Winter tyre change 2020: here is the date, the obligation and the costs!

Winter tyre change 2020: here is the date, the obligation and the costs!

What is the 2020 winter tyre change?

Now that summer is over and the good days are gone, the obligation to change your winter tyres is back. The winter tyre change is the annual appointment at the tyre shop where summer tyres are replaced with snow or winter tyres.

Winter tyres provide better grip on snowy or simply wet or slushy surfaces. As Italy is a country covered with hills and mountains, it becomes imperative to always have excellent grip on asphalt.

Why do you need to change your 2020 winter tyres?

Changing winter tyres is necessary because summer tyres do not guarantee perfect grip on wet, damp or snowy asphalt.

In fact, summer tyres have a smoother surface with fewer grooves to ensure greater contact with the asphalt, optimising the car's performance and guaranteeing more precise steering. Winter tyres are also made of a softer compound to allow greater elasticity at low temperatures.

Based on these differences in construction, the 2020 winter tyres are mandatory. Logically, this is a different matter in the case of all-season or four-season tyres. They are a compromise between summer and winter tyres.

We would also like to remind you that in addition to fitting the correct tyres, it is advisable to ensure that the car's tyre pressure is correct and that the tyre pressure light does not come on or flash.

When does the 2020 winter tyre requirement apply?

Like every year, drivers have one month to change their car's winter tyres. The period in which winter tires must be changed is from October 15, 2020 to November 15, 2020.

After this time period to change winter tires 2020, driving on summer tires becomes illegal. As well as increasing the chances of accidents, you can incur a fine of up to €1695.

Can you drive on summer tyres despite the 2020 winter tyre obligation?

You are not allowed to drive on summer tyres during the mandatory winter tyre period. Obviously you need to pay attention to the roads you drive on because, as we will see later, winter tyres are not compulsory throughout the country.

If you rarely drive on roads with oblong snow tyres, the advice is to invest in a set of snow chains and then "forget" them in the spare wheel compartment under the boot.

How much does it cost to change 2020 winter tyres?

If you already have winter tyres for your car, the change can cost around €30 per tyre for a total of €120 for a winter tyre change.

If you don't have a set of winter tyres, you will have to buy one. A set of 4 good quality winter tyres can cost between 200 and 1000 euros, depending on the make, model and size of tyre.

Where is the use of 2020 winter tyres mandatory?

Contrary to what many people think, the 2020 winter tyre requirement does notcover the whole country but only certain roads/areas.

According to Act 120 of 29 July 2010, the power to set traffic restrictions lies with the authorities that own the roads, i.e. local and municipal authorities.

The local authorities decide whether and when to introduce the obligation to carry winter tyres or chains on board. By law, the start and end date of these restrictions must be communicated and marked with appropriate road signs.

How are winter tyres identified?

Identifying winter tyres is really child's play. Just check the shoulder of the tyre, for the less experienced, the side of the tyre on which the brand name and other details are written (as shown in the photo above).

The details on the shoulder of the tyre include a number of useful information. A winter tyre is identified by the following inscriptions:

  • MS
  • M/S
  • M+S
  • M-S
  • M&S

These terms stand for Mud and Snow which in English mean mud and snow respectively.

Which cars have to have their winter tyres changed?

The 2020 winter tyre change obligation applies to all motor vehicles on the road. It therefore applies to cars, buses, lorries, special vehicles and motor homes.

The only vehicles excluded from the winter tyre change are those with two wheels (including mopeds, trailers and motorcycles) and those without propulsion, such as bicycles.

However, two-wheeled vehicles are prohibited in the presence of "snow phenomena". You cannot drive a scooter if the road is covered with snow or ice.

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