Winter and summer tyres may appear to look identical at first glance, however the difference is huge depending on weather conditions. Knowing when to have your tyres changed can impact on your safety when you are driving.
In many north European countries, having winter tyres fitted to your vehicle is a legal requirement during colder months. However, in the UK there is no law stating that you must have winter tyres fitted, it is simply best practice. This can make it confusing for motorists, with many not knowing the importance of winter and summer tyres and crucially, when to change them.
Summer tyres don’t offer as much grip in cold weather, which significantly affects the braking distance. This is due to the composition of the rubber in tyres changing in colder weather. Winter tyres are made with a different compound and have a deeper tread, helping them grip in difficult road conditions. They look similar to summer tyres, however they are marked with a snowflake symbol on the wall of the tyre to help identify them.
So, why not have winter tyres on your vehicle all year round I hear you ask? During the warmer and drier months, winter tyres are not as effective at gripping the road surface as summer tyres.
When to change your tyres?
It is often assumed that winter tyres are designed purely for use in snowy conditions, however this is not the case, with some experts suggesting they should be renamed cold weather tyres instead. In fact, it is recommended that you have winter tyres fitted when temperatures average below 7°C. Before rushing to put your summer tyres back on your car, you should wait until the spring temperature averages above 7°C for 1-2 weeks. This usually falls between March and April, but varies year to year depending on whether we have experienced a particularly late winter or early spring.
Changing your tyres
It’s relatively quick and inexpensive to have your tyres changed. Why not use the opportunity to have your wheel alignment checked at the same time. Get in touch with your local trusted garage by using our handy wheel alignment centre finder.
Our advanced range of highly accurate wheel alignment equipment can adjust your wheels in as little as one minute! Find your nearest wheel alignment centre here or talk to our helpful team by calling 01489 773888 or emailing us at email@example.com.