With the cold season now in full swing, many responsible people who care about their own and others’ safety are looking to get a set of winter tyres for their cars. The issue a lot of them run into, though, is how to pick the right tyres with optimum performance that would also get them the best deal. Winter tyres are not cheap, so it pays to do some research so you can get the most for your money.
Before we get to the parameters one needs to consider when choosing winter tyres, let us do a quick recap of why they are necessary in the first place. If you regularly drive on snow and ice, you need no convincing as to the importance of tyres made specifically to deal with those conditions. But that is not the only situation when winter tyres are of use. These tyres are made of softer rubber which not only perform better in cold temperatures, that is they stop and go better than regular tyres, but because of that very softness of compound they are also more comfortable and result in smoother ride and handling. So it comes down to safety and convenience, two factors which are the top of every one’s list of most important factors in a car.
As for how to choose the right winter tyres, there are some general guidelines that could of great help. First of all, we prefer to buy tyres online not just because online retailers have bigger stocks and greater variety, but also because they offer nice and easy to use search tools which makes picking the right tyres a joy. What is more, retail shops often stock on winter tyres in autumn, which means if you are shopping in winter most of the good choices are gone. Shops also invariably have brands they like to shift first because it gives them a better deal with the supplier or they make more profit off of them. So when you ask them for guidance what they do is consider their own good and not yours. That is not the case with online shopping where there is no pushy salesman to bug you into buying something you don’t want or need. Now, when you buy online you do have to find a shop to fit the tires for you. But a quick comparison between online and offline prices will make you realize that overall you are better off this way and save more money.
Depending on the driving conditions you face where you live, you may want to choose studded winter tyres which have metal studs built into the tread for extra grip. These are extreme solutions for extreme situations. Most people can get by with regular winter tyres, as long as they are made by a renowned brand with good reputation, and ideally have a good warranty. As for what brands are best in business, your best source is internet forums where users share their real-life experience. Magazines who conduct tests are often not completely unbiased. We have done this research, and we have concluded the top brands for winter tyres include Continental, Hankook, Pirelli and Michelin. This leads us to another cool thing about online shops. When you choose the option for winter tyres their search tools automatically narrows the result based on the most popular brands. Needless to say, consulting with the your car’s manufacturer’s manual is always a wise thing to do, as they often winter test their cars with a certain brand of tyre and so theoretically they should work better with that.
When you have picked your type, studded or regular, and the brand, make sure you order four matching tyres. Some people say you can get by with only fitting the driven wheels with winter tyres. But that is, put bluntly, half-assing it! Yes, driven wheels are important for taking off and cornering on front-wheel-drive cars. But if you go into a slide on a snowy road they are not sufficient to provide the grip you need to regain control. You want equal grip on all four corners of the car. Four matching winter tyres also help with the braking by uniformly increasing the traction across all four wheels. It is recommended that you choose you winter tyres a little bit wider than the standard set. For instance, if your summer tyres have a width of 205, you can go with 215 for winter tyres. They fit on your stock rims, and they deliver even more traction because they have a bigger contact surface with the tarmac. They also improve overall stability of the car or normal and slippery roads alike.