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Cargiant’s guide to winter tyres

| In Motoring Advice

Winter has well and truly arrived. The daylight hours have dropped, the temperature tumbled, the weather worsened and the possibility of snow, increased. This leads many drivers to consider fitting their vehicles with winter tyres, but what are winter car tyres, how much do they cost and what are the benefits of winter tyres? 

Don’t worry, we’ve put together the answers to all your questions in this guide. Here are winter tyres explained.

Benefits of Winter Tyres

Many motorists believe that winter tyres are only useful in the snow, but they actually are designed to work as soon as the temperature drops to below 7 degrees Celsius. Compared to conventional tyres, the compound is softer and the specially designed tread is narrower, helping to disperse extra water and preventing snow from building up in the groves. 

Tyre maker Continental states that a car running with winter car tyres can come to a stop from 31mph in 35 metres - that is 8 metres shorter than if it is fitted with regular tyres. On the ice, the results are even more impressive. Running at just 18mph, the conventional tyres took an extra 11 metres to come to a complete stop, that’s the length of a double-decker bus.

When Should You Change Your Winter Tyres?

It is strongly advised that as soon as the temperatures begin to rise above 7 degrees Celsius, you should swap your winter tyres back to conventional ones. In the warmer conditions, the rubber will move around more, giving the vehicle poor handling and increasing stopping distances. The compound used will also wear out much faster.

How Much Do Winter Tyres Cost

The cost of winter car tyres depends entirely on the vehicle. A tyre can start from as little as approximately £50, but you can realistically expect to pay around £500 for a full set of good quality tyres for a compact hatchback.

You can buy winter tyres from the majority of UK tyre specialists, as well as online, just remember to do your research regarding online sellers before hitting ‘Buy now’.

How To Store Winter Tyres

It’s important to store your tyres correctly when not in use to maintain their shape and prevent any damage. Some high street tyre retailers now offer a tyre hotel service, where they will home your tyres for an annual fee

If you have enough space at home to hold your tyres, place them in a tyre rack and rotate every month or so, to maintain their shape.

The benefits of winter tyres are clear to see, so we would strongly recommend all drivers to consider them. As the temperature lowers and the weather worsens, the demand increases so we would suggest acting now.

Now that you have winter tyres explained, check out our blog on 5 essential winter car checks before you hit the road this season.