Do I Need Winter Tyres in the UK?

If you ever find yourself driving into the arctic tundra that is the wintered UK, we at Eden want you to be prepared and confident. Using winter tyres is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your car against the worst of winter driving, and now is no better time to get people familiar with them. Read on to find out why winter tyres are the right choice for you!

What is a Winter Tyre?​​

Winter tyres are car tyres that are specifically designed to minimise the impact of driving on winter roads. This is achieved by an optimised traction and grip design. Through a softer material compound, a winter tyre makes use of its deeper tread grooves and teeth-like notches to disperse liquids and ice so that the tyre’s rubber is always in contact with the road. This generates a better braking performance too, which leads to better fuel efficiency.

Winter tyres can be easily identified through the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol on the sidewall, an industry-standard notation.

What are the Best Winter Tyres?​

Most winter tyres available today perform to an excellent standard, with the top performers showing a minimal difference in traction for average day-to-day driving. The best tyre for Winter cost anywhere from £70 to £120 per tyre, with the lower end categorising as winter tyres on a budget. You can contact our experts at Eden who can advise you on the best tyre for winter. The best tyre for winter depends on what you are trying to overcome, look below:

Continental WinterContact TS 870. While costing a little extra, these tyres offer excellent braking in snowy conditions and can handle straight aquaplaning incredibly well.

Hankook i cept RS3. Existing on the cheaper side of the high-end winter tyre spectrum, the Hankook winter tyres have exceptional handling in snow and wet conditions.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005. This tyre offers excellent handling and braking in wet conditions, as well as having a notable ability to handle curved aquaplaning situations.

Should I be Using Winter Tyres UK?​

If you are in a particularly cold region of the UK, winter tyres may become a necessity rather than a luxury. You may also consider them if the roads on your commutes frequently accumulate black ice and slippery surfaces. Or, if you just want to minimise your risk of aquaplaning, longer braking distances, or getting stuck in the snow, winter tyres are right for you. If you seek better handling with your car, winter tyres can help you out there too. 

When to Change to Winter Tyres UK?​

A reliable indicator to change to winter tyres is the outside temperature. Sometimes, even when the road doesn’t look icy or the temperature doesn’t feel cold, it doesn’t mean there isn’t ice present. Below 7°C, it’s safe to assume that the roads will be more slippery, and your braking distance will increase. Change to winter tyres at or below this temperature.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly alternative to winter tyres, winter socks or chains will work too. These are substantially cheaper and simply modify your existing tyres rather than changing them. The drawback here is that winter tyres are simply more reliable, have less wear, and have wider and deeper tread notches.

 Winter Tyres vs Summer Tyres

Summer tyres are the tyres that are typically used day to day, or when the temperature is above 7°C. Summer tyres account for the expansion of the material in hot conditions so that they don’t crack or lose their shape. Summer tyres also perform excellently in wet conditions if it is above 7°C!

The main difference between summer and winter tyres is their materials and design. There have been modern advances in tyre design which can account for all seasons. These are called all-season (or all-weather) tyres and they combine the technologies of both summer and winter tyres to get the best of both worlds. These can remain on all year round – just make sure they have the ‘3PMSF’ industry marking on them.

To highlight the difference between the performance of winter and summer tyres – in hot conditions, winter tyres have a longer braking distance than summer tyres, while in cold conditions, summer tyres have an even longer braking distance than winter tyres.