Reader Questions: I was just wondering how car tyre prices in France compare to the UK and is the legal minimum tyre depth the same? I'm going to need a pair on the front either just before we travel across for the summer or whilst we're there.
For information the minimum tread limit for car tyres in both France and the UK is 1.6mm so you do not need to worry about differences on this front.
This minimum permitted depth applies throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of breadth of the tread and around its entire outer circumference.
New tyres have a tread depth of around 8-9mm, which enables the car to grip better in rain or snowy conditions. Motorists are advised to think about changing their tyres when the tread depth reaches around 3mm.
You can check your tread depth by looking for the tread wear indicators which are moulded into the grooves, creating small bars which stick out slightly. If the tread has been worn down to the minimum permitted depth it will be flush with these bars.
As to your question on how French tyre prices compare to their UK equivalents, it may be helpful to consult comparison websites.
There is one site which appears to exist in both countries: in the UK it is called TyreComp and in France it is QuelPneu. It allows you to see a list of different brands, all in the same place.
TyreComp/QuelPneu results suggest that tyres are slightly cheaper in France, but this depends on the type of tyre you choose.
If you travel to France in the winter, you should note that in 48 mountainous departments, local authorities now have the power to make snow tyres, chains or ‘socks’ obligatory between November 1 and March 31.
The existence of winter tyre requirements will be signalled by a sign, a picture of which can be viewed in the above article.
Snow tyres should normally have a tread depth of 3-3.5mm at least to be safe.