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Winter Tyres - Are They Worth Investing In Here In The UK?

Compact Cars, Bridgend

January 30, 2017 at 12:11 PM

 

What are winter tyres?
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Winter tyres are tyres that have been specifically designed for use in lower temperatures. They offer better performance on wet surfaces than summer tyres and also offer improved traction and braking performance on ice and snow. Winter tyres contain a higher amount of natural rubber than summer tyres and are constructed with a softer compound which helps the tyre grip the road when temperatures drop below 7 degrees celsius. The contact patch on a winter tyre (the part of the tyre that makes contact with the road) is also larger than the contact patch on a conventional summer tyre and the tread pattern is much more rugged. The tread pattern of a winter tyre will provide much more grip in snow and ice than a normal summer tyre and the majority of winter tyres contain multiple channels in the tread that disperse water very quickly. 

The advantages of using winter tyres during the winter
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Winter tyres will improve the handling of your vehicle in adverse weather conditions and will provide much better performance than conventional summer tyres. Stopping distances will also improve and the extra grip provided by winter tyres could also be a contributing factor in avoiding an accident. Whilst winter tyres aren't a guaranteed safety measure the handling advantages they provide should be taken into consideration, especially if you regularly drive in an area with heavy rainfall or snow and ice. 

Is is worth purchasing winter tyres?

In some countries winter tyres are compulsory but in the United Kingdom, it's completely legal to use summer tyres all year round. A set of winter tyres for an average family car is likely to cost approximately £300 but the price can vary significantly depending on the model of car and the brand of tyre purchased. With many councils experiencing cutbacks road gritting is usually only being carried out on major routes and many towns and villages won't have any of their roads gritted. Most motoring organisations generally advise that winter tyres should be installed on a vehicle in October and removed in March, meaning that the tyres would be on the vehicle for less than six months. Whilst this may seem like a waste of money installing winter tyres is a wise choice for anyone who does a lot of mileage in or around areas that experience bad weather over winter. The cost of winter tyres seems excessive but they will provide improved handling, safety and peace of mind. 

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