Should We Use Winter Tyres
Winter tyres (some manufacturers prefer the term cold-weather tyres) are best used when the temperature falls below seven degrees C.
This is owed to the different compound used in winter tyre construction, which contains more natural rubber.
The increased amount of natural rubber means winter tyres are softer and more flexible in cold, winter conditions, which improves traction.
Millions of drivers in mainland Europe swap from summer to winter tyres between October and March and in some countries it's law to do so. This helps to negotiate roads that might be icy, rutted with compacted snow, wet, or merely dry and cold.
Confronted by widely diverse conditions, they find winter tyres a must for extra safety.
See the video below which shows how winter weather tyres can help keep you safe in winter conditions with demonstrations from TyreSafe.
Insurance and Winter TyresIf you do buy winter tyres, most will have a different speed rating, so you’ll need to let your insurer know you’ve fitted them and your insurance costs shouldn’t rise.
It's unlikely that your premium will go down, even if you have improved the vehicle safety with Winter tyres.
If you do find the winter tyres you need, buy a set of four.
Fitting them only to the driven wheels could provoke instability through compound differences, and cause insurance issues.
Stay Legal and SafeAs the driver of a vehicle, you are responsible for ensuring its tyres are safe, legal and in a roadworthy state.
Failure to comply with the minimum regulations can result in fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. This could cost you your licence, or even worse, your life.
ConclusionDo Winter tyres really make a difference? In a word, yes.
Winter weather tyres are not just for snow and ice but should be fitted for the whole winter period for improved grip and safety.
Winter tyres really come into their own below seven degrees C.
Some modern cars have big alloys and expensive wide low profile tyres. Once the small outlay of a set of steel rims has been made, winter tyres are often cheaper because of their smaller size. While you're driving on winter tyres, your not wearing out your expensive summer tyres, thus saving you money.