Snow Chains

At rather short notice I’m going to be doing 4 weeks’ work in the Alps, leaving a week today. Really need some snow chains. Anyone got any recommendations?



I suspect that will struggle with the first stage of the trip, where I have to drive right across France…

I had to buy snow socks a few years ago, they seemed to work well, particularly when a typical day was part snow covered roads, part not, as they were reasonably easy to get on and off, unlike chains.

Whatever you buy, practise a few times at home in the dry first. Learning in the snow is no fun at all ( I know!)


Also get some proper winter tyres on the car, then you will only need chains in extreme circumstances.

I learnt the importance of winter tyres (and chains) whilst living in germany and owning a 1988 Merc 190e :wink:

Cost of a set of chains - 200€

Cost of decent winter tirees (and fitting, and unfitting when I get back) - 800€

Winter tyres, no doubt. The crossover period between the time you loose grip on normal tyres to chains is huge.
Decent winter tyres will get you 95% of the way there. Also, a legal requirement in France IIRC.

Not in france yet, think they are changing over slowly to it being a legal requirement in some regions.

Legal requirement wise, you either need winter tires or snow chains (or the slippers or whatever they are called) for the mountain regions.

They do double the life of your current tyres though.

I’ve driven to ski resorts a couple of times and never used the chains, as the roads are well looked after. I would have liked to have had winter tyres though.

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Can I drive on summer tyres with chains and still comply?
Yes, technically you can, although chains are only allowed when roads are fully covered with snow.

At 800 Euro for a set of tyres isn’t it worth your company hiring locally and you drive part way and change cars to something equipped for the job?

To add snow chains are deemed to be non standard alterations by insures.

Seriously?! Wow, that’s quite significant. Need to see if that’s the case over here / on our policy.

Possibility has been mentioned of an appropriate standard 4-season tire. A lot of them have the certification required for the mountain regions. Means we’d get decent use out of them rather than them being just for 4weeks worth of work.

My opinion is probably a mixture of the above.
Apart from renting chains (a lower cost option to comply with the Law), you could buy Snow Socks as the chance of needing them is remote (maintenance of the roads is superb) but you will still comply with the law (I believe).

I’ve got a friend who lives up there, it’s definitely necessary even if it wasn’t the law from what he’s saying. Even the ploughs have been having issues!

TBF it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Alps but I have NEVER had issues with uncleared roads. Even “off piste”.