What Are Winter Tyres?

What are winter tyres? And what’s the point?  It’s something we get asked a lot.  The fundamental difference between Summer and Winter tyres is that Summer tyres have been developed for optimum performance in warmer conditions and Winter tyres have been specifically designed for the cooler temperatures.

Winter tyres are called so because they are specially designed and formulated to cope with the cooler conditions that we experience here in the UK and across Europe.  Winter tyres are made for rugged winter conditions.  They contain more natural rubber to minimise the hardening effect and also gives them more flexibility than the rubber in summer tyres as they contain less natural rubber and are therefore harder.  The tread patterns on winter tyres are also a deeper. This combination of softer rubber and deeper tread means that your tyres will have more grip in wintry conditions.

Winter Tyre Legal Requirements

In some parts of Europe it is a legal requirement that during winter vehicles must be fitted with winter tyres.  Here in the UK it is not currently a legal requirement to do so, but the changing climate and wintery conditions we are witnessing in recent years has caused people to sensibly switch to winter tyres during the winter months.

Unlike summer tyres which harden up when the temperature drops, winter tyres use a different tyore of rubber and tread pattern to stay flexible in temperatures between 7 degrees c to provide better braking and handling.  They also provide increased grip and performance on snow and ice and of course on wet, slippery roads and uneven road surfaces.

If you live in a rural location then during the winter months, winter tyres are a very sensible choice.  Not only will you be able to get to work safely or attend festive events, you will also stay glued to the road and not be caught out by unexpected hazzards such as black ice.

How Many Winter Tyres Do I Need?

If you choose to switch to winter tyres then you must change all four tyres.  Switching just two tyres will make the vehicke unsteady and reduce handling, at a time when you need it most.

We get asked this a lot, but whether you use winter or summer tyres you must ensure there is enough tread.  At least 3mm is recommended for winter and in the summer certainly no less than 2mm.  DO NOT drop tyre pressure in the snow, it does not in any way help with gripping the road.

Your tyres are the only part of your vehicle which makes contact with the road.  To stay extra safe when driving this winter, contact us and we can guide you through your safest options.

Nov 30, 2018


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