Winter Tyres: Are They Worth Buying?
Winter tyres are vital in ensuring safety in cold, wintry conditions. This guide answers the most common questions about winter specific tyres.
What are Winter Tyres?
Winter or Snow tyres are designed to cope with cold weather conditions. There are an increased number of edges inside the grooves of the tyre known as sipes. These sipes improve grip and handling on wet or icy road surfaces. A compound containing a high silica content is used within the tyre tread. This ensures for excellent gripping qualities with the road surface. The tread pattern is designed to maintain flexibility when temperatures drop below 7*C.
Winter specific tyres are recommended to be used in temperatures under 7*C. This is to ensure an improvement in car safety in difficult weather conditions.
What is the difference between Winter and Summer Tyres?
The main difference is the rubber compound used to make the tyre. In all season or summer tyres, the rubber compound will harden and lose grip at temperatures under 7*C. In a cold weather tyre, the compound will stay softer at these temperatures to maximise grip and stability. The video below explains this in more detail.
Can you use Winter Tyres all year?
Legally, yes you can. However, the rubber compound used does not work effectively in temperatures over 7*C. This leads to a increase in braking distances and grip, especially when cornering.
Can you use Summer Tyres in Winter
The rubber in summer tyres may become brittle in cold conditions. This may cause the tyre sidewall to crack. If there are cracks within a tyre’s sidewall, it is recommended that the tyre is changed. This could be a major safety risk when driving, especially in difficult wintry conditions. Tyre sidewall cracks could cause a loss of control as well as increased stopping distances.
What are the best tyres for wet conditions?
Cold weather tyres help reduce the risk of aquaplaning in wet conditions. The grooves within the tyre help quickly disperse surface water to ensure maximum control.
Can you mix winter and summer tyres?
No. You should swap all four tyres to ensure a balanced performance. If you have a mixture of tyre types, handling of the vehicle may become unpredictable.
Where can you buy Winter Tyres?
We stock tyres from a number of different tyre manufacturers such as Continental, Pirelli and Michelin. If you enter your vehicle registration number or your specific tyre size in the section at the top of this page, we will be able to find the perfect set of tyres to fit your vehicle.
Is there a difference in tyre noise?
Tyre manufacturers such as Continental and Pirelli invest huge amounts of time and money in research and development. Due to this, tyres suited specifically for winter are just as comfortable and quiet as standard tyres.
Laws On Winter Tyres In The UK
There are many countries where it is illegal not to have winter specific tyres fitted. However, it is not a legal requirement within the United Kingdom. Overall, due to the number of safety benefits we would definitely recommend that they are fitted below when the temperature drops below 7*C.