Nov 23, 2020
Winter feels like it’s well and truly underway with the drop in temperatures and we all know that in the UK when we receive any snow fall at all, our motorways and roads come to a stand still. While we can blame the weather to a certain extent, we also have to consider how prepared we actually are.
Preparing your car for driving in the winter months is key, and one of the most frequently asked questions by motorists is whether or not winter tyres are needed and if they are worth the money.
What are winter tyres and how do they work?
Winter tyres are not ice or snow tyres, they are simply designed to be used when the temperatures drop (even more than they already have) and when the roads start to become slippery. They are going to be more effective than standard summer tyres in these conditions and will offer more grip and traction especially from December to March.
Winter specific tyres differ in three ways:
● The tread pattern has many grooves or sipes cut into them which displace water and help the tyre to bite into the snow and ice for more grip.
● They are made from a compound with more silica in it which allows them to stay soft and supple even in freezing temperatures. When using summer tyres in the winter months, they can become very rigid causing them to slip across the road surface rather than gripping it.
● The rubber blocks on winter tyres vibrate to shake out any snow that may be picked up.
How much do winter tyres cost?
The price of winter tyres is going to vary depending on the type of car you own and the wheel size required. In the UK, you can expect to pay slightly more for a winter tyre than a summer tyre.
However, even though the cost of four tyres may be costly, especially if you do buy the full set to avoid swapping over twice a year, remember that your summer tyres will last longer as a result. Meaning the long-term cost of winter tyres will be low.
In some cases, fitting winter tyres can affect your insurance which is why it’s worth double checking with your provider before getting them fitted.
Are there any alternatives to winter tyres?
If you don’t want to pay the upfront cost of winter tyres, you could always consider snow socks or chains instead. Snow socks are high-grip fabric covers that fit over your car’s driven wheels while snow chains are a harder-wearing, harder to fit steel alternative.
Neither is a direct substitute for winter tyres as they can’t be used on snow free roads, but they can offer a peace of mind out of a snowy situation.
Where to buy winter tyres
If you want to go ahead and purchase winter tyres for the coming months, MyCarNeedsA.com can help you find a trusted supplier and is the easiest and quickest way to receive quotes from local mechanics in your area. Get your quotes today!