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Do I Need Winter Tyres ?

Do I Need Winter Tyres ?

Winter tyres are such a mystery most of us know they exist but we don’t really know whether we need them …….how are they different to summer tyres? …….Are they just for places covered in snow for 6 months of the year?  Do we really need them here in Britain?  Well here at Rivervale Leasing we how found out the answers to all these questions so below is your guide to winter tyres!

There is a lot of confusion over winter tyres but they really could be used here in Britain as they are designed to perform in any conditions where the temperature is below 7 degrees centigrade.  They are used not only for snow but for ice, slush and wet roads.  Winter tyres differ from the summer tyres that are put on as standard here in a few ways;

  • The rubber compound used to make the tyre is softer so will not harden at low temperatures, this means they will have a better grip on the road.  This will help your car stop in a shorter distance so will improve safety.


  • The surface of a winter tyre is covered in sipes – sipes are jagged slits that create more edges for grip and allow more movement of the tyres rubber surface also creating more grip on the road.


  • Winter tyres will have a deeper tread than a summer tyre, this means in snowy conditions snow will collect in the grooves and as snow clings to snow, snow on the tyres can add more grip.

In snow a car using winter tyres will go from 30 mph to a standstill in 35 metres, this compares to the 43 metres it would take a car to stop that was fitted with summer tyres.

For many people storing tyres may be a problem; in Scotland car dealership Ness Motors have come up with a solution – They have created a tyre hotel!  In the winter months you can check out your winter tyres and have them fitted then check in your summer tyres to be stored for you ready to be put back on in March! 

In other EU countries it is a legal requirement to use winter tyres, that is not the case here in Britain but experts would recommend winter tyres are used from October to March.  Drivers are 6 times more likely to have an accident during the winter months and this is reflected in the statistic that nearly half of all insurance claims are made in the winter months so get swapping your tyres!!!

Even with the best tyres in the world you still need to adjust your driving to the conditions you are in – read our blog “The Ultimate Guide to Driving in Winter Weather” for everything you need to know to driving safely in bad conditions.

The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.

Car related news
14 November 2014
Written by Rivervale
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