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Mountain areas: new winter vehicle equipment requirements

Publié le 04 octobre 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Crédits : © candy1812 -

Tyre on a snowy road

To reduce road congestion in mountainous areas and improve road safety, your car will need to be equipped with winter tyres or hold chains in its trunk during winter in some municipalities. The obligation will enter into force on 1to November 2021. Which vehicles and departments are involved? What are the mandatory equipment? Pursuant to the Montagne II Act of 28 December 2016, the decree was issued in Official Journal October 18, 2020.

The prefects of the 48 departments located in the mountains (Alps, Corsica, Massif Central, Massif Jurassien, Pyrenees, Massif Vosges) will have to draw up a list of municipalities in which vehicle equipment becomes mandatory during the winter period, that is to say of the 1to November to March 31. This list shall be drawn up with and after consultation with the local elected representatives concerned. One non-final map of the areas concerned is available on the Road Safety website.

In the zones established by the prefects, light-duty vehicles, commercial vehicles and motor homes shall:

  • or hold in its trunk metal or textile snow chains allowing to equip at least two driving wheels
  • be equipped with four winter tyres.

This obligation does not apply to vehicles equipped with nail tyres.

Exceptions to equipment requirements may be defined by order of the prefect of the department on certain sections of roads and certain routes of load shedding.

Currently, and up to 1to November 2021, channels are mandatory only on the roads where the sign is installed « B26 mandatory special equipment »when they are covered with snow. In winter, depending on the weather, you can use studded or studded tyres. These can be used from the Saturday before November 11 to the last Sunday of March the following year. However, these dates can be modified by departmental authorities. Failure to carry snow chains in your trunk or to install winter tyres in your vehicle in the departments concerned will not be punished this winter.

  FYI : Coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles without trailers or semi-trailers will also be subject to these obligations with the choice between chains or winter tyres. Heavy goods vehicles with trailers or semi-trailers will be required to carry snow chains to equip at least two driving wheels, even if they are equipped with winter tyres.


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