Lots of people are still a little unsure of winter tyres. This uncertainness stems from two possible origins:
1. The UK winters are rarely Siberian whiteouts with constant sub-zero temperatures – are winter tyres really needed when its 12 degrees and raining?
2. The UK motorist feels winter tyres could simply be a marketing drive by tyres manufacturers to increase sales.
Winter tyres are by no means a bad idea, or a waste of money – in fact they are a great addition to road safety. In an ideal world people would simply swap tyres come October and enjoy the benefits of winter tyres until the spring. However, there is one big obstacle – MONEY. Se we have created a few FAQs to help you decide if winter tyres are an investment that is right for you, and to give you a little more information to help you make an informed decision.
FAQs – Winter Tyres
How are winter tyres different to normal tyres?
Winter tyres have a higher concentration of natural rubber in the tyre compared to summer tyres. This means they will not harden as much in colder weather, typically below 7 degrees. Softer tyres give improved road holding and general improved grip of the road.
What are the greatest benefit of winter tyres?
The biggest differences using winter tyres are in braking and traction, and the differences are significant.
According to Continental Tyres, they conducted a test and found that the stopping distance on snow with summer tyres was 43 metres, and on winter tyres, using same vehicle (which they did not disclose) was just 35 metres.
Can I use them in the summer?
Yes, but they will wear out quicker due to them being softer.
Is it worth putting winter tyres on an old car?
This comes down to budget – it may be hard to justify spending £500 on tyres on a car worth £800. But part of this consideration is also what price you like to put on additional safety.
Do winter tyres make any difference in the rain?
Yes, a big difference. They will improve the braking, traction and overall grip of your car at any temperature below 5-7 degrees C – even in the dry.
What manufactures make winter tyres?
All the premium tyre manufacturers make winter tyres such as Goodyear, Yokohama, Continental, Michelin etc..Below are a few popular winter tyres produced by a few premium tyre manufacturers:
Goodyear UltraGrip 8
Yokohama Advan Winter
Michelin Alpin A4
How much do winter tyres cost?
About the same as summer tyres, depending on size, style and make.
If you have any specific questions about a certain winter tyre it is worth talking with the tyre manufacturer directly. But hopefully this article has given you a little more information about winter tyres, and if they are right for you.
Learn more about driving in the snow