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Snow Tyres Take More Europeans To The Alps


An increasing number of British skiers and snowboarders are opting for holidays to European ski resorts to enjoy good snow conditions. However, driving to ski resorts in many European countries brings with it driving issues particularly in relation to tyres.

It is common for many European motorists to have two sets of tyres. At this time of the year, winter tyres are fitted to deal with the very cold weather, ice and snow. According to Micheldever Tyre Services/Protyre this is not common practice in the UK, although there has been an increase in the sale of winter or cold weather tyres, most cars in the UK are fitted with summer tyres all the year round.

Winter skiers driving to German and other ski resorts for instance have, since 2006 under national legislation, been liable to on the spot fines if a vehicle becomes stuck in snow or ice because their tyres are unsuitable for the winter conditions. Winter tyres must be fitted. British holiday motorists travelling to Alpine resorts must be aware of the importance of tyre choice although the Department of Transport has confirmed that international conventions permit vehicles to circulate in international traffic as long as they satisfy general technical requirements.

Micheldever Tyre Services and Protyre recommend that regular visitors and more importantly occasional visitors driving to European ski resorts should consider having a set of winter tyres fitted or, as an alternative, switching to an all season tyre which has the capability of dealing with snow and ice better than summer tyres. Before setting off the company suggests the following safety checks:

  • Check all tyres for general condition and if winter tyres are required these must be fitted
  • Check pressures
  • Where winter tyres are fitted, a minimum of 3mm is required in most countries. Other tyres should also have a minimum of 3mm.
  • Check the spare tyre for tread depth and pressure

If in doubt with any of the issues involving driving on the continent during winter months, advice is available from any of the 64 Protyre outlets in the UK. A full list is available by visiting

About Micheldever Tyre Services and Protyre

Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) was founded in 1972 as a part-time venture providing car servicing and tyres. Today, the company is the largest independent wholesaler, distributor and retailer of tyres in the UK selling seven million tyres in 2011/12 – 21 percent of the total UK market. Annual turnover for 2011/12 is forecast to be over £340 million. In addition to offering car, motorcycle and off road tyres, MTS/Protyre also fits exhausts, brakes and shock absorbers.

MTS has two main business units:

  • The Protyre retail chain, currently with 64 outlets, including Protyre Motorsport, continues to gain geographic coverage in the UK through new acquisitions.
  • MTS has established a wholesale distribution network of 13 sites around the UK supplying over 4,500 retailers nationwide. The activity has resulted in significant profitable growth for the company.