What Tyres Are Best to Use in Winter?

13th Jan 2020

When choosing tyres for your car, there are a number of options available to you. In Britain, where the temperature can often delve below 7°C between October and March, you may be considering winter or snow tyres. Here we outline the differences for your consideration.

What are the Main Differences Between Summer and Winter Tyres?

Winter Roads

Believe it or not, there is a lot of sciency stuff that is involved in the creation of any type of quality tyre. Take tyre giants Michelin as an example, they have dedicated facilities dotted around the world that allow them to thoroughly test their tyres and how they respond in differing conditions.

Without boring your socks off, the differences between summer and winter tyres that you need to know about boils down to two factors:

Rubber compound

Summer tyres struggle to operate when the temperature drops below 7 degrees C because the compound hardens and therefore does not offer as much grip. Winter tyres have more natural rubber, which prevents them from hardening. Essentially, a more flexible tyre that hasn't hardened can better grip onto the road.

Tread pattern

Winter tyres have much deeper tread patterns compared to their Summer counterparts. This may sound counter-intuitive, but the deeper tread is designed to trap snow (yep, bear with us), and that's because nothing grips onto snow better than snow itself. The tread itself has a different groove design too, which is designed to be more effective at dispersing slushy water.

What About Snow Tyres?

Snow Tyre

As the name suggests, snow tyres have been designed to be effective when there's snow on the ground; shocking, we know. The main difference between snow tyres and winter tyres is that small spikes protrude from the tread on the snow tyres, which helps to maximise grip on thick snow and ice.

The reason why you should only use snow tyres in these circumstances is that the studs damage the road surface of the tarmac in warmer conditions. In fact, some regions have laws governing the use of snow tyres, limiting their use to certain months of the year. Snow tyres are usually too extreme for the average motorist, and should only be reserved for those who live in conditions that experience frequent and heavy snow during the winter months.

Fitting Winter Tyres

Wheel Alignment Machine

Ideally winter tyres should be fitted when the average temperature is regularly below 7°C. This is most common between the months of October and March.

All Evans Halshaw dealerships are able to supply and fit Winter tyres for your vehicle, regardless of make and model. Contact your local dealership for pricing and information on the best winter tyres.