Is it worth investing in winter tyres? What can they add to your car that normal tyres cannot?
If you are considering buying a new set of tyres for your car or for another vehicle to see you through the harsh winter road conditions, you may wonder what the difference is between winter tyres and all season tyres. It’s certainly a very good question; tyres can be very expensive to buy and you will want to make the right decision to suit the requirements of your vehicle and the road conditions that you are likely to encounter, without breaking the bank. With so many different variations of winter tyres and all season tyres available on the market, choosing the right ones for your vehicle can be a difficult decision.
So what exactly is the difference between winter tyres and all season tyres? Let’s start with explaining how all season tyres work. Generally speaking, all season tyres are fitted as standard on the majority of new cars, they are specifically designed to meet a wide range of road conditions. All season tyres combine deep water channels for good traction in wet conditions with a harder, tougher rubber compound that provides longer tyre life in warm weather. As all season tyres are very adaptable, they are a popular choice for many drivers and can prove to be a cost-effective solution.
However, if you tend to drive on extremely harsh road conditions; for example off-road lanes, or in extreme ice/snow conditions, you may need to purchase a special pair of winter tyres. Specialist winter tyres are designed to perform optimally in icy, wet and snowy weather conditions. Winter tyres have optimised handling and traction, allowing them to adapt well to wet conditions, while also being suitable for dryer road conditions. To this end, if you drive a larger vehicle, or you have to drive in rural areas, winter tyres can be the best option to prevent slipping and potentially getting stuck in the snow.
Specialist winter tyres can be a brilliant option for anyone who wants additional reassurance while driving in adverse conditions. Years ago, people tended to use wheel tracks/chains when driving in the snow or ice, however, it can be a hassle having to attach and remove tyre chains according to road conditions. For example; you may find that one part of your daily journey is particularly difficult to navigate (unmade or very steep lanes are a great example); however, the rest of your journey is reasonably easy to navigate (i.e.. motorways or main roads). To this end, the majority of winter tyres are designed to adapt easily to a number of road surfaces and conditions, so you won’t have to keep changing them.
On the other hand, if you are unlikely to experience very difficult road or weather conditions, you may decide to stick to all season tyres. As an example; if you tend to use your car primarily for commuting to and from work via the motorway, you probably won’t need specialist winter tyres. Before buying winter tyres or season tyres, you should consider the individual needs and requirements of your vehicle.