All-season or winter tyres: which should you use?

All-season or winter tyres

While there are three different types of tyres that we can use on our vehicles here in the UK, most of us only use summer tyres. These tyres are designed to be excellent in the dry and the wet, but their performance can decrease as the temperature drops and challenging winter conditions take over. That’s where all-season and winter tyres come in.

Our advice below will explain the benefits and differences between winter and all-season tyres so that you can decide which option is best for you.

What are all-season tyres?

All-season tyres, or all-weather tyres as they are sometimes known, are designed to perform year-round. Performing much better than summer tyres in colder temperatures, they benefit from a softer compound and feature special tread patterns.

As such, the tyres are easy to drive with stable cornering and strong traction in both wet and dry conditions. On wet roads, the specially designed tread blocks ensure smooth water evacuation, reducing the risk of hydroplaning. For when winter strikes, their high-density grooves are effective at helping the tread bite the surface of the road, providing additional grip in icy and snowy conditions.

Why use all-season tyres?

Why use all-season tyres?

All-season tyres can be expected to work better in wintry conditions than a summer tyre and better in summer conditions than a winter tyre. This makes them a great year-round option.

As a result, they are a great choice for those who only want to use one tyre year-round and don’t want the hassle of having to change tyres twice a year. For those driving in the UK, where the winters are milder, an all-season tyre is the best option.

What are winter tyres?

Winter Tyres

Winter tyres are made from a much softer rubber compound. This softness means that they remain more pliable in the cold than a summer tyre, giving you more grip.

The ultimate tyre for winter conditions, winter tyres also feature a tread pattern with fine grooves in each block, allowing them to perform better in snow. However, unlike all-season tyres, they are not designed to perform on summer roads, and you’d need to change between summer and winter tyres twice a year.

When should I change to winter or all-season tyres?

As all-season tyres perform well year-round, once they’re installed, you don’t need to worry about changing them. If you’re considering upgrading to some all-season tyres, it’s best to do so before the temperatures drop below 7 degrees, usually around October.

You should only consider changing to winter tyres if you are expecting to regularly drive in snow and freezing temperatures, in which case you would need to install them before this extreme weather arrives.

When should I change to winter or all-season tyres?

It’s advised by leading tyre manufacturers that, as a minimum, all tyres are changed in axle pairs, to ensure optimum vehicle performance.

If you’re considering changing to all-season or winter tyres from summer tyres, it’s advisable to consider changing all four tyres at the same time, for optimum vehicle and tyre performance.

Hopefully, that helps you understand the difference between winter and all-season tyres and will help you choose the best option for you. For extra help picking specific tyres, please head over to our Car Tyre Buyers Guide. If you’re unsure what size tyre your car needs, use our vehicle registration tool to help.

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