Winter tyres – Why they’re worth it

As winter approaches and the temperature drops, conditions for driving inevitably worsen and the chances of a breakdown or an accident increase. It is important to ensure that your car’s all round health is in good order before winter sets in to avoid problems and tyres should be top of the list. Tyres are the link between your car and the road and greatly affect your car’s performance as road conditions deteriorate.

Cars in snow

In many European countries which experience bad weather during the winter, it is a legal requirement to change to cold weather tyres. Whilst this is currently not the case in the UK, we strongly advise that you consider using winter tyres on your car, especially if you are frequent driver and rely on your car to get to work.

Why winter tyres?

Although British winters aren’t as extreme as those experienced in other parts of Europe, winter tyres are still a very good idea to avoid problems during the cold weather. Winter tyres are made from different rubber compounds to summer tyres, which means that they remain flexible even in temperatures below 7°C.

Winter tyres also feature jagged slits in them, called ‘sipes’. These slits improve the tyres’ grip on the road and also encourage snow to cling to them, which although it sounds counter intuitive, actually improves grip in the snow. Extra deep tread grooves also displace more surface water as you drive, which reduces the risk of aquaplaning.

Winter tyres are a good idea if you use your car everyday to get to work, or if you live in a rural or isolated area which is less likely to benefit from regular gritting. If you do decide to get winter tyres, they shouldn’t cost you anymore than a set of summer tyres. You should be looking to switch to winter tyres before the cold weather really hits, usually around October/November and keep them on until March.

Other winter checks

Aside from your tyres it is essential that you make some basic checks to ensure your car is ready for winter, this includes checking your battery, lights, wipers, oil and antifreeze. If you are interested in getting winter tyres fitted, get in touch or pop down to our garage to discuss your options.

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