- Winter tyres will improve traction, grip and braking in slippery conditions.
- They are designed to work in temperatures below 7°C
- Their particular tread pattern means they will perform better in the wet reducing aquaplaning.
- It is best to buy your winter tyres early in the season.
- Manufacturers are now producing a hybrid all-season tyre as an alternative
- You also have snow socks and snow chains for short-term use.
- If you continue to use summer tyres, make sure the tread is at least 3mm across 75% of your tyre width, but definitely more than the legal requirement of 1.6mm.
Manufacturers are now producing a hybrid all-season tyre. They can be left on the car all year round, but on the whole, you don’t get the performance of an actual summer tyre. You also have snow socks and snow chains; these are excellent for getting you out of an unexpected situation, for example waking up to find 5cm of snow on your drive or if you have to go on side-roads that haven’t been treated. But be aware they’re not designed for prolonged use, once you are on treated roads they should be removed.
It is best to buy your winter tyres early in the season, as when the bad weather arrives, you could find it hard to get to a tyre fitter due to the weather conditions. Also, even though availability is better now, the volume of tyres manufactured is still limited; Meaning tyre fitters don’t have an abundant supply of tyres to call on through the winter months. Once the stock has gone it has gone, tyre manufacturers are unlikely to manufacture any more until next winter.
Winter tyres can be a prudent investment if you live in a remote area, where bad weather can affect your ability to stay mobile, or if you are a high mileage driver who can unexpectedly come across inclement weather such as ice, snow or sleet.
Winter tyres are much more available in the UK than they used to be, as it is not a legal requirement to switch tyers in the UK as in some European countries and their availability in that past has been scarce. Also, some insurance companies used to treat them as a modification, resulting in increased premiums. Now, most insurance companies see them as a worthwhile safety enhancement. But it is worth checking with your current insurance provider, just to make sure.
In short winter tyres will improve traction, grip and braking in slippery conditions. They are designed to work better than summer tyres in temperatures below 7°C also their special tread pattern means they will perform better in the wet reducing aquaplaning as their extra-deep tread help the tyre disperse more surface water. In the UK there is always a gamble on this investment as our winters can be quite mild, on the other hand, if we have a hard winter they are worth every penny. Although, once temperatures rise above 7°C performance can be significantly weaker. You will experience increased braking distances, and less grip on bends increased road noise and increased wear rates, so make sure once the weather has improved towards spring you exchange the winter tyres for summer tyres.