Bognor Tyre and Exhaust

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Are winter tyres necessary?

When it comes to saving money on your car steering away from winter tyres is one of the most obvious solutions. With the unpredictable winter weather in Sussex are winter tyres really necessary? This blog discusses why winter tyres are one of the best gifts you could get your car this Christmas...

Winter tyres are not just for snow

A common misconception is that winter tyres are just for when there is snow on the ground. In fact, they can make a difference to the control of your vehicle on wet, icy or even muddy road surfaces (perfect for Sussex country lanes). Tests carried out by the British Tyre Manufacturers’ association even found that a car braking at 60mph on a wet road at 5℃ stopped 5 metres (one car length) earlier when fitter with winter tyres (read the full report here).

Winter tyres will help with road safety

Most drivers know that snow and ice can dramatically impact their steering, braking and acceleration due to reduced tyre grip. However, even cold and damp roads can increase the risk of an accident if the tyres aren’t suited to road conditions. The UK is lagging behind in the uptake of winter tyres, and in many other European countries winter tyres are a legal requirement for several months of the year. Although Britain's weather is much more mild than a number of these countries the winters here have become harsher over the past few years. Investing in winter tyres will allow you to drive on wet, flooded or icy roads with ease, without putting your safety at risk.

Your regular tyres aren’t designed for harsh weather conditions

If you have ‘ordinary’ car tyres you will see performance start to drop as soon as temperatures fall below 7℃. The rubber of the tyres will get stiffer as temperatures drop, reducing the ability to grip. In contrast, winter tyres are made of a different material which stays soft and allows for good surface grip well below 0℃. Additionally, unlike your regular tyres winter tyres have a tread pattern which helps clear water and will reduce aquaplaning.

When it comes to deciding on whether you need winter tyres consider how you use your car


If you live in the countryside (or just enjoy taking the scenic route) back roads can get very muddy and icy. Consider investing in winter tyres to keep you safe, or look for alternative routes which are regularly salted and not prone to flooding.

If you commute you’ll probably do the majority of your driving in the morning and late at night when temperatures are colder and visibility is reduced. As mentioned above your regular tyres aren’t designed for temperatures below 7℃, causing your vehicle to be less responsive. Winter tyres will allow you to drive as usual, if driving without them be extra cautious and ensure you leave an adequate amount of distance between you and other vehicles.

If you rarely use your car, and you can avoid driving in harsh conditions you may not be able to justify the expense of winter tyres. A great alternative for you is the all-season tyre, made with a rubber and tread that can be used all year round. This tyre will not be quite as effective as having separate summer and winter tyres, but are great if you want to be prepared and stay safe on the roads.

We care about your safety

If you’ve decided that winter tyres aren’t for you please make sure you take care of your existing tyres (read our blogs on tyre care tips for winter), and avoid driving in harsh weather conditions. If you do decide to fit your car with winter tyres we’re open Monday-Saturday morning, and will always do our best to fit you in as soon as possible.

If you should have any vehicle emergencies over the Christmas period our Bognor Regis Garage has normal opening hours on all days except the 25th and 28th December, and 1st January. 

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