Winter tires offer more road safety in snow and ice, but are they mandatory in Germany? Or can you just go to the Christmas market in Düsseldorf, Cologne or Aachen in a car with summer tires?
The answer is apparently simply because winter tires are not mandatory in Germany. With the exception that the use of summer tires under winter conditions is prohibited. This also applies to vehicles registered abroad. It is, therefore, possible, provided that you keep a close eye on the weather forecast.
When the car with summer tires is parked normally during snow and ice, you don’t have to worry about the consequences. But if you are caught on winter roads with summer tires, you get a fine of 60 euros plus a penalty point in the central German traffic register.
If you are caught in someone else’s car, the owner receives a fine of 75 euros and also a penalty point in the traffic register. It becomes really serious when an accident has happened due to the use of summer tires. In that case, the car owner can be accused of gross negligence, which can lead to a significant reduction in insurance coverage.