With four out of five winters colder than average, winter tyres offer comfort to safety-conscious motorists

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If you have been weighing up the pros and cons of fitting winter tyres – even if you wait until much later in the year – we think it’s worth mentioning that the UK has been getting colder – and that’s official.

Four out of five of our last winters have been chillier than average, according to the Met Office, making winter tyres a sound option for safety-conscious motorists in the UK.

The figures show that the average temperature for this winter was 3.3C (38F), 0.4C below the 30-year seasonal average of 3.7C (39F).

With the exception of 2011/12, which was milder at 4.6C (40F), every winter since 2007/08 has been colder than the average. The winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 were particularly chilly, with average temperatures of 1.6C (35F) and 2.4C (36F) respectively.

There is a common misconception that winter tyres are only necessary when there is ice or heavy snow, but that is not correct.

Whenever temperatures drop to below 7C regular “all season” tyres rapidly become less flexible so they lose their ability to grip the road. This dramatically increases your stopping distance, which can be very dangerous.

Meanwhile, winter tyres remain flexible and grip better when temperatures are low because they contain a greater amount of natural rubber and silicone. Irrespective of differing thread patterns they all have a large number of tiny lateral grooves called Sipes, these bite into the snow and ice and grip the road.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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