Winter Tyres

Do winter tyres work ? 

They wouldn’t sell so many winter tyres if they didn’t so what’s the facts around it?

Many people change them, especially if they have used them before but some people think winter tyres is a myth or con to sell more tyres. In Germany you MUST have winter tyres fitted November to April. If you drive a vehicle in colder conditions without them even if it’s not yours, you are breaking the law. If it didn’t make such a difference they wouldn’t require it by law.

So what is the difference?

The main difference is their intended optimum operating temperature. Summer tyres are designed to do their best work in warmer temperatures, winters work best at seven degrees Celsius and below. Maybe we should call them cold weather tyres ?

According to industry body TyreSafe, “the tread compound in winter weather tyres contains more natural rubber and advanced silica compounds to minimise the hardening effect [of summer tyres in cold weather], giving extra grip and shorter stopping distances in cold, damp conditions”.

Even if you don’t tackle ice and snow on a day-to-day basis, they are still the best option for when temperatures drop.

difference between winter and summer tyres

Winter tyres what’s the point

Will I notice a difference?

If you have been driving in winter conditions on summer tyres then of course, especially when it comes to braking. According to tyre maker Continental, a car fitted with winter tyres can come to a stop from 31mph in 35 metres on snow. This is eight metres shorter than if it was running on summer tyres. That’s a difference of about twice the length of a small hatchback, or one-and-a-half zebra crossings. When driving at 18mph on ice, the difference is even more pronounced. Summer tyres taking 11 metres more to stop. That’s the length of a double-decker bus. So the difference between hitting a pedestrian and not in many cases.

How much do they cost ?

Not so easy as there are so many sizes. As an example a 225/40/18 budget tyre starts at £46 fitted and a winter starts at £52. Drop us an email to with your tyre size or a message on social media and we can get you a quote.

When is best to get them fitted ?

As forecast starts to dip into ideal range which as we said is seven degrees and below. Our British winters are unpredictable and can even prove quite mild. A set of winter tyres fitted to a spare set of wheels can be useful. You can store these until needed we will do another post about how to another day. It doesn’t have to be snowing. TyreSafe’s stance on this is they are “the safest option from October through to March”.