Anyone drove on Germany autobahn in winter?

maxima

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I read from AA:

The rules in Germany changed at the end of 2010 - regulations now require all passenger cars and motorbikes including vehicles from foreign countries to be fitted with winter tyres or all season tyres on all axles when conditions are wintery

and

Winter weather conditions include black ice, snow, ice, slush and hoarfrost.. You may also be prevented from continuing your journey unless the tyres are changed or the weather conditions change

...

I am somewhat reluctanct to change tyres to drive on the motorway.. I don't think that their autobahn will have ice on the surface..

And when I say autobahn I mean 100% autobahn - no other roads I am going to use..

And what if it is a warm month? Like November or February?

So my question.. How bad is this 'no-no' actually? Did anyone drive on summer tyres in winter? is it NO !! NO !! NO !! or is it just nah ? :)

'Practical' advice is welcome!
 
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Mharv

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Have you ever driven on the Autobahn, in winter ? quite a different experience than in Summer conditions in Germany still think it is mandatory for winter tyres there, even for safe driving especially rwd cars... don't think the roads from the autobahn are all going to be clear, it makes sense, vrederstein wintrac are great winter tyres
 
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maxima

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Drove about 3000 this summer... Never seen it in winter.. How can it not be clear with such number of trucks / cars?

Have you actually seen ice on the tarmac or you just 'don't think'?
 
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maxima

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No its not. read the quote above (I emphasized the clues in anticipation of responses as yours)
 

markjay

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My understating is that there is no legal requirement as such for tting winter tyres during winter monthes, the restriction is in fact regarding driving without winter/all-season tyres in adverse weather condition.

The two main issues are accidents in heavy rain/low-visibility, and cars getting struck in snow - both of which can cause massive traffic jams on the autobahn.

It only takes a couple of cars without winter tyres to bring the entire autobahn to a standstill when it snows....

If you don't expect snow/ice/heavy-rain conditions, you can keep the summer tyres, but then keep off the road if the weather does change.....
 

Doodle

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Put it this way...if you get it wrong, expect the Polizei to have a sense of humour failure and stick you with a very large fine.
 
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mattc

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If invovled in an acident you may well find the police judge you more culpable due to not having winter tyres on. So the insurance compnaies will come chasing yours for a payout.

The weather there can change v quickly too. When I lived in Germany in the early 90's we had rain overnight just as the temperature dropped well below freezing. result was the A8 south of Stuttgart had a 200+ car pile up in the early morning traffic as they hit pure clear ice. As I stepped out of the house and put my foot on a paving slab it just slid to the grass on the other side.the slab just looked wet not icy. It took me 15 minutes to walk my normal 3 minute route it was that trecherous.

I frequently travel to Germany and in the winter months I always pre-order a hire car with winter tyres a CYA policy.
 

PenelopePitstop

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Except getting a ticket, police may not allow you to drive until you get winter tyres. That might be expensive. I stayed 4 months in Germany last winter and it snowed 4 days in total. But when it started to snow, it was like a blizzard and roads where white in minutes.
 

Simon_M

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OK then smarty pants - if you had quoted more of the AA article you would have seen the part outlining the fines too.

The law on winter tyres in Germany

Surely driving in that part of the world at that time of the year - common sense says winter tyres are needed.

But you are big enough to stand by your decisions and if necessary (hope not) take the consequences.

S
 

kwk

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I have driven on the Autobahns at all times of the year and they are generally very good. As a previous poster has said however, when it snows it really can be blizzard conditions very quickly.
About 4 years ago, about 100 miles passed Frankfurt, I spent nearly 6 hours at standstill in the cab of a lorry, due to the conditions being so bad that other lorries could not climb a hill and were spinning across the road. A couple of hours before, it had been fine and bright.
 

ChrisA

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As some have mentioned and others not sure;

It is NOT law to have Winter tyres on as where is the start/end of Winter? Seasons change irregularly so again, no law for having winter tyres fitted but........
If you are involved in an RTA and do not have Winter tyres and the conditions are somewhat $hit, the Polizei will lean towards you as the cause and there's not much you can do about it. Chances are the other vehicle/s involved are foreign and also do not have winter tyres on ;)
 

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Technically in the original statute I believe a certain temperature is cited as the point where the legislation kicks in. However as has been pointed out above this may have been modified since then to take account of certain adverse road conditions. Rest assured the people who will determine the " suitability or otherwise " of these road conditions will be the police not the driver at least----- until it reaches court. As above “As the weather conditions can change rapidly, I would advise to avoid problems of being caught out by fitting winter tyres from the 1st November until Easter" seems good starting point.
 

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Used to drive the route south of Munich a lot during the winter of 2006 and we used to get a lot of slush in the winter months. Sometimes even with winter tyres we had to be careful.

I wouldn't bother risking it without winter tyres.
 

boxbrownie

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All the vehicles in my companies fleet (100+) were changed from summer to winters in November and back again in March, we have several plants in Germany (as well as other EU countries), our company is self insured so no compulsion there, but it was safer to fit the tyres than to have employees possibly stopped and vehicles impounded (or worse in the case of an accident) than not.

In your case its entirely up to you, risk management.
 

Borys

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And remember about ice blitz, very dangerous
Would be scared without winters and I did driven on autobahns in every conditions
 

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