Bulgaria: Winter tyres not compulsory, but recommended

Written by on October 19, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria: Winter tyres not compulsory, but recommended

How time flies. Just weeks ago, the entire country of Bulgaria was complaining about the heat. It feels like yesterday. The same applies to the rather harsh winter Bulgaria went through in January and February.

Whatever. The right moment to change tyres again is coming closer and closer. Ideally, we should be using winter tyres from mid-November the latest.

These are the facts about winter tyres in Bulgaria:

> The law

Contrary to reports in some Bulgarian-language media, winter tyres are not mandatory, at least not at this stage. In November of 2016, the National Assembly in Sofia voted to make a tread of 4mm mandatory from November 15 until March 1. This means, using summer tyres in winter is not illegal, if they have that kind of tread.

On mountain passes, winter tyres or even chains might be mandatory, depending on the weather conditions. But this is a separate aspect, which is not directly connected to the Bulgarian law mentioned.

> The recommendation

Only days after that parliament vote last year, the National Road Agency of Bulgaria asked motorists to use winter tyres anyway. They were absolutely right, generally and in that particular case, since a very tough winter with loads of snow and ice was approaching. Of course nobody knew, at that moment.

Whatever the law says, the National Road Agency is right. Winter tyres should be used from mid-November the latest. Chances are there will be ice and snow, at least at some point. Or another harsh winter might hit Bulgaria. Who knows?

Even if the upcoming winter is mild, temperatures will go below zero at times. Using summer tyres is unsafe, even during mild winters.

> The right moment

Legally, the moment to install tyres with a tread of at least 4 mm is right now.

But real winter tyres are much safer. They should be used now since temperatures are about to slump, especially at night.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com