Winter Vs Summer Tyres
Should you buy winter or summer tyres for your vehicle? In this guide we aim to let you know the difference between the two and the middle ground that all-season tyres can provide.
To get the optimal performance out of your summer tyres, you should have them installed on your vehicle between the months of April and September. This is because the tyres are at their best when the average temperature is above 7 degrees.
Summer tyres are designed with less aggressive grooves when compared to winter tyres. This design feature is to maximise the tyres contact with the road surface, greatly improving grip and reducing braking distances.
The tyres are manufactured with a harder rubber compound, this means overall better fuel efficiency due to the lower rolling resistance. On the flip side, this also means that the tyres harden and can become brittle during the colder months of the year.
According to What Car, 95% of UK motorists stick with summer tyres all-year round.
On the other hand, winter tyres are designed to perform at their best when temperatures average below 7 degrees, therefore we suggest that winter tyres be installed between October and March.
Winter tyres are designed with more aggressive grooves, these grooves are designed to bite into snow and ice to provide traction during the winter months. The grooves are also manufactured to disperse water sitting on the road surface to provide better grip and avoid aquaplaning.
The tyres are manufactured with a much softer compound, which doesn't become brittle in colder temperatures. The softer compound provides superior grip to the road surface when compared to the hardened summer tyres.
It is a legal obligation in some European countries to have winter tyres fitted, however it is not in the UK.
Who Should Get Winter Tyres?
Compared to some countries in the world, the UK has a mild winter, which can put many off going to expense of having winter tyres fitted. However, the AA still advises anyone who lives in a remote area of the country to have winter tyres fitted or consider snow chains for emergency situations.
Two or Four Winter Tyres?
We recommend fitting a full set of winter tyres. Only switching 1 or 2 can upset the balance of your vehicle. This is also recommended by the AA.
What about All-Season Tyres?
While they won't give you the optimum benefits that summer and winter tyres can during their respective seasons, all-season tyres are designed to give you some of the benefits of each without paying for new tyres or tyre change-overs on a bi-annual basis.
The grooves in all-season tyres are designed to be a hybrid of summer and winter tyres.
The tyres are manufactured with a softer rubber compound to simulate the advantages you get from winter tyres and ensure they do not harder in colder temperatures.