Winter Tyres – Are They Worth the Investment?
Winter tyres, also known as snow tyres, are specially designed to provide better grip and handling in snowy and icy conditions. They have deeper treads and softer rubber compounds that allow them to maintain their flexibility in colder temperatures, improving braking distance and reducing the risk of skidding. While winter tyres may require a bit more investment, they can greatly improve the safety and performance of your vehicle during the winter months, especially if you live in an area with harsh winter conditions. Investing in winter tyres can also potentially save you money in the long run by reducing the risk of accidents and damage to your vehicle. It’s important to note that winter tyres are not designed for year-round use and should be switched out for regular tyres once the winter season is over.
Benefits of using winter tyres:
- They perform best in low temperatures, especially below 7 degrees Celsius.
- They reduce the stopping distance by up to 5 metres, compared to summer tyres.
- Winter tyres offer excellent grip in wet, icy, snowy and dry conditions. The tyre treads fill up with snow, which provides better adhesion to the snow on the road.
- The extra-deep treads help disperse water and reduce the risk of aquaplaning, improving handling on the road.
Drawbacks of using winter tyres:
- You need to replace winter tyres with summer tyres once the temperatures rise again. In the UK, where extreme weather is less common, you may only need winter tyres for a short period.
- Having a set of winter and summer tyres, as well as any spares, can be costly. However, in some countries like Sweden or Germany, it’s a legal requirement to have both.
- If you live in an area with extreme weather fluctuations, investing in winter tyres is a wise decision.
Winter tyre symbols:
- M+S: This symbol indicates that the tyre is designed for mud and snow, but it’s not a full winter tyre.
- Snowflake + Mountains: This symbol is found on full winter tyres and signifies that the tyre provides safety and grip on snow and ice.