The differences between Winter and Summer tyres

Winter Driving

image: dunlop winter tyre

Get Your Car Ready to Face the Harsh Winter Months

One of the best ways to ensure that your car is up to date and safe enough for the winter months is by getting winter tyres. These tyres are suitable not only for driving safely in the slush and snow that accumulates over the roads but they have also been designed specifically for temperatures below the 7 degree mark. The normal summer tyres that you normally use throughout the year would become stiff when they are exposed to the cold temperatures. They do not flex according to the road’s contours are would therefore provide you lesser grip.

A Relatively New Concept in UK

While winter tyres have been quite common in many cold European countries, most of us had never even heard of them until very recently. The Swedish and Swiss people were particularly known for their regular use of winter tyres for their cars. These were not of much interest around here. However, over the last few years we have faced quite a lot of heavy snow fall in UK and many of these caused us to come to a halt since our cars were no longer safe for the roads.

Why It Is Important to Have Winter Tyres

There are quite a lot of people who are still in doubt about the suitability of winter tyres. The first thing you should remember is that it is important to understand the suitability of the tyres of the cars. Modern cars have very different grip problems when compared to older cars so you will have to select the right tyres accordingly. If you are serious about taking your car out this winter at all, then tyres should be very carefully selected.

image: snow on road

Things to Remember When Purchasing Winter Tyres

There are various points that you should take into consideration when purchasing winter tyres. Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is selecting the least expensive winter tyres. Tyres should not be selected solely on the price factor. Every single characteristic of a car, ranging from its cornering grip to the steering feel quality would depend mainly on the quality of the tyres you select.  All of these points to the fact that it does make sense to invest in the best winter tyres that you can afford. The best thing about winter tyres is that you would be able to get two seasons out of these tyres.

Why Investing in that Second Set of Tyres Makes Sense

While we are discussing winter tyres and how important they are, let’s take a moment to talk about the extra tyres. Most of us would think that investing in an extra set of tyres is sheer luxury or an expense which can be avoided. However, this is where we are wrong. When you purchase a set of winter tyres, your summer or regular tyres are resting in your trunk. They aren’t getting used at all and would therefore last you a little longer.

You can make your summer tyres last for 2 to 3 seasons without changing them, based on the mileage of your car when you invest in extra winter tyres. If you are thinking that cost is a problem, think about what it will cost you when you get snowed in and would have to take a day off from work. Think about the insurance excess and the danger of an accident on slippery winter roads. The last thing you need to worry about when driving on roads with ice and snow is if your tyres would be able to keep the grip well enough.

The Benefits of Winter Tyres

There are definitely a lot of advantages of investing in winter tyres this season, such as:

  • Reliability
  • Confidence
  • More control
  • Safer driving

Your car would provide you a better performance if you take care of it well and this means providing your car the right tyres for the right season. If you intend on using your car throughout the year then winter tyres are a must since these will help you be mobile throughout the year, no matter how badly you have been snowed in.

Are there Any Disadvantages?

The only disadvantage that we could think of with using winter tyres is that you will have to invest in two different sets of tyres, one for the summer and one for the winter. However, you would only be using one set at a time. Every winter tyre set should last for about two seasons. Your summer tyres would normally last for three summers, based on your mileage. What this means is that with both these tyres together, you would be able to enjoy safe driving for as much as three years.

When you use summer tyres on winter icy roads, you would be putting yourself and your family at a great risk. You would also be causing excessive wear and would be damaging your summer tyres.

How Summer Tyres Perform During Winters

All season tyres would perform well only during the season they are supposed to be used in. This means that summer tyres are only good for summers and winter tyres are only good for the winters. Having both of these tyres is a great compromise. Summer tyres are designed in such a way that they would get sticky and hot in high temperatures to offer better grip. A high quality sports tyre, for example, may not last you for 25,000 miles. However, it will handle corners in an impressive manner.

Investing in the Right Tyres

Winter tyres have been designed to have chunky treat. These also have extra gripping area so you can get through slush, snow and ice easily. If you don’t really take your car out during the winters except on few occasions then investing in a high quality all season tyre will suit you well. All season tyres are long lasting and suitable for most type of conditions though they can be noisy sometimes.

The people in UK are seriously behind when it comes to investing in the right tires. Winter tyres have been the norm for quite some time in countries such as Germany and Sweden. In these countries, people are very mobile and are unaffected by snowfall. In UK, we tend to get paralyzed by even a little bit of snow. The best thing to avoid this situation this year is by setting aside a safety budget and investing in a good set of winter tyres. This would allow you to at least easily get off your driveway when everyone else has been stuck in their cars!

Image: snow chains

For remote parts of the U.K. Snow Chains are required along with winter tyres. Once on the main road, which has been gritted the Snow Chains are easily removed to carry on with your journey with the winter tyres.

winter tyre symbol

Winter check list.