If you are planning to drive your vehicle in France between now and March 31, this piece might be of interest to you.

A new law – that many French people don’t even seem to know about – came into force in France recently. Of the 96 French Departments, about 50 of them now require that ANY car must be equipped with winter tyres – or carry at least two snow chains or ‘socks’ onboard – between November 1-March 31 annually.

Failure to do so will result in a fine of €135 and you won’t be able to carry on with your journey!

The markings that your tyres need to have to comply with are either – M+S, MS or M&S.

The law applies to all cars, commercial vehicles, vans and motorhomes and there are tougher requirements in place for trucks.

There is a caveat though. To make things a little more confusing not every road in a compulsory area will be affected – it falls to local councils and prefects to decide which communes and roads this applies to! However, it’s a fair bet that all main routes will be on the list.

The departments that the law applies to are: Ain, Allier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Ardèche, Ariège, Aude, Aveyron, Cantal, Corrèze, Côte-d’Or, Creuse, Doubs, Drôme, Gard, Haute-Garonne, Hérault, l’Isère, Jura, Loire, Haute-Loire, Lot, Lozère, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, la Nièvre, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Rhône, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, la Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Var, Vaucluse, Haute-Vienne, Vosges, l’Yonne, and the Territoire de Belfort. All the mountain areas, basically.