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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
We're driving to the alps (France) this winter and I've found conflicting info on whether snow chains are required or 4 winter wheels is sufficient.

Anyway, assuming chains must be on board, the new Tiguan manual (2021 Life) tells me to only fit chains to size 17 wheels. Is this crazy? The car comes with 18" wheels, so as well as buying chains, i would need to buy a second set of 17" wheels.

Is this what everyone does? If you have a type R, with 20" factory wheels, swapping them for 17" to drive in the Alps?

I want to check because if I'm reading the rules wrong, either French motorway or Tiguan fitting, I'm wasting quite a lot of money!

Cheers
Mike
 

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If you need a set of 17" wheels I have a set of VW Montana alloys in superb condition already fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Seal Inside winters that I ran on my Tig SEL for about 2,000 miles (if that) before I sold it. PM me for pics
 

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I live in Sweden and travel to the mountains at least once a year. I change my wheel/tyre setup every winter to 18", I have 19" standard, which are on the car for around 6 months. I have never seen anyone using chains, decent tyres and tread will get you a hell of a long way. Do you have 4motion? If so then that in combo with winter tyres should do you fine. I have driven through a foot of snow on an incline with pretty much zero issues.
Perhaps there is specific French traffic law around this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both. If it is necessary I would very much be interested in buying wheels used, I will do some more research.

I don't have 4WD just the front 2, I've been ok on snow like this in different cars so maybe this is the way to go.
 

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Mike,

The only other thing to consider is getting all season tyres as I think most will have the three peaks symbol (which the gendarmes apparently look for). We are going skiing this Christmas in France and recently purchased a set of Michelin cross climate 2 tyres to avoid the need to maintain two sets of tyres. I recognise that it won’t be as good as having winter tyres but is a compromise I am happy with. Have had them on for a few weeks now and pretty happy with them. Won’t obviously know how they are in the snow until we go but the reviews suggest that they will perform adequately.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all. I've done some more research and decided it's a good idea to have chains just in case .. I'm going to test fit some Thule ones on 235/55/R18 to see if it'll work.

I'm also getting some winter tyres but just don't want to be turned away by French police if it's a blizzard. I don't think it's a legal requirement but I'd rather avoid that
 
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