As a general rule of thumb, winter tyres should be mounted as soon as the temperatures drop below 7 °C. It is known that winters in the UK tend to be mild, which is why they aren't a legal requirement but even such winters can be unpredictable and one should be ready for all the possible scenarios.
Having a lot of rain during the year can result in having ice-covered roads during winter months. That's when you could really use a set of winter tyres that are reliable. To be ready for the common British winter, meaning rain and some more rain, make sure that your winter tyres work well in wet.
Even though that with all sorts of unexpected weather conditions like blizzards that started happening in recent years, one can never be sure what kind of weather is on our hands the next day. For such conditions, you need excellent grip in snow and to achieve that you need winter tyres.
However, if you believe that the winter models aren't really necessary for you, please ensure that your all season tyres are fit for driving in harsh winter conditions by checking whether they have the M+S symbol engraved on the sidewall as well as the snowflake marking.
But being that you're already here, we are assuming you do want that extra bit of safety while driving through the cold days. For the ones that only trust the famous and trusted brands, here are a few premium winter tyre models:
You can find a wide range of such tyres on tyres-guru.co.uk swiftly and with style. Our search tool lets you filter the results of your inquiry to the smallest detail. You can choose to see only tyres with a rating higher than 4/5 stars, you can choose to display run flat tyres only, or reinforced ones, or only tyres with rim protection, or if you're on a limited budget - cheap winter tyres.
Naturally, standard filters, like displaying a specific tyre size and the brand only are there as well. The selection is immense - winter and summer tyres, all weather tyres, tyres for different vehicles, accessories, you name it.
Fitting winter tyres in the United Kingdom has been made easier than ever. We work with over 2000 fitting stations all over the UK, so all you have to do is choose the closest and we'll send the tyres there. Shipping is free for orders of two or more tyres.
Winter tyres are made with more grooves and sipes to ensure more contact with the surface. Sipes are those little lines you see on the tread of your tyre. Grooves are spaces between the tread blocks. All of these additional grooves help with dispersing the snow and slush faster.
Tread pattern is designed in a way that the treads lead the snow to the side of the tyre so that you don't end up having the snow-filled grooves which would reduce traction. And, again, softer rubber compound helps in the individual movement of those tread blocks resulting in a better dispersion of snow and slush.
Checking the tyre pressure every two weeks is highly recommended. Tyre pressure has to be perfect if you want to use your winter weather tyres to their full potential. Additionally, as their main purpose is increased safety, they will have lower speed ratings than their all-season or summer counterparts.
To ensure tyres don't stiffen in freezing or snowy conditions, the contact surface of winter tyres contains more natural rubber and silica, which ensures a greater grip in cold weather, due to having the treads flexible enough to help in dispersing snow and water. But probably the biggest advantage here is that the stopping distances are greatly reduced even in cold winters.
Because of the specific tread pattern described above, winter tyres remove water as efficiently, which is something a driver from Britain should really take into account when buying tyres online. We'd like to recommend a stand-out manufacturer when it comes to fighting rain - Uniroyal "the rain tyre". Check out the reviews and see why is this brand prides itself for being one of the best sellers of tyres in the UK, especially when driving in wet conditions.
Depending on where you go to in Europe, you might find that having winter tyres is a legal requirement in a certain country. In some instances, you'll even be prompted to carry snow chains with you. We advise you to always go for snow chains rather than snow socks, especially in areas that are often covered with snow and ice. They simply perform much better.
Make sure to get informed about this before driving anywhere outside of Britain. Countries that have winter tyres required by law are: Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, most of Central Europe, and most of the Balkans. In countries like France, Italy, Switzerland, and Poland, snow tyres are not compulsory but are strongly recommended, especially from October to March, as it's six times more likely to have a car accident in that time frame then for the rest of the year.
If you are planning a winter vacation in the French Alps and you're planning to get there by car, keep in mind that it is now illegal to travel in the French Alps if you don't have winter tyres. The mandatory period starts December 1st and ends on March 31st.
You definitively can but we strongly recommend against that. As mentioned before, the rubber compound of cold weather tyres is designed to perform on cold, snowy surfaces. To achieve that, it's significantly softer than the rubber compound found in summer and all-season tyres. On dry asphalt, these tyres will wear much faster, due to their softness. It's basically the same as driving your car in the first gear, you can do it but you will ruin the engine in no time and you'll waste petrol along the way. Having said that, in warm weather, you'll definitively waste petrol with your winter gear still equipped. So, please restrain from doing this if you value your safety, environment, and your budget.
You should because four-wheel-drive vehicles can still lose control in snow with wrong tyres equipped. To understand why, check out this test where a 2-wheel-drive car humiliated the 4-wheel-drive car in terms of handling and braking distance purely because of the tyre choice. We admit, conditions in the test were downright extreme but still, if you think you can wing it by trusting only your axles, you're in for some drifting adventures on the snowy roads. And who in their right mind wants to drift in the middle of a blizzard? You're right. Nobody.
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