With the colder weather sure to come to the UK soon, and the prospect of yet another freezing winter a real possibility, British road users will soon find themselves looking at more difficult conditions when they're out on the road. For most, this will mean driving slower and more carefully, while others will go a step further and fit winter tyres to their car in order to give themselves that little bit of extra grip.
Designed for optimum performance in conditions where the temperature is colder than seven degrees celsius, the hybrid rubber compound of winter tyres does not harden in the same way as normal ones do in cold conditions. This means they grip the road a lot better in the most challenging road conditions.
If you're considering putting winter tyres on your car, what are the top brands around in terms of performance and safety? We look at a few of the best.
According to Evo magazine's test of a number of different winter tyres, for which it looked at a range of factors such as performance in snow, wet and dry conditions, as well as the subjective feel of the ride, Continental is one of the very best brands.
In the tests, the magazine said that the Continental winter tyres scored in the top three for every category, and while it may not have the same sort of steering capabilities of some of the other brands, it does offer a very stable, responsive and safe drive that can reassure drivers when they're out on the road.
Probably the most consistent brand in Evo's tests, Michelin's winter tyres score well across all types of road condition, as well as feeling very good to steer subjectively, the reviewers said, making them one of the best choices for this winter.
Thanks to the UK's unpredictable winter and the fact that weather can change at the drop of a hat, the fact these tyres will perform well across a number of conditions will stand drivers in good stead.
Great in the snow and wet but not top of the table when it comes to the dry conditions, Dunlop winter tyres will be a great option if we happen to have a particularly nasty winter where road conditions are difficult throughout.
In terms of safety in the snow, reviewers noted that the tyre did not need to see a drop in speed in order to feel like it was handling the road conditions well.
One of the very best tyres in the wet, this could be argued as the best British winter tyre thanks to the fact winter weather here is more often than not cold and wet rather than icy or snowy. The Goodyear tyre handled well in heavy rain and scored very high when it came to dealing with aquaplaning, which can give drivers peace of mind when they're out in challenging conditions.
The tyre also performed well in the snow, but reviewers noted that the ride was not as good as other tyres overall.
A jack of all trades, the Pirelli tyre was a strong performer across the board without having topped the table in any of the performance metrics. The tyre's best quality was braking, particularly in wet conditions, which gives it a real positive for British drivers.
In terms of handling, the Pirelli also performed at its best in the wet conditions, while its snow lap was the slowest of all the tyres.
Posted by Danielle Barge