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Winter tyres provide increased safety, but unfortunately also has an increased fuel consumption.
If you live in one of the parts of UK, where it makes sense to switch to winter tyres such as the Scotish Highlands, and rural areas, it's a good idea to do so before the first frost sets in.
Summer tyres will often have two to three times the breaking distance than winter tyres on a slippery road surface.
Many people are surprised when they skid on the first days of frosty and icy roads. You have to get used to driving in these conditions, and find the vehicle's boundaries again.
Winter tyres have a different surface than traditional tyres, and have better traction when it gets cold and icy. You should still be cautious, because even if your car has winter tyres on, it isn’t a guaranteed that you will always get the traction you get in the summer. Weather conditions will still be a problem, but lesser so.
Winter tyres have more tread than summer tyres, and therefore provide a larger surface area that are more effective in snow and slush.. At the same time, the rubber is softer, so they have more traction when the road is slippery. Winter tyres will wear faster because they are more flexible and soft and you use more fuel when driving on winter tyres. Therefore, it is important to switch to winter tyres as late as possible, but before the first frost. It is also important to switch back to summer tyres, as soon as the frost is gone in the spring. Fuel consumption is certainly a good incentive, given the current price of fuel!
Whatever type of tyre you choose, it must always be the same model on all four wheels.
If you are considering all-season tyres when switching summer tyres next time, you should be aware that they do not have as good traction on a dry dusty hot road during the summer as your regular tyres. At the same time they do not have as good traction as real snow tyres in the winter. They ARE better in winter than summer tyres, and better in summer than winter tyres, but it's not the best for either. They also wear out faster than normal summer tyres, as they have some of the properties of snow tyres.
All-season tyres are for those who do not drive much, and can avoid driving when the road is not cleared. Or for people that live in cities and don’t really face much of a difference with changing weather conditions, the road in London don’t get particularly dusty in the summer nor do they have a lot of snow in the winter. If this is where you drive, all season tyres could be the right choice for you.
Winter tyres are marked M + S (Mud + Snow) on the side of the tyre. There must also be a symbol with snowflakes on a mountain, and tyres sold in the EU must be labelled with EU safety and environmental label.
There is also a speed marking pay attention to this when driving with winter tyres, and when choosing them.
At Autobutler we think that having two sets of tyres is really the safest option. Real winter tyres provide a sense of security, and better traction in snow and sleet.
Remember to check the tyre pressure, preferably every time you fill up at a petrol station, or at least once a month. If the tyre pressure is too low, the tyres are not worn properly. Worse yet, you get less traction. If the tyre pressure is too high, the surface that touches the road gets hard and rigid, and it reduces the surface area of the tyre in conjunction with the road.
You should also be aware of the depth of the tyre grooves. They must legally be 1.6 mm, but it is recommended that you do not wear out the tyres to less than 3 mm. The smaller the groove depth, the longer braking distance. If you are taking your car abroad, into Europe for example, make sure to check the rules there, as some countries require at least 4 mm.
There are many types of winter tyres, and you should have the tyres to suit your needs, partly depending on how much you drive, and also how you drive. You are bombarded by offers on cheap winter tyres right from the summer is over, and almost all winter. Often, it is standard winter tyres suitable for moderate traffic. When you need new winter tyres, and create a job with us, you will get help to find your exact tyre size and type – we will guide you through with pictures and descriptions.
To purchase the tyres themselves, we also have a feature under Tyres, tyre mounting and wheel change task called "Bringing tyres" where you can describe what you would like the garage to perform, so they can provide the best quote to suit your requirements.
If you cannot figure out the system for labelling on the tyres or would like some advice, you can chat with our support team, (which also includes our team of in-house mechanics) at the bottom right (Chat with us) or you can call us on Free phone 0800 048 8195.