Do winter tyres really make a difference?

22 November 2013

by: Paul Gibbs

Although unseasonably mild and just out of the best summer for decades, Britain has been hammered by gales and there’s talk of a bitterly cold winter ahead. This probably means it's going to be warm and wet. But let's say the forecasts are correct.
 
How do you prepare for the inevitable paralysis that grips the nation at the first flurry? Easy, if you’re thinking of changing your car: buy a 4x4. They seem ideal, don’t they? The heightened driving position, improved visibility, general practicality and (be honest!) the feeling of superiority.
 
As a car dealership, we love this line of thought – but it’s not actually true that you need a 4x4 to get around. In Scandinavia, 4x4 sales as a proportion of total vehicle sales are far smaller than here in the UK, and it’s much the same story in Switzerland. Most cars there are shod with winter tyres instead. In Sweden, vehicles are required to wear winter tyres by law between December 1st and March 31st.
 
That’s because winter tyres are the right tools for the job. Most modern cars are front-wheel-drive, and with the weight of the engine and differential over the front wheels helping traction, winter tyres are the best way to get more grip. A normal car with winter tyres will outperform a 4x4 on all-seasons or summer tyres in the snow every time. They’re also a lot less expensive than a new off-roader, which will only be more expensive to run the 363 days of the year you don’t need it.
 
Unconvinced? Great, we've got some fantastic deals available on the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai, ŠKODA Yeti and Fiat Panda 4x4! Better to be safe than sorry. See you soon!

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