Winter Tyres and the Tyre Hotel
There is a whole culture in the UK that tells us that we can't afford winter tyres and that its pointless because it hardly ever snows. Furthermore, if it does snow we should either hurry indoors and not venture out or 'stop making such a fuss' and carry on regardless
This is a notion that couldn't be further from the truth and it starts with the name. Winter tyres are just that, tyres designed for winter conditions. Much like our summer tyres are designed for summer condition.
Yes, that's right, the tyres we 'normally' drive on are designed for summer use only. To further add to that, it's a 'European' summer that they are geared towards not a British one. This means that most UK motorists are driving on the wrong tyres for most of the year!
Winter tyres are designed to be used in Winter conditions which means below 7 - 10 degrees centigrade and when it's wet.
Don't wait until you wear your summer tyres out though. Fit Winter tyres when you really need them and your Summer Tyres can be checked inot the Tyre Hotel. Then, at the end of Winter, your Summer Tyres go back on and the Winter Tyres can be stored safely in the Tyre Hotel. This means that you have the right tyres on for the right conditions and each tyre lasts longer. It really is Win, Win.
The below video highlights the benefits of winter tyres in the snow but also shows clearly how all UK motorist could benefit from fitting them for at least half of the year.
Before dismissing the Winter Tyre concept because you drive a 4x4, it would be prudent to take a look at this next video. Again this is a Snow test, but the same applies as in the previous video, Winter tyres perform better in the cold and wet.
The take home message from this video is that 4 Wheel drive doesn't help much when going down hill or braking.
It is a legal requirement to fit winter tyres across many parts of Europe and as a result it is very rare that bad weather appears on European news.
The Swiss take a very dim view of motorists who are not prepared:
"Snow tyres are not compulsory but vehicles not equipped to travel through snow and which impede traffic are liable to a fine."
If cost is still a consideration there are two elements to look at:
- Being able to travel around safely in the most adverse weather conditions can be a priceless commodity under certain circumstances.
- Winter tyres are on the car for half of the year meaning that they last twice as long. You don't have to buy winter tyres every year. Simply take them off in the summer and put them back on again in the winter. You can expect 3 - 5 years service from your winter tyres this way.
If you are going to only buy one type of tyre shouldn't it be a winter tyre rather than a summer tyre?