I have just noticed this item on the AA Driving in Europe website. If anyone is thinking of taking their car to Germany this winter BEWARE...
On the 4th December 2010, new regulations regarding winter tyre requirements were introduced in Germany. Motorists, whose car is equipped with summer tyres may not take the car on the road in winter weather conditions. Motorists in violation face fines of €20. If they actually obstruct traffic, the fine is €40. You may also be prevented from continuing your journey unless the tyres are changed or the weather conditions change.
This new regulation applies to all motorised vehicles using roads in Germany, including those registered abroad so vehicles registered in the United Kingdom are affected. It is now prohibited to use summer tyres in Germany during winter weather conditions - summer tyres are predominantly fitted to vehicles in the United Kingdom.
Winter weather conditions include black ice, snow, ice, slush and hoarfrost. Please bear in mind that these conditions may also be present even if the temperature is above 0 degrees.
German law specifies that the tyres must be winter tyres or all season tyres designed for use in wintry conditions. Suitable tyres will normally be marked 'M+S', however these can also be marked with a snow flake or snowy mountains symbol.