Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

Good winter tyres are the most important safety feature in a car – change your tyres when the weather and conditions require it

If so required by weather or road surface conditions, winter tyres must be used during the winter period from November to March. Because the requirement of using winter tyres depends on weather and road conditions, drivers must pay close attention to driving conditions. The depth of the principal tread grooves of passenger car winter tyres must be at least 3.0 mm.

In Finland, cars and vans must be fitted with winter tyres during the period from 1 November to 31 March if the weather or road surface conditions so require. The requirement to use winter tyres also applies to special purpose vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, tricycles, quadricycles, and trailers with a total or connected mass exceeding 0.75 tonnes but not exceeding 3.5 tonnes. Vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes have their own tyre requirements for the winter season.

Don’t let icy roads catch you off guard

To ensure safety and reduce stress, it is better to change to winter tyres a week too early rather than a day too late. “Non-studded winter tyres can be used more proactively without negative consequences. The optimal time for switching to studded winter tyres should be determined more carefully depending on when the weather turns wintry and how and when you need to use your car,” says Otto Lahti, chief adviser at the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

Tyre condition has a major impact on road safety

The depth of the principal tread grooves of passenger car winter tyres must be at least 3.0 mm. “Tyre condition has a major impact on road safety. In addition to tread depth and the condition of studs, it is also important to consider tyre age. The manufacturing year and week can be checked from the markings on the tyre sidewall. Depending on storage conditions, tyres tend to harden up and lose their grip in six years. Tyres are usually considered expired after ten years from the manufacturing date regardless of the conditions they have been stored in,” Lahti says.

You can check the age of your tyres from the manufacturing date marked on the tyre sidewall. The first two digits denote the week of manufacture and the last two the year of manufacture.

In periodic road worthiness inspections, the tread depths of winter tyres must meet the minimum requirement from November to March. If a car is fitted with summer tyres, the depth of the principal tread grooves must be at least 1.6 mm.


Otto Lahti, Chief Adviser, , tel. +358 29 534 5259 (winter tyre requirements)

Tatu Siivonen, Inspector, , tel. +358 29 534 5517 (inspections and tyres)