All season tyres in the UK

 

 

Reliable car tyres will not only keep you safe, they’ll also help your car pass its MOT, and could even reduce your car insurance premiums. For a dependable, durable solution, UK motorists should consider all weather tyres.  
 

What are all season tyres?
 

Otherwise known as 4 all season tyres, all weather tyres or cross climate tyres, these can help keep drivers safe year-round.

These particular tyres are made with an intermediate rubber compound, providing the ‘best of both worlds’ from summer and winter tyres. They have a reliable grip on warm roads for summer driving, but they also do not harden as much as summer tyres in winter. They offer a unique tread pattern which adapts to both wet and icy conditions.

 

How do I know I need all season tyres?
 

All weather tyres are ideal for motorists living in moderate climate regions (with winters where it doesn’t drop below -5 °C), providing an effective grip all year round. If you live in an area where snow is likely to be cleared from the roads, then they are an affordable, all-round solution.

 

Do all season tyres last as long as summer tyres?
 

While 4 all season tyres have a longer tread life, summer tyres are designed for more high-performance driving at temperatures of 7°C or more. Therefore, all season tyres last longer over changing weather conditions, but summer tyres provide better cornering and braking for warmer temperatures.

 

Why do we need them in the UK?
 

With Britain’s temperate climate, we are unlikely to see as extreme weather conditions as other areas of the world, where winter or and summer tyres may be more appropriate. However, Britain is also known for having “four seasons in one day”. Cross climate All season tyres provide protection against aquaplaning and icy conditions, as well as extra excellent grip for warm roads in warmer, drier conditions.

 


Pros and cons of all season tyres
 

If your car needs a seasonal refresh, here are the pros and drawbacks of all season tyres.

Pros Cons
All-round protection for changing weather conditions/temperate climates Not as high-performance as summer tyres
Less sporty performance / driving experience than particular certain summer tyres
High-density sipes for icy conditions Slightly more expensive than summer tyres
Winter tyres provide more dedicated winter performance
Unique tread pattern to avoid aquaplaning Lower fuel economy in cold weather


 

What should I check before driving in bad conditions?
 

If you do have to venture out into bad weather, remember to check: 

  • The weather forecast – adjust your trip accordingly
  • Tyre tread depth – place a 20 pence piece in the tyre treads. If you cannot see the inner ridge of the coin (3mm), the tyre is safe. Or you could also use a tread depth gauge or tread wear indicator for a more precise measurement of your tread depth.
  • Headlights
  • Brake lights – ask a friend or use reflections
  • Oil and fluid – park on a flat surface, look at the coolant level and use a dipstick to check oil

 

What should I bring with me before driving in bad conditions?
 

Be prepared with a winter driving kit, including a scraper, first aid kit, torch, foil blanket, high-vis vest and a warning triangle. For summer conditions, keep plenty of water onboard and make sure all your car’s fluids are topped up. Park in the shade and read the labels on hay fever medications to avoid drowsiness.

Finally, keep a charged mobile in the car, but never use this while driving.

 


Can I drive in the snow with them?
 

It is generally not advised to drive in snow with all season tyres. Their intermediate rubber compounds help them adjust to icy conditions; however, they do not provide the same traction in snow as winter tyres.

Goodyear all season tyres meet high standards for performance in winter conditions and bear the same ‘M+S‘ and ‘Snowflake’ designations as winter tyres, so if you get light or infrequent snowfall and temperatures that rarely drop below freezing in winter, then you might want to consider all-season tyres.

That being said, bouts of extreme snow are very rare in the UK, so if you are looking for an all-rounder that can handle ice, all season tyres are a safe alternative. There is no legal requirement for winter tyres in the UK, unlike some European countries such as Sweden. Make sure you’re aware of the dangers of winter driving before you buy.

 

Why you should never fit only 2 winter tyres


Where can I get them and what should I ask for?
 

All season tyres are available at reputable mechanics garages and tyre dealers, and some online outlets retailers. Remember to specify your current tyre size and type, which you can find on the side of your tyres. Some retailers may also ask for a speed index, although the minimum is up to 87mph.

For safety, you can also check the traction ratings (A, AA, B or C – AA being the best) or the mileage. Narrower tread patterns are ideal for wetter climates.

You should also make sure that you fit all four wheels with all season tyres. By just changing the tyres on one axle, you drastically effect the amount of grip the car has, creating an imbalance that can cause the car to skid.