Winter tires bought abroad. is it legal?


Many years ago, Freshly arrived in CH, I did a trip to Austria with my just-bought car. Once in there, I relized that it was already mandatory to have winter tires. (Which I didnt even know that those thing existed btw)

So I went to a local garage and bought the cheapest rims I found with some good tires.

few days ago, after 5 years with those rims, somebody told me that this is not legal and I could have problems in case of an accident.

They told me I was not going to pass MFK because I am missing some official paper. Maybe they did give me that in Austria, but if that is the case for sure I trashed it, since I had no clue

The rims are nothing special:

Is that true?

Should I throw away these rims and buy new swiss ones?

Sorry to be pedantic, but winter tires are NOT mandatory in Austria, contrary to popular belief. They are only mandatory if you wanted to drive in “in wintry conditions” . Check it yourself:…te.063100.html

(Granted, in most cases it would be stupid to try and drive over a pass without winter tires. But if you only move about in Innenstadt Wien, for example, you can easily get by with your summer tires.)

If the rims are made of the same materials and have the same dimensions (diameter, width and offset) as the originals, then you are 95% good and no paper needed. More specifically, any rim as listed in the cars CoC can be mounted w/o paper. In case of a performance cars also the make of the rim might be prescribed in the cars CoC.

Source: ASA Directive 2a Page 60. This is the reference source for the legality and formality of any car modifications.

The standard rims should be listed in the cars manual. Sometimes there is also a plaque at the drivers door but this is more an American thing.

I’ve heard that insurance companies will not cover you driving in temperatures under 7 degrees. You can’t drive without insurance, and therefore you need to change the tyres.

Something like the burden of proof bit at the bottom of this page.…ety/tyres.html

It’s true. We didn’t pass MFK because if the rims and they told us if we were stopped by the police it would have cost us a lot of money.

Luckily what we needed to pass the test needed was TÜV Teilegutachten that were available in the internet. This file should have a page that proves that your rims model is approved for your car model. I downloaded this file and sent it to STVA and they made an additional appointment for us. After that we passed MFK and they added the rims to the grey book for the car.

Please read this thread for details:…z-ausweis.html

Where have you heard this? Any source I can check? Otherwise it is just gossip, like winter tires being completely unusable during summer months, and vice versa. 7 degrees, again this is a famous number thrown in probably by tire manufacturers to ensure everyone buys 2 sets of tires. When in fact it is snowing less and less in many parts of Europe and winter tires make less and less sense for a whole season. Actually, people can just not drive their cars for the few days when it would snow or be icy… as it was the case in the UK. But many places in Austria also don’t see much snow over the winter anymore. Not everyone lives in the mountains.

The burden of proof is one thing, but if you don’t cause an accident then the police can’t stop you from driving your car just because it has no winter tires fitted if there are no winter conditions (why would they, just because it is December, but 10 degrees and raining, and you are driving in the city).

On the other hand, it happens from time to time that in case of heavy snow they do actually stop vehicles coming from lower lands and neighbouring countries and forbid them from driving on without winter tires. (This is Austria, I’d be curious what happens in CH!)

ps. this is what I found at Helvetia :

In general, comprehensive vehicle insurance covers damage to your own vehicle in the event of an accident. However, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the condition of the vehicle – including the type of tyres – your conduct may be considered grossly negligent. In this case, you will have to pay for part of the damage, unless you have concluded additional insurance for gross negligence as part of your motor vehicle insurance. If you do not have this supplement, the insurance company may reduce or reject your benefits from the comprehensive vehicle insurance entirely after assessing the specific facts. Motor vehicle liability insurance covers the costs of any damage to a third-party vehicle. However, in the event of gross negligence, the insurance company will take recourse against you and charge you for some of the costs.

No word about your insurance being invalid (=“You can’t drive without insurance”…). Yes, you can drive.

I see what you did there.

Probably on this forum - the hotbed of misinformation.

I got summer tyres online? And then fitted by a local garage.

The only point they warning me about regarding the MFK was that the speed rating on the tyres MUST match the rating required by the car manufacturer. [Its a letter]

Stupid as it seems, if your car will go faster [in theory] than the tyres can handle, they will fail the MFK. I suspect the insurance, who are always looking for reasons not to pay might blame the tyres too, if there is an issue. [I say stupid, cause we're talking about going far faster then your allowed to go on the motorway for example].

So, what the letter on the tyres? Are they the correct rating for that type of car? Sorry just reread this, your talking rims... don^t know if the same sort of rules apply, maybe they do.

Huh! Wut? Winterreifen have been Pflicht in Austerreich since 2008.... Better update your Wissen.

Any idea how to look at whats in the COC?

He quoted from the Austrian website. Does the Austrian government not know its own laws?

Back to OP’s original question, just look for your wheels model under felgengutachten/reports here

In there, there’s a bunch of PDF documents that tell that the specific wheels you bought (size) were tested by German TUV for handling on your car model. It’s safe to assume seller of wheels + tires made a honest sale, so just get the report (ABE) where the wheels manufacturer tested the equipment on your car model.

Beyond that, I’m not sure if you have to show this report to cantonal traffic office in Switzerland, or just carry a copy of the report in your car. EFers?

Evidently not…:

1st: you’re quoting tire sales people: AUTO PLUS Fahrzeugzubehör GmbH Erdbergstraße 189-193 1030 Wien Österreich

2nd: the tires sales people tell exactly the same as radirpork:

Finally, explanation for dummies via…t-winter-tyres

Anyway, OP’s question is if the wheels + winter tires bought 5 years ago can pass Swiss MFK or not. I think the wheels do pass MFK. I’d start considering changing the tires after 5 years because rubber hardens with time. Rubber hardness is measured with a duh…durometer and tread depth must be at least 1.6 mm. So, no need to think much about it, just mechanics using their tools.

Tomato-tomahto, as “winterlicheverhältnisse” is not exactly defined under Austrian law it could mean a few snowflakes to a blizzard to temperatures below 10deg.

The EN translation of that official page is funny with a classic must / need error:

"and they must only be fitted when the vehicle is actually being driven."

I'm not sure where you'd find somebody able or willing to try and fit tyres when the vehicle is actually being driven!

You can do better than this.

Thank you very much AXA!

Probably, but in my defense I was just on a toilet break, so it was a bit of a rushed job.