Do you need Winter tyres?

There is a common misconception that Winter tyres are purely for use in snow, however, this simply isn’t true and the clue is in the name – Winter Tyres! They are designed for temperatures below 7ºC, making them ideal for a typical British winter, and tackle so much more than just snow.

So what are Winter tyres exactly?

Summer tyres are what most cars are equipped with and they are designed for temperatures above 7ºC. Winter tyres are different because they have a softer tread compound that is designed to remain grippy and flexible at low temperatures. They also have a tread pattern designed to collect snow and slush, and a number of sipes designed to bite into the snow.

According to the British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association, a car fitted with Winter tyres will out-brake a car fitted with summer tyres by around five metres on a cold wet, road braking from 62mph. On a snowy road at 30mph, the difference is 11 metres.

How much do they cost?

Whilst Winter tyres are slightly more expensive than normal summer tyres, you will also need to take into account the cost of an additional set of wheels! The way to look at Winter tyres is more of an investment, rather than an expense. Choosing steel wheels for your Winter tyres is the best solution as it will avoid your alloys suffering the salty, gritty wet weather!

Because you will switch over to your Winter tyres in winter, the life of your summer tyres will effectively double, as these will be unused throughout winter. The other obvious advantages are the safety aspect of Winter tyres and also keeping moving in wintery weather.

Whilst Winter tyres are not mandatory in the UK, it is a wise choice having some fitted for winter. Anytime from October through to March is the recommended time for having these fitted. Once temperatures rise again, you will need to switch back to your summer tyres.

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Do Winter tyres affect car insurance?

Some insurers do require you to contact them before making the switch to Winter tyres, however, as the majority of insurance providers recognise that Winter tyres can have a positive impact on road safety, this shouldn’t affect your annual premium. It’s always advisable to check with your motor insurance provider before making the switch.

In summary

Winter tyres are a great option for improving road safety and drastically reducing your chances of being left stranded in wintery weather, however, there are cost implications to consider, therefore, it’s worth doing some research on cost and contacting your insurance provider before making a final decision.

Looking for a new car? At AvailableCar, we have over 5,000 to choose from.  We also offer Alloy Wheel and Tyre Insurance too! Call into one of our four stores or visit our website today for more information!

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