The UK has quite a reputation for grinding to a halt when the first sign of snow or ice appears, however, the weather shouldn’t be to blame, but our lack of preparation instead.

Winter tyres are widely used across Europe, with some continental European countries requiring winter tyres to be fitted to cars by law during the winter months. On the other hand, in the UK, many drivers still lack awareness and understanding of the purpose of winter tyres and how they can greatly improve the safety of our roads in winter.

In this comprehensive guide, we look at the best ways to prepare your car for the winter months and whether or not they are worth the cost during the cold season.

What are Winter Tyres?

Designed for temperatures below 8 degrees Celsius, winter tyres are effective in supplying grip and traction on roads that are slippery from ice or snow. With a different tread to summer tyres, winter tyres have more grooves to help the tyre manoeuvre on snow, ice and rainy surfaces. This means that in winter conditions, winter tyres can cling to the surface of the road rather than slip across it.

Winter tyres also have treads designed to help prevent ice or packed snow from building up around the tyre in severe conditions. With their unique pattern, winter tyres vibrate and shake out the snow that they may have picked up when driving.

The Benefits of Winter Tyres

The greatest benefit of winter tyres is, of course, the safety in which they ensure during cold and extreme conditions. They provide strong traction on roads in colder months and ensure enhanced performance, greater control, higher safety and improved grip.

Ice, snow and rain are extremely common in winter, and according to leading tyre manufacturer, Continental, a vehicle fitted with winter tyres will come to standstill on a snow-covered road (from a speed of just 30mph) after 35 metres – with normal tyres, the braking distance required is a further 8 metres (43 metres).

During icy conditions, winter tyres can prevent accidents and even save lives. If a car (fitted with conventional tyres) drives as slow as 18mph and suddenly brakes, the car will take an additional 11 metres to stop, compared to if winter tyres were used. This distance is equivalent to the length of a bus.


Are Winter Tyres Worth It?

Winter tyres are worth the investment, particularly if you tend to drive regularly in colder conditions. If you drive many miles over the winter, then it’s absolutely crucial to take sufficient steps in keeping your car safe during winter!

Winter Tyres VS Summer Tyres – Which is Better?

Winter tyres are far more effective than summer tyres on snow and ice. Summer tyres can become clogged with snow and ice, making them ineffective in keeping you safe on the road in winter.

Designed for colder conditions, winter tyres perform well in all harsh weather conditions in winter, including wet roads, snowy roads and icy roads. In comparison, summer tyres deliver better performance in warmer conditions, including optimal mileage performance and increased grip on dry roads.

It’s not recommended to use winter tyres all year round – winter tyres are not as effective in summer as the type of rubber used will move around significantly when it’s warm. For this reason, it’s important to switch to summer tyres when the weather warms up.

When to Fit Winter Tyres

As a general rule of thumb, you should switch to winter tyres when the seasonal temperature drops below 7 °C. As winter tyres are only designed to be used in winter and are not suitable for warmer conditions, when seasonal temperatures climb above 7 °C, you should then replace them with summer tyres.

In the majority of the UK, this usually means switching to winter tyres around November time and switching to summer tyres around March.

With that being said, we do recommend switching in good time as demand for winter tyres can peak as temperatures begin to drop. If you’re planning to buy a set of winter tyres, it’s worth doing it early on.

What Are the Best Winter Tyres?

When shopping for winter tyres, it can be complicated to know where to begin. From our experience and customer satisfaction, some of the best brands for winter tyres include Michelin, Pirelli, Dunlop, Davanti, Avon and Landsail.

As every car is different, there is no one-for-all set of winter tyres that are suitable for every car in colder conditions. This means that your winter tyres will need to be suitable for your car with some considerations in mind.

Some things to consider when choosing winter tyres is the tread depth, tyre rating and thickness. If you are unsure, you can talk to a mechanic to get trusted advice on the best option for you!

If you have a high-performance car or one that is significantly powerful, you should explore high-performance winter tyres as these can be far more suitable for your car.

Where to Buy Winter Tyres

Want to buy winter tyres for your motor? Most tyre stockists in the UK will offer winter tyres, but we would always recommend taking your car to a reputable tyre specialist who can provide guidance and give you tailored advice.

At Parkland Services we stock tyres from all the leading manufacturers, including high-end tyre manufacturers and cheap winter tyres with your budget in mind. We can supply tyres for all makes and models, expertly fitted using the latest, state-of-the-art equipment.

If you are looking for winter tyres in Loughborough, please call us on 01509 232232.