Driving to the Alps has never been easier with an excellent network of motorway links direct from the ports of Calais and Dunkirk through to Austria, France, Bavaria, Italy and Switzerland. But it is important to remember than when motoring in the Alps, and regardless of which country, snow chains must be carried at all times when driving along mountain roads. You can be stopped by the police at any time on a mountain road and if you cannot produce snow chains, you will be FINED!
You will find motorway and first class roads are kept clear of snow throughout the winter as the European countries are extremely well geared up to dealing with the "white stuff" quickly and efficiently. So you should get to within a few miles of your destination without too many problems.
However, Even if you do not need to fit chains - and this ALSO applies to drivers of 4 x 4s - you MUST carry chains. The police are especially hot on this in France and even if the roads are clear they can demand to see chains. At best, they will turn you around and send you to the nearest town to buy/hire or at worst they will put a bit of a dent into your holiday wallet!
If you are going to drive time after time it is a good idea to purchase. Snow chains are not expensive and a very good supplier of quality chains is RUD Chains of Whitstable in Kent. The chains - German made - have been used by the Editor for more than 23 years without mishap. Even with special snow tyres, the Editor carries RUD Chains just in case the police, or the weather intervene.
RUD Chains have an excellent range of chains for the 2009-10 winter period. A NEW product on the market from RUD is the RUDmatic Hybrid gives perfect instant protection against skidding in wintry conditions. It is an innovative, high-tech combination of textile and metal chain which can be fitted quickly, easily and intuitively to the DRIVE wheels so you can continue your journey in safety. What is more it does not damage the wheel rims.
The RUD Centrax is the "automatic snow chain" which is incredibly fast and easy fitting. The CENTRAX pulls itself onto the wheel when the vehicle starts moving with all parts in sight and no parts of the chain on the inside of the wheel. The continuous chain net provides a very smooth ride and these chains can be tightened or released using one hand. They are suitable for both front and rear-wheel drive vehicles and are light to carry.
RUD Chains can be contacted in the UK at Whitstable on: 01227 276611 or see the rud website