What happens when driving without winter tires in Luxembourg?

November 8, 2021
Winter is fast approaching in the Grand Duchy and the fall in temperatures brings its share of questions. As every year since 2012, questions are flooding in about when to put on winter tires? What happens if snow tires are not fitted to your vehicle?

Winter tires in Luxembourg: the regulations

In 2012, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg made winter tires compulsory in winter driving conditions. In other words, when cold, ice, snow or frost start to appear again, winter tires become mandatory. However, when is this winter period where winter tires are mandatory?

It should be noted that the regulations apply for the whole year, whether it’s winter or summer. There is no precise period because it is not possible to make long-term predictions about temperatures ... nevertheless there is still an estimated period, which usually runs from October to Easter. It is mostly during this period that there are sharp falls in temperature. Tires should be changed when temperatures drop to about 7o degrees centigrade.  

authorised tires during this period are winter tires, marked with the symbols "MS", "M + S" or "M&S”, or the Alpine symbol. It is also possible to use all-weather (or ‘all-season’) tires, provided they are also marked with one of the previously mentioned symbols. 

This regulation concerns all motorists. Indeed, all vehicles travelling on public roads in Luxembourg are subject to this winter tire rule, including vehicles which are registered in neighbouring countries, or which are only in transit through Luxembourg. The vehicle must also be fitted with all four tires of the same type. Parked cars are not affected, nor are mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles, quad-cycles, tractors or self-propelled machinery.

What are the penalties if you do not fit winter tires in winter?

Despite the recommendations, you couldn’t change the tires on time. What are the risks if you drive in winter conditions without winter tires?

If a vehicle travels on Luxembourg public roads without winter tires, the driver risks a fine of €74 and possible immobilisation of his vehicle.
If winter tires are fitted but the grooves are less than 1.6 mm deep, the penalty is €145 and 2 points removed from the driver's license. Although the regulations require a minimum of 1.6 mm, 4 mm grooves are recommended in order to give better grip on the road.

Without winter tires, what happens in terms of insurance?

If an accident occurs when the car should have been fitted with snow tyres or all-weather tires, is the vehicle still insured? 

In the event of an accident, you must look closely at your insurance policy in order to check the specifics terms, the conditions and/or any possible exclusions which may exist concerning cover by the insurance policy. Therefore it is preferable to  check it before setting out on the road without winter tires.  

Even if you are insured, consider changing your tires if you haven't already. This will enable you to drive in complete safety. 

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