In many European countries winter tyres are a legal requirement, to keep people safe on the roads in bad weather conditions. While they are not compulsory here in the UK, sales of winter tyres have been growing in the past few years. What makes them different and do we really need them – especially in urban areas? Read on to see whether it’s worth investing in some winter tyres.
What’s the Difference?
Winter tyres have a deeper tread than regular tyres, offering extra grip and making them more effective at dispersing surface water and slush. They are made out of a special compound which means the tyres don’t harden when the temperature drops. Specifically designed for cold weather, they can make driving safer by improving grip and reducing stopping distance.
Winter tyres do not perform well in weather above 7C so they can only be used in the winter months, and must be swapped back to regular tyres after winter.
Do we Need Them in the UK?
Even though as a nation we are pretty small, the UK does experience drastic weather differences. For example, it gets much colder in Scotland than in London, and roads in rural areas are more susceptible to flooding and ice. That means we can’t group all drivers in the UK together, as driving conditions and weather are variable.
If you drive usually in built up areas where the roads are cleared and gritted during winter, then you are unlikely to need winter tyres. However, if you live in the countryside and experience heavy rain and snowfall, then it could be worth the investment. By swapping to winter tyres you will be keeping your passengers and yourself safer during inclement weather conditions.
Where Can I get Them?
Many garages stock winter tyres now that drivers are starting to notice the benefit of switching at this time of year. Here at Windmill Garage we’re happy to offer some of the best local deals on winter tyres and will fit them for most vehicles.
If you’re put off by the price of winter tyres, don’t forget that your summer tyres will be off the road for a few months. This will increase their lifespan, so you’ll be saving money in the long run.
If you need any help choosing new tyres or getting winter tyres fitted, get in touch with our qualified mechanics.