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Dec 11

Do You Need Winter Tyres?

Posted by:AutoMoney

Across many parts of Europe, it is common for local laws to state that vehicles owners should have two sets of tyres for their vehicles; one set for summer driving and one specialist set for winter driving.

What is the difference between winter tyres and summer tyres?

Winter tyres have a different tread pattern that specifically helps the tyres to grip in wintery conditions. Winter tyres also have a higher silica content when compared to summer tyres.  Winter tyres are also designed to retain their flexibility in lower temperatures (7c and lower) and are also able to give good traction and aid braking on wintery surfaces.

How can you identify a winter tyre?

Winter tyres are identifiable by the image of a snow topped mountain or snowflake, found on the sidewall of the tyre.

Can I use winter tyres all year round?

No, it is not advisable to use winter tyres all year round. Traditional summer tyres are designed to cope with the higher temperatures that we experience in the spring / summer months and have the appropriate flexibility and tread to deal with drier roads.

Why does the UK not have a compulsory winter tyre law like other parts of Europe?

This is simply due to the fact that in the UK, we do not experience winters as harsh as some other parts of Europe. Therefore, in the grand scheme of things, most parts of the UK would not experience the severe adverse conditions that are suitable for winter tyres. If you live in a remote location that normally experiences severe winter weather conditions, winter tyres may well be worth thinking about.

Sticking with current tyres

If you decide to stay with your current tyres this winter, ensure that before the winter season hits, your current tyres are fit for driving on and you have completed a winter car check – or had your car booked in for a winter service.  Keep a tyre pressure gauge in your car and check your tyres (including the spare) at regular intervals.

For more information on being prepared for winter and driving in wintery conditions, take a look at our other blogs:

Winter Car Essentials

Staying safe on the road this winter when travelling

What to do if you break down this winter

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