As our winters grow colder are we beginning to see the true advantages of winter wheels and tyres?
Winter tyres and wheels are becoming more common year after year. In the countries that bare the brunt of the cold winters, winter tyres have long since become compulsory. Although conditions in the UK are milder by comparison, the winters are getting colder and Brits are beginning to ask the question “Are winter wheels and tyres becoming worth the money?”
Winter tyres are manufactured with the harshest weather conditions in mind. Experts agree that summer tyres just don’t make the cut in snowy and icy conditions or even in temperatures below 7 degrees. Continuing to use summer tyres in these conditions can drastically increase stopping distance, putting you behind the wheel of a car which could be considered unpredictable and ultimately unsafe.
According to Met Office, harsh weather conditions in the UK last from November way up until early March, making the winter period essentially one third of the year. Figures show that since 1980, the majority of the days in these months have been spent at or below 7 degrees, which could make for some treacherous roads during this part of the year.
How Do Winter Tyres Work?
Winter tyres are made up from a different type of rubber compound with much more natural rubber than summer tyres, which allows them to maintain their form and keep their grip in the colder temperatures .Summer tyres on the other hand are not made with these conditions in mind, and the harsher winter conditions causes the tyres to solidify and lose their elasticity, meaning that the tyres do not perform to a safe standard.
2010 saw the start of the winter tyre boom when the coldest winter we’ve ever seen left many motorists driving through icy, hazardous roads on tyres that were just not suited to the conditions. According to research, icy conditions could very well be held responsible for around 264,000 accidents in the winter.
Vehicle recovery services, like the AA and the RAC have been left to pick up the pieces and deal with this upswing in traffic incidents. Both companies official stances on winter tyres, speak quite clearly of their benefits. A spokesperson from AA said:
“Winter tyres are a good investment if you live in an area where you often experience heavy rain, very cold weather or snow and it is vital that you can use your car.”
Which the sole exception that:
“If you live on the edge of town and only make a local trip once a week then the expense of an extra set of wheels and tyres is difficult to justify.”
And a spokesperson from RAC said:
“Winter tyres are generally useful for people who live in remote areas. Here the weather is likely to be worse for longer and the car is more of a necessity with limited alternatives.
Ultimately it is a personal decision where people need to factor in the cost, storage and how much they’re likely to use them”
To conclude, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and circumstance as to whether winter tyres can be considered a necessity for you. However, our experience couples with the figures shows that opting for winter tyres is a decision that is becoming easier and easier to justify.
If you’ve decided on winter wheels and tyres for your vehicle, head over to www.alloywheels.com or call us on 0370 218 4987 for the best deals UK wide!