Winter Car Tips

2. DON’T FORGET YOUR TYRES

There’s a reason you see those big RWD BMWs tooling around snowy alpine passes in Europe while the same cars here can’t negotiate a mildly icy traffic island without ending up pointing the wrong way. It’s not (well, not always) the driver. It’s the fact they’re all running proper winter tyres.

They haven’t made it compulsory in the UK just yet, because apparently it doesn’t get cold enough. Although I’ve been to Scotland a few times in February and I happen to disagree. In many parts of Europe though, Germany in particular, you have to run winter tyres during the icy season by law. And there’s a simple reason for that – they’re freaking awesome! Don’t just take my word for it either, ask anyone who’s experienced winter rubber
and they’ll tell you the same.

The use of different tread patterns and compounds gives vastly superior grip in temperatures –7 ̊Centigrade. Where summer tyres will harden and suffer from reduced performance in cold conditions, winter tyres are designed to stay pliant, offering exceptional handling and braking efficiency. They’re so popular nowadays that some dealers, such as ATS Euromaster, will flog you a set of winter wheels and tyres and offer storage for your summer items in one of their network of ‘tyre hotels’. Yep, now I’ve officially heard it all.

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