard of that one lol
Everyone that I know of refers to them as summer tyres and NEVER universal tyres and I have been buying them for eight years (the wife drives like Hamilton) ;)

Still if you wish to check it out you can: tyres-online.co.uk/techinfo/winter.asp
Sasha 2 | 1,083  
13 Oct 2008 /  #9
Universal tyre is crap. It's always better to use specific tyres for summer and winter. I bought for my peugeot winter tyres with no studs. Russians unfortunatelly don't know yet how to make good studless winter tyres but they make good studded ones.
sobieski 107 | 2,128  
13 Oct 2008 /  #10
I have a company car and our fleet manager obliges us to switch from Summer to Winter tyres and vice versa. Besides the fact it makes common sense - winter tyres have a complete different grip on snowy and icy roads.

Winter tyres are not mandatory here in Poland, but I know insurance companies ask ugly questions in case of accidents with cars involved who have the wrong type of tyres.

Besides, in the long run the cost price is the same because you are using each type of tyre double as long because it us used every year only for six months.

Stupid to economize on safety I think.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
13 Oct 2008 /  #11
Everyone that I know of refers to them as summer tyres and NEVER universal tyres

I have been told they are two different things and Uneversal tyres are the in between?
I am not an expert by any means.
OOooohhh, nice info on the winter ones, by the way, I am going to read that.

you are using each type of tyre double as long because it us used every year only for six months.

I just hate the bloody cues at the beginning and end of every winter.

Stupid to economize on safety I think.

Agreed,
dnz 17 | 710  
13 Oct 2008 /  #12
I use toyo proxy t1R's all year round in all conditions and they have never been anything short of brilliant, Uniroyal rain tyres are also good, I find winter tyres rather restricting at motorway speeds (and potentially dangerous). I go through a set of 4 tyres every 2 months anyway 8000 miles so have been experimenting with different types for years for years.

Also why is it people in poland insist on fitting steel wheels during the winter months? Steel wheels with balloon like tyres have a really adverse effect on the cars handling as opposed to the normal low profile tyres found on alloys.

I might give winter tyres a go but they are stupidly expensive at £150 per tyre, Anyone know where I can find some cheaper?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
13 Oct 2008 /  #13
I go through a set of 4 tyres every 2 months

How?

Anyone know where I can find some cheaper?

No, but if you find out let me know.
OP Danny_R 1 | 2  
14 Oct 2008 /  #14
very interesting information :) many thanks to all

I know it sounds like a bit of a crazy idea (and agreed definately would be better suited to the summer) but yeah, the tickets we found for the dates and places we want are already over 600 quid and we dont have the money to order them yet so who knows how much they will be by the time we can buy them - worked out its about 1200 miles each way, budgeting on 3 tanks of fuel each way max, so maybe 300 quid all round for fuel, gonna need to stop over somewhere for a night, food, drinks, ferry (Dover/Calais) I think it will work out cheaper ... long as my car doesnt break down LOL

my car has universal tyres on all ready (standard tyres here in the UK) they are pretty new and have loads of tread.

DNZ - I used Toyo Proxes for 3 years constantly, brilliant tyres, but the wear was just too fast

depending where this place will post to I always use them for my tyres.....funnily enough - mytyres.co.uk/ cheapest winter tyres on there are around 35 quid. if they dont post to europe look for a company called Delphi (im sure someone else will have heard of them) as Delphi own mytyres.

once again cheers for the information, shall have a good long read and will let you know the outcome :)
benszymanski 8 | 465  
14 Oct 2008 /  #15
if anyone is interested I wrote about this very topic here: britishinpoland.com/blog/2008/03/summer-and-winter-tyres/. I usually shop around online to get the best tyres and then take them to my local garage to get them changed over.
crasyman77 11 | 37  
16 Nov 2008 /  #16
Hey Guys,

Just for more information and saving money. I live in Szczecin, just by the border with Germany. I did not know when i first came here about tyre changes, i had bought a car with summer tyres from Germany. Last year in Decemeber I went to Germany with same car and same tyres, I was blocked in traffic, to my bad luck a police car passed near me in traffic and of all the cars he looked at , I guess he liked mine more. He came running on me and done a nice show with siren and lights, and shouting that i am stupid and careless and that to drive in Germany I should use winter tyres from November till April. I pkayed the part that i did not know and i did not understand German, he let me go but after 30 minutes of real nice show in the middle of the autobahn that was blocked with traffic.

Though I agree that for safety reasons you need the winter tyres, in Poland especialy in the mornings the streets around the forests are full of ice and black ice. It is worth being safe on the Polish roads....... I let you understand that.

By the way I think the air tickets are much cheaper, get a ticket with ryan air to Szczecin and then go with train where ever in Poland, the trains are bloody cheap here.
Wroclaw Boy  
16 Nov 2008 /  #17
I'll be damned if im forking out 3000 PLN on winter tyres this year, i had some on my last car and have left them on constantly the rubber is so soft they wear out quickly on the rims because of the rutts in the road. Considering the amount of snow and sub zero temeratures over the past couple of years its a complete waste of money. Also when its snowing and icey if you drive irresponsibly winter tyres arent going to make that much difference. There not some miracle grip.

Snow chains are a good idea if your at altitude driving around the mountains.
matia  
11 Dec 2009 /  #18
does anyone know how much mm trend is safe for a winter tyre to have?i am planning to drive from england to poland these christmas and looking in the winter tyres story
Bzibzioh  
11 Dec 2009 /  #19
Also when its snowing and icey if you drive irresponsibly winter tyres arent going to make that much difference.

Nonsense, they are making huge difference. They are obligatory in Quebec from December 15. And the climate is similar as in Poland.
Wroclaw Boy  
11 Dec 2009 /  #20
They are obligatory in Quebec from December 15. And the climate is similar as in Poland.

I dont think so, tomorrow its -9 and -14 in Quebec, here its +2 and -4. Generally speaking Quebec is around 8 degrees colder love. They are not a legal requirement in Poland so thats your answer right there really.
Bzibzioh  
11 Dec 2009 /  #21
Generally speaking Quebec is around 8 degrees colder love.

It's not about temperature, it's about snow. No love.
pawian 168 | 11,014  
11 Dec 2009 /  #22
When there is a snow and ice alarm declared on a section of the road, especially in the mountains, the police patrol check if cars have snow tyres and chains. If not, they are not allowed to pass through.
Wroclaw Boy  
12 Dec 2009 /  #23
It's not about temperature, it's about snow. No love.

actually its about ice more so than snow and sub zero temperatures, if the temperature is above freezing there cant possibly be snow or ice, so i think youll find temeperature is the dominating factor. Most of the winter time in Poland its above freezing point with sporadic snow and ice accompanied by sub zero temperatures. Quebec on the other hand will have snow and ice on the ground for the majority of the winter, most probably constant from mid November right through till late March. This is like kindergarden.

Whats your problem lady?
santander 1 | 68  
12 Dec 2009 /  #24
Winter tyres are not required by law as they are only a recommendation, but most Poles adhere to it because of safety reasons.

Really is this true, when I lived there I was under the impression that it was obligatory, that is why I had them put on despite the fact that I don't do many miles. I was also told that if you have an accident, your fault of not, that the insurance company would not pay out if you did not have snow tyres on. Maybe things have changed.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098  
13 Dec 2009 /  #25
does anyone know how much mm trend is safe for a winter tyre to have?

4 mm

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