Are winter tyres necessary?

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When the nights start drawing in and autumn turns into winter, motorists might start wondering what they can do to prepare their vehicles for the winter ahead.

Most drivers in the motor trade industry, such as garages and mechanics, need to ensure they are ready to meet the needs of their customers at what is their busiest time of year.
As a garage or mechanic you cannot afford to let customers down. So, how can you ensure that you’re ready to serve your customers?


One thing you can do is prepare your vehicle for winter. As well as ensuring that vehicles have a winter service and that your motor trade insurance is up-to-date, you may also wish to consider installing winter tyres. For a business or individual who needs motor trade insurance reducing your chances of having an accident will ensure your insurance remains claim-free.

Winter tyres

Unlike countries such as Austria, winter tyres are not compulsory in the UK. Winter tyres have a deeper tread than summer or regular tyres, usually between 8mm and 9mm. They also have wide grooves to assist travelling through snow.

The tyres are made from a higher proportion of natural rubber and silica, which performs better than synthetic rubber during the winter months.

Winter tyres can also help a vehicle to stop earlier. The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association trialled winter tyres on a car travelling at 60 miles per hour on a wet road at 5C. The car stopped five metres shorter than with regular tyres.

According to UK tyre safety charity, TyreSafe, damp, wet weather can be the most dangerous conditions to drive in. This is because people alter their driving during snow and ice but don’t always recognise the danger of cold and wet roads, which look the same in summer and winter. This can result in drivers failing to identify dangerous driving conditions.

Summer tyres

As you would expect, summer tyres are designed for warmer weather and can assist with road grip and braking in hot weather.

All-season tyres

All-season tyres are a combination of both winter and summer tyres and could be used if you would rather not swap between two sets of tyres throughout the year. However, they do not perform as well as summer tyres in hot weather or winter tyres in cold weather, so their usefulness is questionable.

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