Do I Need Winter Tyres?
It has long been debated whether it is worth getting winter tyres fitted. Here Walker Cutting gives you the low down on your tyre options.
What are winter tyres?
Winter tyres, often referred to as cold weather tyres, are marked with a snowflake symbol. They differentiate from summer tyres because they are made from a softer compound which means they can perform much better in colder temperatures. They are created with a tread pattern specifically designed to perform well in testing driving conditions such as when it is snowy.
Are winter tyres compulsory in the UK?
In the UK it is not currently compulsory to have winter tyres fitted. It is though often recommended by the government and industry specialists to do so, particularly if we are set to face a harsh winter.
In many European countries winter tyres are a legal requirement. In Germany for example motorists must switch between summer and winter tyres or they can be charged with hefty fines and their car insurance voided. If you plan to take your vehicle anywhere in Europe you should therefore look to have winter tyres fitted.
UK drivers are not bound by law to have winter tyres put on their vehicle but people often choose to have them fitted regardless for their improved safety and performance over regular tyres.
Can I keep my regular tyres over winter?
Instead of fitting winter tyres drivers can continue to use their summer tyres. The problem with doing this is that whilst regular tyres tend to perform well in high temperatures they can often lose grip anywhere below 7 degrees Celsius. Summer tyres tend to struggle to provide grip at temperatures below freezing and as soon as the weather gets bad this can be highly problematic.
There are all season tyres available that are designed to perform well as both a summer and winter tyre. All season tyres are rated for use in the UK because they are a good all rounder. They are a cost-effective solution because they are competent in summer and winter conditions so can be left on throughout the year.
Is it worth getting winter tyres?
From a performance and safety perspective the definitive answer is yes. Winter tyres have been proven to outperform summer and all season tyres in winter driving conditions. They drastically reduce stopping distances on snow, ice and in wet weather at low temperatures. Critically this could potentially be life saving.
If you opt to stay on summer tyres over winter you are far more susceptible to a motoring accident if road conditions become dangerous. Winter tyres will improve the way your vehicle can perform in treacherous cold weather conditions making you safer on the roads.
Keeping all season tyres on throughout the year is an alternative and an all season tyre should be able to cope in both summer and in winter conditions. All season tyres will in theory provide more grip in winter than regular tyres do, but they will not match the performance of having summer and winter tyre sets fitted for their respective weather conditions.
People are often put off having winter tyres fitted by their cost. Winter tyres do tend to cost slightly more than summer tyres, but the price is not as high as it may initially seem. Winter tyres are only used for half the year and as a result this means that a large amount of the cost of winter tyres is offset because you will not be paying for half a year’s worth of summer tyre wear.
Having two specialist tyre sets and switching between summer and winter tyres is undoubtedly the best option if you are looking for optimum safety and performance from your tyres throughout the year. You can keep summer and winter tyres and they can be refitted the following year if they are roadworthy. It is not always the case that you will have to buy a new set of tyres each time that you change them over.
In conclusion, if you are looking to be as safe as possible when driving over winter you should opt for fitting winter tyres. Their downside is a slightly larger cost but if you look after them winter tyres can also prove to be a sound financial investment as well.
Get Winter Tyres Fitted
At Walker Cutting we have a fantastic selection of new car tyres to suit all budgets and requirements. We supply and fit tyres at our specialist Rotherham tyre garage.
If you are looking to get winter tyres fitted this season Walker Cutting is offering great deals on the best winter tyres, fitted for free. We also fit regular and all season tyres at a low cost and we always deliver a highly professional and punctual service.
Contact us today or use our online booking form to make an appointment for your next tyre fitting.