Winter tyres

Winter tyres

Why change tyres for cold weather?

There are plenty of reasons to consider buying winter tyres, beyond the fact that the use of winter tyres in some colder European countries is required by law:

  • They’re more effective in colder temperatures: made from specially formulated tread rubber, winter tyres make it easier for you to control your car on icy and snowy roads.
  • In the cold, they offer superior starting, stopping and turning than a summer or all-season tyre.
  • Studs: some winter tyres are studded for extra-strong grip - crucial in places that get tough ice all winter long.
  • Confidence and control: most drivers find that winter tyres give them that extra security when they’re driving in challenging winter conditions.
  • Cost effective: Summer tyres will wear out more quickly than winter tyres in cold temperatures.

Winter tyre technologies

  • Multiple Blade System: each type of blade excels in particular conditions, making the tyre suitable for all kinds of winter weather.
  • Dual Silica Compound: A dual silica compound that guarantees low wear and tear, and improves acceleration.

Buying winter tyres

Do your research

You can recognise a winter tyre by the 3 Peaks Mountan Snowflake (PMSF) symbol on its sidewall.

An EU tyre label gives you information about safety and environmental features, and all new tyres come with one. However, the EU tyre label doesn’t cover winter performance characteristics, so as well as asking your local dealer, it’s a good idea to seek out some independent tyre tests.

Always buy a full set

Mixing winter and summer tyres can make slippery conditions more dangerous and affect how well your vehicle handles, especially if the tyres have different tread patterns and performance features. For confident, safer driving, make sure all your tyres match.

Store them properly

Look after them, and your winter tyres will last as long as your summer tyres. Store them in special bags, on their sides (never tread-side down). If you don’t have the space to keep them where you live or work, your dealer might know somewhere you can store them.

 

Stick to the law

If winter tyres are a legal requirement, note down the date you need to have them fitted. Similarly, studded tyres can only be used at certain times and in certain places.

Great driving in cold weather

Driving in snow, slush and ice brings its own challenges. Here are a few tips to consider:

Keep your speed down

You shouldn’t exceed the maximum speed that your vehicle recommends for winter tyres – it’s often lower than that of summer tyres.

Check the tyres for wear

Check your tyre pressure and tread depth regularly. Dunlop recommends a minimum tread depth of 4mm for winter tyres to ensure optimal performance, but in colder countries where using winter tyres is mandatory, tread depth will be specified by law.

Use a higher gear to start and pull away

Spinning your wheels can dig the vehicle deeper into the snow.

Don’t ‘pump’ your brakes

If you have anti-lock brakes, keep a steady pressure on the brake pedal instead.

Keep your distance

Braking distances increase in snow and icy conditions. 

Be careful over bridges or passes

They are well known locations for icy patches, so lift your foot slightly off the accelerator when going over them.

If you become stuck in snow, don’t accelerate too hard

There’s a danger you’ll just end up deeper in a hole. Use the lowest possible gear and rock the tyres back and forth until you’ve got enough forward motion to push yourself forward.

Avoid distractions

You’ll need all the concentration you can muster in heavy snowy conditions. Don’t take calls or do anything else that could distract you.