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Can I run winter tyres all year?

It may be tempting to run only one set of cold weather tyres all year round, but is it really a good solution?

When do I need winter tyres?

In the UK, contrary to many mainland European countries, it is not compulsory to keep two sets of wheels for summer and winter. But, it is recommended to use winter tyres (also called cold weather tyres) when the temperature drops consistently below +7°C - mainly for better braking, grip and traction performances.

What are the cons of using winter tyres in summer?

Summer tyres guarantee the maximum safety performance during summer either on dry and wet roads. As an illustration, breaking from 80 to 0 kph between 11 to 26°C, on wet roads will take 4m shorter with summer tyres than with winter tyres. On dry road, braking from 50 to 0 kph under the same temperature condition will take 1.5m shorter with summer tyres than with winter tyre.

Test realised by TÜV SÜDin 2013 on dimension 205/55 16 H.

There is one type of winter certified tyre though that you can use through summer: the MICHELIN CrossClimate. It is the first summer tyre with winter certification. It is the best option for drivers who face sudden weather change and occasionally experience snowfall.

One last tip for the trip

Did you know that your tyres’ pressure decreases with the temperature? For example, if a tyre has a pressure of 2 bar (29 psi) at 20 °C, the pressure may be only 1.8 bar (26 psi) at 0 °C. So it is really important to check your pressure at least once a month.

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