Think about winter tyres before a trip to Europe

2nd January 2014

For many the winter months means looking forward to a summer break when you can get away from it all and take in some rays. For others, the turn of the new year and the possibility of snow means just one thing – time for a skiing trip to Europe.

Often the relatively short distance between the UK and some of Europe's top skiing resorts and destinations means driving is an option.

More often than not this will mean driving on roads covered in snow and ice, posing a significant challenge for any driver, particularly those not used to such tough conditions.

In Europe, snow is much more common in the winter and in many cases drivers will have two sets of tyres – one for the summer and one for the winter.

Fitting winter tyres can help a driver deal with the treacherous conditions much easier, as they reduce stopping time and increase grip, both of which come in very handy when there is a layer of snow between a vehicle and the road.

Although there has been an increase in winter tyre sales in recent years in the UK, due to a number of harsh winters which created travel chaos, many drivers are unaware of the benefits of fitting the compounds to their vehicles.

Adding winter tyres to a car can make a significant difference when travelling to ski resorts and driving through the snow, increasing safety dramatically.

However, it can also have a positive impact on drivers' pockets as in some EU nations on the spot fines can be handed out should a vehicle become stuck and be found to have the wrong tyres fitted for the conditions.

Drivers considering fitting winter tyres should always check that they are in good general condition, their pressures are checked and there is a minimum of 3mm of tread on the winter tyres.

This process should also be carried out on any spare tyres to ensure they are suitable to be fitted to the car at a moment's notice.

Posted by Danielle Barge