Winter tyres (also known as cold weather tyres), are specially designed for a wide range of cooler driving conditions, which includes lower temperatures, ice, snow, rain, and slush.
They are made of a special rubber compound suited for low temperatures. As a result, unlike summer tyres, they don't harden in the cold, ensuring drivers get the best performance and grip in cold conditions.
They're popular amongst driver as they improve safety and are also effective at shortening braking distances by up to 50%, increasing traction, and offering more grip on slippery surfaces.
Summer vs winter
One major difference between summer and winter tyres is the formulation of the rubber used to make them. A good example is the new Michelin Alpin, which uses a special compound to enhance grip and braking power even on wet or icy roads.
Another big difference is the tyre tread. As there’s less friction on slippery and cooler roads, a specialised tyre tread design can greatly enhance vehicle performance.
Winter tyres need all the grip they can get, so they have wider, uniform contact areas allowing a more gradual shift from one tread block to another. For example, Michelin’s latest generation features 71 tread patterns per tyre, designed to stop snow, slush, and water from collecting between tread blocks. This reduces the risk of aquaplaning whilst providing better grip and traction.
They create a caterpillar-like effect on slippery surfaces to get your car moving easily, helping you to stop when it counts.
In fact, the special tread and high proportion of natural rubber in Michelin's compounds can reduce braking distances by up to 50%. The differences can be startling - a typical car travelling at 50km/h on snow will take 48m to come to a stop with summer tyres. This is 24m more than if the car was equipped with winter tyres.
Why use winter tyres?
They're manufactured for use when the temperature falls below 7°C. In the UK, the temperature is usually below 7°C for around five months of the year. In recent times, the temperature has been cool enough to need them for up to six months but each driver can make their best judgement depending on how the weather plays out.
At the forefront of most drivers’ minds is how to improve their car’s safety in dangerous weather. Winter tyres not only improve safety, they also shorten braking distances and increase performance. Remember, summer tyres are not designed to be used in cold weather. At cool temperatures, summer tyres are less effective on all types of road surfaces.
It’s important to stay in control when you feel responsible for everyone in your car. If you’ve ever skidded on ice or snow, you’ll know how scary it can be. Improve your grip and safety and reduce the likelihood of finding yourself in a similar situation by making the switch to get you through the season.
When to fit winter tyres
Winter tyres work at their best in temperatures below 7ºC, although it must be pointed out they're not just for use when it's been snowing. They're manufactured to perform in cooler conditions, offering drivers more grip and safety as the temperatures drop.
Keep an eye on your weather forecast and make the switch when you feel temperatures starting to really tumble, which in the UK is usually in October and November through to April.
Where to buy winter tyres
We stock a comprehensive range of winter tyres for cars, vans, 4x4s, and high-performance vehicles. We can supply and fit them for you at your home or work address, with the additional benefit of being up to 40% cheaper than many of our high street competitors.
If you'd like more advice on this tyre range, you can contact us through our online form. You can also call us call us at 0800 810 0972 for further information.
To make a booking, all you have to do is enter your vehicle registration number or tyre size requirements into our online searcher. From there, you can easily select the range you need and make a booking.
Our stock includes world famous manufacturers such as Bridgestone, Goodyear, Michelin, Continental, BF Goodrich, and Pirelli, so you'll be spoilt for choice on cutting edge tread patterns and grip enhancing new technologies.
If you have any further questions about your tyres or would like to book a mobile tyre fitting, please make your order online. You can also get in touch with us on 0800 810 0972.
We’re up to 40% cheaper and we’ll drive straight to you, in a location of your choice to provide you with a free fitting at a time that is convenitent to you.