Have you got to grips with winter tyres laws when driving abroad?

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As many UK are making plans to head abroad for a winter break in Continental Europe, a YouGov survey commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman has found that 87% of car owners in Great Britain are not aware of where winter tyres are mandatory in Continental Europe.

The Motor Ombudsman study – summary in brief

The latest study of over 1,400 car owners in Great Britain comes as part of the automotive dispute resolution’s provider’s new campaign to increase consumer knowledge of winter tyres and to highlight the importance of having them fitted at one of the thousands of reputable businesses in the UK which are accredited to its Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair.

Although winter car tyres are not a legal requirement here in the UK, they are in several countries on the continent including those situated in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The laws vary as to which time of the year they are compulsory, and whether they are mandatory for only driving in wintry conditions.

The survey revealed that only 13% people know that they would need to change their car tyres to be legally compliant at their destination, and of this questioned, 28% stated that a winter tyre is most effective in temperatures below seven degrees.

Encouragingly, around six in ten car owners are au fait about the advantages of winter tyres when the temperatures dip, whilst a similar proportion (61%) can identify how they vary from summer equivalents.

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, said;

“The research paints an interesting and contrasting picture of the nation’s familiarity of winter tyres. On the one hand, they are knowledgeable about the merits that winter tyres offer in more challenging conditions, but on the other, there is significantly less understanding of what the laws are when heading abroad.

“This therefore reinforces the need for car owners, before they set off on their journey this winter, to spend time doing research and to make sure that they are prepared to avoid falling foul of the law, which ultimately compromises safety. In addition, it’s just as important that motorists visit a reputable garage, such as one accredited to The Motor Ombudsman, that is qualified to fit them and to provide the right guidance to meet the needs of customers.”

View The Motor Ombudsman’s video “Getting to grips with winter tyres” and find out more about winter vehicle maintenance by clicking here to visit The Motor Ombudsman’s dedicated website page.

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