The harsh weather experienced in the British Isles and throughout Europe in recent years has challenged the old view of winter tyres as an unnecessary investment. The widespread adoption of tyres designed for colder weather would have been an invaluable aid to many during the harsh conditions.
Using winter tyres is essential for getting the very best out of your car during the winter months; they not only perform better on snow and ice-covered roads, but any time the temperature is below 7°C. The benefits of winter tyres include:
Safety: Increased braking distances and reduced traction on slippery roads are contributing factors to thousands of road accidents every winter. Cold weather brings about a variety of treacherous conditions that put even the most careful drivers at risk (black ice, for example, is all but invisible).
Although no tyre can entirely counter the effects of wet, icy or snow-covered road surfaces – or act as a substitute for taking even more care than usual on the road – winter tyres are crucial in reducing the risks of cold-weather motoring.
Versatility: Winter tyres are potential life-savers in snowy and icy conditions. They are also more effective than summer tyres when the temperature falls below 7°C – even on dry roads. Facing the heavy rain of autumn and winter is also much easier with a set of winter tyres, as their superior drainage provides greater resistance against aquaplaning.
Long-term value: Both winter and summer tyres experience greater wear and tear when used in the wrong weather condition. The short-term cost of buying a set of winter tyres could well benefit you in the long run, as having specialist tyres for October-March and April-September means that the life of both sets of your tyres will be increased.
Convenience: Winter tyres only require one fitting every six months, and are suitable for any road surface. This makes them a more convenient choice than snow chains, which require frequent fitting and removal and are only very effective when driving on roads covered with a large amount of snow.
Driving enjoyment: Confidence in your vehicle's performance and safety is essential to enjoying each journey. With winter tyres, you can be sure that your car or van will maintain the best possible traction and handling in cold environments.