Most people know how important it is to change to winter tyres at winter time, so that you stay on the road, even though it is slippery. But there are actually plenty of good reasons to change back to summer tyres, when the weather becomes warmer again - but when it comes to your safety and your wallet.
Better road grip
The summer tyre has a much more smooth surface than the winter tyre and has smaller tread in the tyre itself. The rubber is also harder and those things combines makes for a nicer driver experience when the roads are dry and warm. You also get a lot better road grip with summer tyres, when it is not frosty weather.
You use less gasoline
The harder tyre and the smaller treads in the summer tyre also means less friction with the road. That means that you use less gasoline, when you have summer tyres on the car. It is hard to say exactly how much, since it depends on a range of factors, but some studies have shown up to 10 % less gasoline use.
Your winter tyres are worn down very quickly at summer time
As we stated further up, winter tyres are much softer than summer tyres. That is so that they are more flexible on slippery roads at winter time, but it has this giant downside, that they are worn down very quickly when used on warm and dry roads. So even though the no-so-certain savings on gasoline is not the strongest argument to use summer tyres at summer, maybe several hundred pounds for new winter tyres later in the year is.
It is hard to say precisely when it is smart to change to summer tyres. First of all, the frost should have disappeared, but spring time in the UK can be tricky, and we can have nice and warm days one week, and then rainly and cold the next, sometimes close to frost. Calendar-wise, this can be end of March-end of April, so check out the weather forecast to see when the spring has come to stay.
Another thing to remember is, when there is a longer warm period in the spring, the garages can get really busy and you can have a hard time booking a time for wheel change. Therefore it is a good idea to be one step ahead and book the garage in good time.
Maybe you have considered getting all season tyres, and this can be a good idea, but there are a couple of things to consider, if you want all season tyres.
Generally you can say that all season tyres are better than winter tyres are in the summer time, and better than summer tyres at winter. So if you are the type who either forgets to change tyres or do not want to, plus can leave the car at home if the roads are completely frozen, then it might be an okay idea with all season tyres.
But - all season tyres are a little bit the lowest common denominator, that is not excellent at anything, so our recommendation is that you have two sets of tyres and change between them. All season tyres are furthermore worn down quicker at summer time than regular summer tyres, due to their winter tyre abilities.
Here is how you tell the difference between winter- and summer tyres
Did you buy a used car and forgot to ask what tyres are on it? Or are you suddenly in doubt whether you actually had the tyres changed 4 months ago - making you uncertain of what tyres are on the car?
A good tip is that winter tyres have a "M+S" (Mud + Snow) mark on the side of the tyre. Some other tyre types have the M+S as well, so you will need to also check for a mark with a snowflake on a mountain.
Just like winter tyres, there is a range of different summer tyres, and it completely depend on your needs, what you should choose - how much you drive, how you drive and on what types of roads you usually drive.
If you are looking for new summer tyres, and you don´t know which to choose, then you can chat with our support on the bottom left of the screen, or you can call us at 0800 0488 195, where our skilled mechanics and other supporters are ready to answer your questions.
Keep an eye on your tyres
One thing that is really easy to check and which is essential for your tyres, is the tyre pressure. Firstly you can remember to notice whether they look flatter than usual, but secondly it is a really good idea to regularly check the tyre pressure when refuelling the car. Most gasoline stations have a small machine to check the tyre pressure and it is easier than you think. Do it at least once a month, since changing temperatures can affect your tyres a lot. Too low tyre pressure wears more on your tyres and also risks wearing them uneven. You also get a worse road grip since the tyres are not touching the road like they are meant to.
But the tyre pressure should also not be too high. You can typically see the optimal tyre pressure for you car and model either in the fuel cap or in the inner frame of the door to the driver's seat. Keep in mind, that the recommended tyre pressure for the front and rear wheels are often different.
Another thing to keep an eye on is how worn each tyre is. You can check the tyre tread, which legally has to be at least 1,6 millimetres. The recommended minimum tyre tread however is 3 millimetres. If you have too little tyre tread, if means a longer braking distance. A new tyre usually has 7-8 millimetres tyre tread.
Summer tires are made from a specific rubber compound that is designed to grip the road in both wet and dry conditions when the weather is warmer. Summer tires on a Ford, Nissan, Peugeot or Renault will also increase fuel efficiency and reduce road noise through the warmer months of the year. Tread patterns on summer tires for Volkswagen, Vauxhall, BMW and Kia brands of vehicle are designed to provide more contact with the road and therefore more grip. Combined, the unique rubber compound and streamlined grip pattern of summer tires will provide better traction and braking through warmer months of the year.