Do I need all-season tyres?
Most drivers will find all-season tyres ideal for their driving needs for the whole of the year. They offer excellent grip and wear in warm or cold weather and save the bother of having to change between summer and winter tyres.
Unless you expect to drive on snow-bound roads, all-season tyres will easily cope with cold, wet, slush and light snow, which are the typical conditions found on UK roads in winter.
What are all-season tyres?
All-season tyres do what their name suggests: they provide good traction, handling and braking all-year round. They are sometimes also known as ‘M+S’ (mud and snow) or multi-season tyres. There will be extreme conditions such as very heavy snowfall where they are not as good as a specialised tyre, but for most drivers they are a good choice.
The rubber on an all-season tyre uses more silica in its mix than a summer tyre but not as much as a pure winter tyre, so it sits between these two types. The tread has a more open pattern to disperse water effectively but they won’t offer quite as much grip in hot conditions as a summer tyre.
How do all-season tyres work?
All-season tyres are a compromise because they are trying to be all things to all drivers. However, technology has improved so much that all-season tyres are the best solution for most drivers unless you’re looking for the ultimate in grip for performance or snow driving. With a compound that uses more silica than summer tyres and sipes like winter tyres, the tread blocks can move more readily to generate heat that gives grip in colder weather. The rubber compound and tread aren’t as extreme as pure winter tyres, so an all-season tyre can be used in much warmer weather with no loss of traction, wear or performance.
Choosing the right all-season tyre
For most drivers, a set of all-season tyres is more cost-effective than swapping between summer and winter tyres, and it saves having to store a set of tyres when they’re not being used. If most of your driving is in town or on the motorway, all-season tyres are ideal. It’s also worth noting that a good quality set of all-season tyres will last longer than if you alternate between sets of cheap winter and summer tyres.
There’s a wide selection of all-season tyres available in a big spread of sizes, so finding something to suit your budget is simple.