What is the snowflake symbol? And what does M+S mean?

Symbols on winter tyres

You can recognize winter tyres by their pattern, but also by the snowflake symbol. In 2010 the snowflake symbol (supported with official text) is officially recognized by the European Union. Eventually the snowflake symbol will replace the M+S mark (Mud & Snow) on winter tyres. Nevertheless, all the current winter tyres with M+S marking and with the snowflake symbol have to be out of the market. In most of the European countries all tyres with M+S and M&S marking are legally accepted as winter tyres. This means that all tyres with M+S marking (including for example 4×4 tyres and SUV-tyres) are legally winter tyres. In practice, tyres with only M+S marking do perform significant less in winter circumstances. Winter tyres with snowflake symbol are also available for SUVs and 4×4-vehicles.

VACO-advice: tyres with snowflake symbol and M+S mark

VACO advices drivers to purchase winter tyres that are provided with a snowflake symbol and M+S symbol. Tyres with the snowflake symbol meet requirements for grip on snow in practical tests of the European Union for grip on snow and these tyres have more traction on snowy surfaces and on slippery roads than tyres without this symbol.