Are Winter Tyres Worth It?

12th January 2017

In many European countries, including Sweden and Germany, having winter tyres fitted to your vehicle in the colder months is a legal requirement. Whilst there is no legal enforcement currently in place in the UK, conditions such as ice, snow and slippery roads are best handled by dedicated winter tyres.

Why Winter Tyres?

Winter tyres are specifically designed to provide a safe performance when temperatures drop below 7°C. Summer tyres are constructed with a compound optimal for resisting aquaplaning and gripping warm road surfaces but once temperatures fall, this compound will stiffen and become hard. When this happens, the tyre provides less grip, which is not what you need on slippery surfaces!

In addition, with winter tyres you are better equipped to driving on snow due to a high amount of grooves and sipes on the tyre tread, which enable them to bite down and retain stability.

Do I Need Winter Tyres?

If you live in an area that does not experience large amounts of snow and ice then you may not require winter tyres. It is important, however, to bear in mind that winter tyres are not only for these conditions, they are also optimised to provide high levels of safety in cold temperatures below 7°C and wet weather.

If you live in a remote area or regularly see snow and ice where you live winter tyres are a highly recommended option.

If you choose to swap to winter tyres you should remember to also replace your spare tyre as driving with three winter tyres and a summer tyre is not a safe option! In addition, you must be aware that you should change your tyres back when temperatures are at a consistent average of 7°C or above, which is usually around April in the UK.

What Are The Alternatives?

If you choose not to fit winter tyres for your vehicle due to storage concerns, but you are worried that your summer tyres will not keep you safe in winter, you may wish to consider fitting all season tyres to your vehicle.

It is highly important that your tyres are fit for difficult winter weather conditions, whether you choose to use summer, winter or all season tyres. Tyre tread, which is the rubber covering your tyre, provides grip and keeps you safe in wet conditions.

You must check that your tyres have 3mm of tyre tread as below this point, your grip and resistance against aquaplaning is severely decreased. If your tyre tread is lower than 3mm, you should replace your tyres as soon as possible.

Interested in fitting winter tyres to your vehicle? Simply contact your local Tyre Group branch for further information. Alternatively, you can call 01905 731905 or email

Buy tyres online with The Tyre Group for fitment at one of our branches in the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland Contact The Tyre Group incorporating Malvern Tyres, Discount Tyres, County Tyre, King David Tyres Ltd and AutoTyre & Battery Co. We have more than 50 branches located throughout the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland