There is still a huge misconception in the UK that winter tyres are only designed for driving on snow and ice. This couldn’t be further from the truth as the actual benefits are noticeable as soon as the temperature drops to 7° Celsius or below. For the majority of the UK, that’s the typical average temperature from mid-November until at least mid-February.
Can you risk being without Winter Tyres this winter?
We look on with envy at the European countries that manage to keep business going as usual in harsh conditions but when a few flakes of snow fall in our country, it brings us to a standstill. Across Europe approaching Winter, drivers get their Tyres changed to prepare for the forthcoming weather conditions. A number of EU countries have made the use of winter Tyres a legal requirement and many offer specific winter recommendations. The UK has no such legislation in place so it is always going to be difficult to encourage people to change lifelong habits.
Winter Tyres Explained
Winter Tyres are not the same as Snow Tyres. Snow Tyres are generally studded and are only really suitable when driving on thick snow and ice. A studded Tyre gives greatly reduced grip on a clear tarmac road and damages the road surface as well as giving poor ride quality and poor handling. Some countries stipulate an additional tax for vehicles using studded Tyres whereas others insist that these only be used during winter months when snow and ice is on the ground.
Because of the studs that these Tyres contain it makes them unsuitable for most tarmac road unless there is a thick layer of snow and ice on the top (which generally speaking there isn’t consistently in the UK). Most people when asking for Snow Tyres actually really mean “Winter Tyres”.
Winter Tyres are made of a soft rubber compound which means that even in very cold conditions where a normal tyre would be quite hard, they still offer good levels of grip and maintain their flexibility.
The tread pattern in Winter Tyres is also noticeably different as they are designed to give better grip in cold and wet conditions with much deeper tread separations to repel water and give better grip. They are also typically narrower than conventional tyres which gives a greater resistance to skidding and aqua planning.
Tyres are a complex subject and without going into the full discussion of physics we are merely explaining that on snow and in the wet, narrower tyres allow the car to put more pressure on the road (think of it like a stiletto heel and the increased pressure over a smaller footprint) giving the car better grip.
Why Fit Winter Tyres?
Tests carried out comparing winter tyres and standard tyres show that braking distances on snow from a speed of 30mph can vary as much as 8 metres. It is not just snow and ice where drivers will see the benefit. Winter tyres provide shorter braking distances and better grip when the temperature drops below 7°C. This is when the rubber on standard tyres begins to harden and lose its grip to the road.
If you are planning on changing your vehicle in the near future or you do not want the expense of buying a full set of winter tyres, Snow Socks are a quick, cheap and convenient solution to getting you moving on the snow. They are only designed for use on snow and ice surfaces, not tarmac, and should be removed once driving on gritted roads. They are suitable for speeds of up to 40 Km/h (25mph) so are ideal for getting you off driveways and untreated roads. Easy to carry in the boot of your vehicle, the snow socks simply fit over the driving wheels of your vehicle and are fitted in 2 minutes, even for a first time user! Not only are snow socks quick to fit, but they are also easy to remove. There is no working out which bit of chain goes where, they are very simple to slip on to the tyres! They are suitable for vehicles fitted with ABS/ESP, are machine washable and suitable for use with standard tyres as well as winter tyres.
If you would like to receive a quotation for winter tyres, please contact the Office on 015395 66029 for more details. Please have your tyre size to hand. This can be found on the sidewall of your tyre. Example – 205/55/16 V.