29 December 2009
The benefits of winter tyres

There’s a motoring forum I like to read and over the past week or so lots of the participants have been singing the praises of winter tyres.  I must admit I’d never heard of such things until last week’s snows but it seems they really do do the business.

Here’s an unimpartial video:

Biggish difference and given the Met Office’s forecast of a mild winter likely to be matched with precisely the sort of conditions they were designed for.  The only obstacles are the cost and finding somewhere to store the summer tyres.

PermalinkFeedback (4)Roads


  1. The narrator neglected to mention that the testing people used two identical BMW 5 series cars with (presumably) identical engines. On first viewing, I thought the black one was a Toyota, and only realized it was another Beamer on backtracking.

    As well as buying winter tyres, perhaps it would also be a good idea to make sure the car you’re driving isn’t a Lexus. My boss recently wrote off his after brake failure - and he hasn’t been the only one. I told him he’d be better off with a BMW or a Mercedes, and he has now bought a new C-class Merc (prefer the Beamer myself).

    I also wonder about the following: do the world’s most popular “compact” cars - the Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Focus and so on - have a better reputation for reliability and safety than their higher-spec but lower selling “executive” brethren - like the Passat/Audi, Camry/Lexus, Accord/Acura and whatever it is Ford makes these days…?

    It seems like madness, but then the Lexus brake problem is unbelievable - coming from a Toyota subsidiary. I never hear of any serious safety or reliability complaints against the bread and butter cars of Toyota and Honda. Or am I simply ignorant?

    Posted by mike on 29 December 2009 at 10:53pm

  2. In customer satisfaction surveys in the UK people like BMW, VW, all Japanese manufacturers and (bizarrely) Skoda always do well.  Peugeot, Renault, Fiat and Range Rover always do badly.

    Mercedes managed to go from hero to zero in the late 90s but have since recovered.

    I am not sure if you are familiar with Wheeler Dealers but a few years ago they had a go at a Lexus LS400.  They were struggling to find anything wrong with it.

    My guess is that this Lexus problem is temporary.

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on 30 December 2009 at 09:01pm

  3. In Norway everyone drives on snow chains in the winter. I’m not sure if they’re available, appropriate, or legally allowed in the UK.  There are also tyres with studs.  Piggdekk, I seem to remember the Norwegians calling them. I know people who live on steep hills who are still struggling to drive anywhere.

    Availability in the UK may be problematic. After a quick look, Kwik-Fit don’t seem to have anything to say about them, and eTyres has an article about the lack of a UK market for winter tyres but no obvious price list for them. Perhaps we don’t get quite enough bad weather.

    Posted by Rob Fisher on 31 December 2009 at 03:15am

  4. Interesting to read this article almost a year on from the big freeze. I’ve seen a lot of retailers over the past few months making a big push to raise awareness for winter tyres.

    Kwik Fit, Blackcircles.com, mytyres, etc all seem to have finally cottoned on and are setting up areas on their site specifically to push winter tyres to the public.

    Posted by Ken Davids on 22 October 2010 at 04:11pm

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.