Winter tyre selection is not always that straight forward. You need to know and understand a bit about them before you can make your decision. It is not as easy as just taking a set; you will need to know what conditions you tend to drive in, what is allowed in your country and what type of vehicle you have.
Snow, ice or slush
Is your main driving on snow, ice or slush? Studded tyres perform better on ice than non-studded tyres. If you live in areas that have a lot of ice, like coastal areas or close to very big lake, you might need studded tyres.
When it comes to winter tyres you are often left with the decision if you should choose studded tyres or a non-studded tyres. Both are approved for winter conditions and are able to handle all the conditions such as snow, ice and slush. They can both manage to prevent slushplaning and ensure that snow doesn’t build up in the tyres. They have both been approved for winter use and have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall of the tyres. They should also only be used during the winter period, so you will need to also have a set of summer tyres.
From performance point of view, they both perform similarly
on snow, as on snow the tread pattern will have the biggest impact on the
performance. When it comes to ice, the studded tyres, that have metal studs
protruding from the tread, perform better. They are able to create better grip
with the metal studs that dig into the ice. The non-studded will use innovative
tread designs to create grip and also they have added grip particles that can
help create the necessary grip. One might wonder why should you not select a
The studded tyres are great on ice, but have similar
performance on snow, so if you are not mainly driving on ice, you might feel
that the non-studded tyres will be good enough. If you plan to drive to other
countries you are much more flexible with the non-studded tyres, as they are
allowed in all countries, while the studded are forbidden in some countries.
The studded tyres also have some other restrictions based on countries where
most countries limit the time period that the studded tyres can be used.
If both tyres are allowed, then it is often up to personal
preference. For some people a tyre are not winter tyres if they don’t have studs. This type of mindset can
be difficult to change, even though the non-studded tyres have improved so much
over the years that they are now equally good on snow and almost as good on ice.
So both can safely be used, but if you do wan to have the best possible grip on
ice, then you should choose studded tyres. If you are flexible, then choose the
non-studded tyres as you have more flexibility. For more
info regarding non-studded tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
Tyres are an important safety detail on your car, so the decision should be taken based on sound information. Wrong tyre selection can lower your safety and make you more likely to be in an accident. Since this is something that everyone wants to avoid, the decision should be well informed. You need to select tyres that are suitable for your car, your driving style and based on where you live and drive. If you optimize your tyres based on this you will make sure that you have tyres that will keep you safe.
The type of car you have can have an impact, if you have a
sports car you will need tyres with high speed rating to ensure that they can
handle the high speed, you will also need to make sure that if you have an SUV,
you get bigger dimension tyres especially made for SUVs. The same goes if you
choose an electric or hybrid car, as they need more wear resistant tyres to
compensate for the extra weight caused by the heavy battery packs and the
higher torque. The wrong choice can cause your tyres to wear out too fast and
if you don’t notice that you are running low on your tread depth you can be
driving with tyres that are not safe. Rotation of the tyres is important to
ensure an even wear between front and rear tyres, to ensure that they last
You need to select the correct tyres for the situation you
plan to drive in. If you plan to drive in winter conditions you will need to
get a set of winter tyres so that you can drive safely. Winter tyres are key
for safety during the winter season and actually already when the temperature
drops below zero you are better off using winter tyres and not summer tyres.
You also need to purchase SUV winter tyres if you have an SUV
and plan to drive in winter conditions. Despite the fact that all SUV tyres
look rugged enough to cope with any surface and weather condition, the winter
tyres have been optimized for winter conditions both when it comes to the
rubber compound used and the tread pattern used, so that they can excel in
winter conditions Summer tyres will become hard and have a tread pattern that
will not be able to deal with those conditions.
When driving during wintertime you definitely need winter tyres if you have winter conditions. Winter conditions include snow, ice, slush and low temperatures. Winter tyres have better performance versus summer tyres already when the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius. This is because the rubber compound in summer tyres have been optimized for warm temperatures. So they will not be soft and flexible at low temperatures, they will actually turn hard. Tyres achieve some of its grip through the fact that they are able to comply with the surface, pushing some of its rubber into the micro-cavities in the surface. When you don’t have this you will lose some of the grip. This is why it is important to already change as the temperature drops and not wait for the snow to arrive. When the snow arrives it is already too late for you to change, unless you can do it without driving somewhere.
When it comes to winter tyres, you have a few options depending on where you
live. The common winter tyres are only for winter use, so you will need to have
summer tyres as well and alternate between them depending on the season. Some
countries also allow all-weather tyres that have been
winter approved, which can provide all year round driving safety. This allows
you to use only one set and not have to worry about when to change tyres and
the beauty is that you are always ready to drive regardless of weather
If you select a dedicated winter, then you have the
non-studded tyres that are legal in all countries in Europe. They don’t have
metal studs and instead use unique tread pattern and grip particles to achieve
grip on both ice and snow. Some countries will allow for studded tyres, which
use the metal studs. They come with some limitations depending on countries.
Some countries only allow them for a certain time period and some don’t allow
them at all. So if you plan to drive across country borders with studded tyres,
you will need to check that you will not enter a country where they are not
allowed. They are though superior on ice, so they are often used in areas where
icy surfaces are more prevalent or you just want to make sure that you have the
best possible grip when you drive.
Safety of driving tends to come down to 3 main things, your own experience, the safety of your vehicle and then the tyres that you have mounted on your vehicle. Since cars are expensive you tend to be stuck with your vehicle choice and it is difficult to make a change in the short term. Your own experience comes over time and it is important that you prepare for all driving conditions, not only dry tarmac, which tends to be the easiest condition. You need to also be able to handle wet roads, rain and winter conditions. Winter condition are the most challenging conditions to drive in and everyone will need to practice driving under these conditions.
When it comes to tyres, this is the easiest one to impact.
You will need to make sure that you select tyre that can provide the best
safety performance for your vehicle during the conditions that you intend to
drive in. There will be different tyres depending on your vehicle. You will
need special tyres if you have an SUV or a hybrid or an electrical car. You will
also have different tyres if you aim to drive in winter conditions. You can
also depending on where you live choose an all year round tyre by choosing
winter approved all-weather tyres.
For winter tyres it is more important
from a safety perspective to ensure that you have the right tyres for the
conditions that you will face. This doesn’t mean that the summer tyres are less important,
this if of course not the fact, they are both important for your safety, the
winter tyres do however face more challenging conditions, so a bad choice can
lead to a higher degree of risk.
So in addition of the importance of the importance of
correct tyre selection, the car selection is important. This is one of the
reasons that more people are choosing safe cars and even SUVs that have
excellent safety records. If you do choose an SUV, make sure that you then
select SUV summer tyres and SUV winter tyres that can ensure that the safety of
the SUV is translated to safety on the road. Bad tyres can jeopardize the
safety of your vehicle as a safe vehicle with tyres with only limited grip can
not perform as intended. For more
info regarding premium tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
The tyres that you have on your car have the important task of keeping your car safely on the road and translating the performance of the car to the road. Wrong tyre selection can cause the whole driving experience to be bad and even dangerous. You will need to make sure that both your summer tyres and your winter tyres are of good quality. You need to replace the tyres when the tread depth has gone below 4 mm, as the tyres lose a lot of its key safety properties once you go below that threshold.
Winter tyres are available both as studded and non-studded.
They are both good for all the winter conditions that include cold temperatures
as well as snow, ice and slush. Winter tyres are actually better than summer
tyres at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, so you don’t have to wait for
snow or ice to arrive before you change tyres and enjoy the better safety of
the winter tyres at the low temperatures and you will then be ready for the
snow and ice as it arrives. Since it is very dangerous to drive with summer
tyres once the winter weather arrives, so you need to be prepared and already
have winter tyres on when it arrives.
Which tyre to choose, depends a bit on personal preference.
It also depends on how and where you drive and then the area where you live. If
you live in areas that have a lot of icy roads, then the studded tyres are to prefer as the
metal studs provide better grip on ice and packed snow. If you live in areas
where you have more snow-covered roads, then both tyre options are good.
However, if you tend to drive a lot to other parts or Europe during the winter
season, where studded tyres are not allowed, then it is better to choose
non-studded tyres, as they are allowed in all countries. You also have fewer
restrictions on them when it comes to the time period that you can use them.
It is important to buy premium tyres that will last and will
provide sufficient safety when you drive. You also need to make sure that you
have them mounted before the winter weather arrives, as they are of no use if
they are not on your car.
Safety is really the number one reason why you should change
to winter tyres, that is if you plan
to drive in winter conditions. For it to count as winter conditions you need
temperatures below zero degrees and that you have snow or ice.
When are winter tyres
better than summer tyres?
Winter tyres are better than summer tyres already when the
temperature drops below zero degrees. So you don’t need snow or ice for you to
change tyres and have better performance. On ice and snow the winter tyres are
far superior to summer tyres, which will provide almost no grip in these
What tyres are better
On snow both the studded and non-studded tyres are equally good. So the choice is up to you and your driving behavior. Non-studded tyres have a bit more flexibility, as there are no regulations limiting their use. This can be very useful if you plan to travel across country borders.
When it comes to winter tyres, not all the manufacturers have ventures into this category, as it is a more challenging tyre to build. The pioneer within this field is Nokian Tyres that have from they invented the category, been leading it in terms of safety and performance. Developed for best performance in the Finnish winter conditions, which is as harsh as it gets, have made them the go to winter tyre for when you want the best grip and safety. The brand Nokian Hakkapeliitta is synonymous with world-class winter tyres. If you get a set of these you know that it will not be winter conditions that drive you off the road.
They make the full range of tyres from summer
tyres, all-weather tyre and winter tyre that are both non-studded and
studded. They have over 100 patents when it comes to winter tyres, which is due
to the constant development and excessive testing of winter tyres in all
different conditions. They have been able to develop non-studded tyres that
have excellent grip on ice even thought they don’t have metal studs. This is
done through adding gripping particles to the tread as well as having a unique
and partially patented tread pattern. This allows the tyres to have similar
grip on ice and snow as the studded tyres.
These tyres you can use even on electrical or hybrid cars as
they have added canola oil that combined with the natural rubber provides
excellent tear strength. This provides them with very good wear resistance and
also ensures good resistance to impacts and punctures. The electrical cars are
know for having higher wear due to the heavier battery packs, but also that
they provide a higher direct torque, so this requires tyres that can handle the
higher wear. These tyres will provide you with that, so that you can use them
freely regardless of what type of car you are driving.
They also provide you with a low rolling resistance, so that
you will have low fuel consumption when you drive. For petrol cars, this will
mean less frequent stops at the petrol station and for electrical cars means
that you can get further on every charge. Both these will also save you money
while you drive during the whole lifetime of the tyre.
France is a big country and it has parts of the Alps within its territory, so you have quite different winter conditions based on where you live, work or drive normally. If you live in the northern part, the Alps or other wintery areas or the south the tyre options can be very different. It can be from having dedicated winter tyres or then the option of all-weather tyres or then managing with summer tyres all year round.
The tyre option is important to make sure that you an enjoy
problem free and safe driving. If you live in an area with proper winter, then
you will be best off with a dedicated winter tyre, where you mount them before
the winter weather arrives and then change to summer tyres as soon as the
winter weather ends. This will give you the best performance and safety when it
comes to grip and winter driving properties. You can choose between studded or
non-studded tyres, where the studded will have better grip on icy surfaces. It
can be the difference of getting up a steep icy hill versus not.
If you live in an area where you only have occasional winter
weather but you want to make sure that you are safe when driving in winter
conditions, a winter approved all-weather tyre is probably the best option for
you. These can be used for all year round driving or then just as winter tyres
and then you can change to summer tyres when the summer arrives. This will give
you optimal performance during the summer and still provide you with sufficient
protection during the winter if the snow would show up. This might be an option
if you have a high performance car, where you don’t want to limit any
performance during the summer, while you still want to be able to drive it all
year round and you can accept not the optimal performance during the winter.
In Provence and other similar areas where it rarely snows,
you are probably better off with just keeping the summer tyres on your car and
if it does snow, then just refrain from using the car. If you absolutely need
the car, then use all-weather tyres all year round.
As Europe is a big continent the weather varies a lot. The northern parts have 4 clear seasons and some of the southern parts have basically no winters. Therefore there are no European tyre regulations covering the whole continent. There are even different tyre options available, where the Nordics don’t have all-weather tyres, as there is a real long winter present, so the dedicated winter tyres are a better and safer option. While in the central parts of Europe an all-weather tyre is a perfect option for areas that have sporadic winter weather, so a tyre change might not make sense. Here you can have all year round safety within one tyre. If you don’t have any winter weather presence, you can use the summer tyres all year round.
The Nordic has laws stating that you have to have winter
tyres mounted during winter. For studded tyres there is an earliest
date when you can have them on your car and there is a last date you can have
them on in spring. Both these dates only apply if there are no winter
conditions, if you still have winter weather common sense applies and you will
not get fined. In central and southern Europe some countries have limitation on
the use of and some have made it mandatory. In addition to the Nordics, it is
mandatory to have winter tyres during the winter months in Estonia, Latvia
Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia. Then you have a few countries where
it is mandatory if the weather demands it, these are Luxembourg, Germany, Austria,
Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. Where Italy, Spain and France have
certain roads demands it. Then you have the countries where they studded tyres
are prohibited. These include Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary,
Great Britain, Czech Republic and Poland. In addition they are not allowed in
Switzerland on the highways.
These restrictions can of course cause some problems if you
plan to drive through Europe with studded tyres. In Germany you will get fined
and prohibited to continue before you can change to non-studded tyres. So this
can be quite costly. So it is important to plan your trips and also take it
into consideration when you make your tyre choice. When countries require
winter tyres, you will need to have tyres that have been approved for winter
conditions and have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall.