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Summer tyres or all season tyres: Which should you use in the summer?

For a long time, choosing tyres was a simple process - summer tyres for the summer and winter tyres for the winter.

Today, however, all season tyres offer a whole new range of possibilities, and it is not always easy to know what’s the best option for you. This is where Michelin comes in. Whether you’re thinking of going for summer or all season tyres, we’re here to give you all the information you need to help make the right decision.

braking on snow_ENG

braking on snow

(2) Average difference in the braking distance of a winter tyre compared to a summer tyre. Braking distance on a snowy surface
from 31 to 0 mph. TÜV SÜD 2013 tests, using 205/55 R16, conducted between -4°C and -6°C.

Summer tyres

In the United Kingdom, summer tyres are without a doubt the most well known. Designed to guarantee optimal performance in temperatures higher than 7°C, they perform best on dry and wet roads and are particularly useful in places where temperatures often reach 40°C for occasional or even prolonged periods of time.

The problem with these tyres is that the rubber hardens once the temperature starts to fall below 7°C, rendering them less effective in winter, especially on wet ground.

As a result, if you drive with summer tyres in cold wintery conditions, you are putting yourself at risk. This is particularly dangerous if you find yourself driving in snow with summer tyres on your vehicle, as your braking distance is generally two times longer than if you had certified winter tyres

braking on wet road_ENG

braking on wet road

(1) Average difference in the braking distance of a winter tyre compared to a summer tyre. Braking distance on a wet surface from 50 to 0 mph. TUV SUD 2013 tests, using 205/55 R15, conducted betwwen 4C and 6C.

All season tyres


All season tyres, or 4 season tyres as they are also commonly referred to, are hybrid tyres which are as comfortable driving in -10°C as they are in 30°C.

Their secret? They combine the features of both summer and winter tyres, allowing you to safely drive in dry and wet conditions, in winter and summer, as well as on snow.

This is the key benefit of all season tyres over summer tyres, as although they are not quite as effective as a winter tyre (which remain the ultimate snow tyre), all season tyres guarantee mobility and safety in the majority of snowy conditions.

This advantage does, however, have a downside. When temperatures go above 7°C, even the best all season tyres have a slightly greater braking distance, both on wet and dry ground, than that of summer tyres.

car edito pneu voiture hiver michelin crossclimate toute saison winter

car edito pneu voiture hiver michelin crossclimate toute saison winter

Relative performance of MICHELIN’s summer, winter and all season tyres

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Note: The stars reflect the level of indicative performance of the 3 types of tyres being compared.

The MICHELIN Primacy 4 and Pilot Sport 4 summer tyres perform best on dry and wet roads during hot weather. They have an excellent lifespan, as can be expected from the MICHELIN brand.
The MICHELIN CrossClimate+ tyres are an all season tyre which perform well in both summer and winter, even in snow. Their durability is on par with that of summer tyres, making them the leader in this category.
The MICHELIN Alpin 6 and MICHELIN Pilot Alpin 5 winter tyres are the best performing tyres for adverse winter weather, including snowy and icy conditions.

What are the differences between summer and winter tyres?


Summer tyres are designed to reach optimal performance in temperatures above 7°C. Their rubber and grooves offer excellent grip on both dry and wet roads. They also guarantee very good results in terms of comfort, durability and fuel consumption.

Unlike summer tyres, winter tyres perform best in temperatures lower than 7°C. Their rubber remains the same even in cold temperatures and their tread makes these tyres the perfect option for driving on dry, wet, snowy or icy ground. Winter tyres are recognisable by the 3PMSF symbol and the M+S marking, visible on the sidewall of the tyre. The 3PMSF symbol (3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake) represents a snowflake on a mountain with three peaks. The M+S marking signifies mud and snow.


How much will it cost to fit my car with tyres for summer?


Whether you’re fitting them to a family saloon, estate car, electric car, sports car, 4x4 or an SUV, choosing the right tyres for the summer season is essential. The cost depends on the size of your vehicle and the type of summer tyre you want. For example, a MICHELIN Primacy 4 tyre, available in 104 sizes (from 15 to 20 inches), find pricing online or with your local dealer. This summer tyre is equipped with Evergrip technology to ensure excellent braking on wet ground, even after some wear and without compromising its durability.

Unlike summer tyres, all season tyres can be safely used in winter, a factor which is reflected in their higher price. However, fitting your vehicle with all season tyres is still cheaper than buying sets of both summer and winter tyres. Available in 50 sizes, the Michelin CrossClimate+ range offers all season tyres which, as seen in the tables below, are number one in terms of longevity. These versatile tyres combine the technology of summer and winter tyres to offer a high level of performance and safety in all weather conditions. Their hybrid nature makes them economic in the long term.  Search for prices online, or find your local dealer.

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 Summer or all season tyres: Key considerations

The main consideration when buying new tyres is the kind of driving conditions you are likely to encounter with your vehicle.

If you live in an area where winters are mild, temperatures rarely fall below 7°C and you never encounter snow-covered roads, then summer tyres are without a doubt the best option for you.

If, however, you live in a region where temperatures often fall significantly below 7°C and where you are faced each winter with several days of travel on snow-covered roads (local snowfall, trips to ski resorts, occasional visits to family or friends in mountainous or snowy regions, etc.), then all season tyres will be the best choice for you.
Finally, if you regularly encounter snowy roads, or you live in or have to travel to areas which are difficult to access in winter (steep slopes, untreated roads etc.), then the best option for you will be to continue using summer tyres in summer and winter tyres in winter, which will require you to swap your tyres twice a year.

Our all season, summer and winter tyres

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