June 7, 2019Summer Tyres vs All-weather Tyres
If you ask around, chances are you’ll find mixed views on whether or not you need to use different sets of tyres throughout the year. Some will swear by it, some will say it’s just a waste of time and money. In the UK, the weather can change in an instant, and seasons don’t always follow the script. So, in this article, we’re looking at the benefits of both summer tyres and all-season tyres to help you decide what will work best for you and your car.
What is meant by ‘summer tyres?’
Summer tyres aren’t just for the summer, they’re actually designed for use while the temperature is above 7°C, and are recommended to be used from spring until the end of autumn. Summer tyres are manufactured with a robust rubber compound. Above 7°C, the tyres remain firm, allowing them to grip the road easily in warmer temperatures.
If you look at winter tyres, which are designed to perform best when it’s below 7°C, these will get softer in milder temperatures, meaning they won’t provide the same level of grip on the road.
Summer tyres maintain their rigidity in low temperatures, and this firmness makes it more dangerous at anything below 7°C as they cannot grip the roads as reliably.
Summer tyres also have a specific, shallow tread pattern to help resist aquaplaning and perform safely in the wet. This means that, even if it’s raining heavily, as long as the temperature remains above 7°C summer tyres will provide safe and reliable performance.
What are all-season tyres?
Also known as ‘all-weather tyres’, all-season tyres are designed to perform throughout the year. Does this mean they are better in summer than summer tyres? Or better than winter tyres in the winter? Not exactly. All-season tyres are built with balance in mind. They combine characteristics of both summer and winter tyres to make sure they can handle a range of conditions and temperatures. They provide adequate grip in warm conditions and decent grip in the snow. They’re significantly better than summer tyres in low temperatures — and vice versa — but they’re designed for all-round performance, so you should expect some compromise. An example of this is the typical focus on ensuring sturdy grip in the snow. For all-season tyres, you’ll find a groove pattern resembling something closer to a winter tyre than a summer tyre, meaning grip in dry conditions won’t be as good as summer tyres.
Which tyre should I use?
There are a few lifestyle and driving style considerations to take into account before making a decision. These include:
- Where you live — All-season tyres are ideal for low-mileage, city-based driving. The range of conditions are likely to be less extreme in the city, so you can expect a predictably safe level of performance whether it’s warm and dry, or cold and snowy. Conversely, summer tyres will suit more temperate climates where you’re driving longer distances. Also, if you live in an area where the temperature commonly drops below 7°C in different seasons, all-season tyres are recommended.
- How you drive — A faster, more ‘sporty’ driving style will suit summer tyres more in warmer conditions, as you’ll immediately feel the benefits of the added grip. Handling and steering will be tighter and more responsive than all-season tyres, which suit a more conservative driving style.
- What tyres you currently use — if you’re someone who drives on summer tyres (or winter tyres) all year round, then it’s definitely recommended to switch to all-season tyres. You’ll notice the performance difference, and you’ll be increasing the safety of your car over the long term. If you do switch between dedicated seasonal tyres and you’re fine with this, then there’s no reason to move to all-season tyres. Unless you’re trying to save money.
If you’re looking for dedicated seasonal tyres or you want to switch to a reliable set of all–season tyres, the team at Treadfirst is here to help. We stock and supply all kinds of tyres including winter, performance, 4×4 and van tyres for all makes and models of car, so whatever your requirements, you can rely on us to keep you safe on the road no matter what. Contact us today to find out more.