Winter tyres or chains obligatory from 15 November

Legal requirement in Milan from 15 November.

As winter weather approaches, drivers must mount winter tyres, or at least be able to show they have snow chains on board, to use roads with warning signs, of which there are many in the hills surrounding Milan. The deadline for mounting the tyres or having snow-chains on board is on Thursday 15 November.

Regional and provincial authorities are allowed to determine which roads are affected, and for which periods. Even some stretches of motorway will be subject to the rule, which lasts until 15 April next year.




Italy’s Highway Code (Codice della Strada) prescribes a fine of €84 for non-compliance, but – worse still – the vehicle may not be used until the rule has been respected. And the fine is even heavier for continuing to drive on winter tyres after the 15 April deadline and the one-month period of grace until 15 May: a minimum of €419 and an obligatory revision of the vehicle.

In theory, the law merely requires the chains to be carried in the vehicle if winter tyres are not mounted.  But anecdotal evidence suggests traffic police sometimes ask drivers to demonstrate that they know how to mount the chains.  This is another reason to check that your chains are the correct size for your tyres, and to refresh your knowledge of how to put them on – something it’s easy to forget if you haven’t needed to use them for a while.