It is common, and often compulsory, for drivers in many European countries to switch to winter tyres during the colder months. This makes sense in areas that are likely to encounter severe and prolonged cold, snow and ice. In the UK, the use of winter tyres is optional and it is worth considering the pros and cons before deciding whether to use them. This outlines some of the things you might want to consider.
What Are Winter Tyres?
Winter tyres are made to give optimum traction. They are designed to remain flexible during cold weather and have deeper grooves than summer tyres. In order to identify them look for a snowflake symbol on the side wall. They are usually more expensive than summer tyres.
Winter Tyres Are Better Suited To Adverse Weather
Whilst it is generally safe to continue using summer tyres during the colder months in the UK, the colder weather can damage them and undermine their effectiveness. Summer tyres tend to lose their flexibility and grip in cold weather, particularly in temperatures lower than 7 degrees Celsius.
Winter tyres also provide better braking and handling during wet, icy or snowy road conditions. However, they aren’t suitable for all year round use and summer tyres will perform better and in warm, dry conditions. Therefore, you will need two sets of tyres if you decide to use them.
Your Driving Requirements
Another factor to consider is the type of driver you are. If you live in a rural area that tends to experience harsh adverse weather and you rely on your car to get to work, you may want to consider using winter tyres. If you lack confidence as a driver, winter tyres will give you better grip and handling on icy roads. However, if you live in an urban area or commute using public transport, you may find that the weather does not have such a big impact on your driving. In these cases, it may not be worth the additional expense and hassle of having to change your tyres over twice a year.
Generally speaking, using winter tyres should not affect your insurance, but it is always worth checking with your insurer. However, you should always make sure that the tyres you are using are legal, safe and in good condition. This applies to any tyre that you use on your car.
Seasonal Tyres Are Available At Hook Xpress
We have experienced tyre fitters here at Hook Xpress who can advise you on choosing tyres for your vehicle. For more information about our tyre services, visit our Tyres In Hook page and fill out an enquiry form and one of our team members will get back to you.