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There have been lots of posts on winter tyres before most of the snow came, but unless I've missed them, I haven't seen much about people's experiences of them in the snow. How have people found them? Worth the expense?

I bought a pair of snow socks and found them very good, not quite as good as chains for traction on snow but much quicker to put on and take off, so a very good investment but need to be used carefully if they are not to be worn out quickly on clear tarmac. I couldn't use chains on my up! black's wheels as they are too wide.
 

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In fifty years of motoring I have never had a set of winter tyres. I don't think I have missed out and have driven in all sorts of conditions.
 

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I bought winter tyres 4 years ago for the first time.Considering the benefits of wet grip, better ride comfort and a vast margin of safety for driving in wet, icy, snowy conditions etcI would not consider keeping the summer tyres on for winter any more. Consider also the cost oflosing a days pay not getting to work or losing your no claims discount on your insurance if you crash, more likely if you are on summer tyres.
As to snow socks and chains - limited use and I couldn't be bothered with the faff of taking them on / off several times in a journey.They cost too much too. A pair of snow socks is almost as much a a pairof winter tyres.
 

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I'm with Beevee on this one, I have never had winter tyres and have never felt the need for them. This is particularly so with the Up which copes brilliantly with the snow and no one will convince me that I need special tyres for when it is cold.

For the record, so far (touch wood) I have not crashed or been late for work due to my tyres.
 

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Hi I too have never used winter tyres or changed the tyres in the cold season although I do see the point for some people who maybe live in areas where they know that there is going to be lots of snow. Its hardly snowed in Manchester really this year so for me I'm quite glad i didnt change my tyres - however theres still time for more bad weather in which case I may have to re-assess the situation!!
 

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If you can afford a set of steelies with winter rubber it's a good investment. After removing my wheels I have noticed the weather has already marked polished area of my black's alloy. They were only unwashed for 2 weeks too!
 

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I was just thinking... I don't know anyone who's actually had Winter tyres, not liked them, and then gone back to Summers all year round. (i.e. the only people I've talked to who don't use them yet, have never had any). For me the videos of proper scientifically conducted comparative traction and grip tests between identical cars with Summer and Winter tyres with onboard data-loggers being conducted in Germany, Norway and Canada on cold dry roads, cold wet roads and snow were very impressive. Laps times, braking tests, G-force meters showing lateral G in corners up to the point the skid started, etc. Then, when I bought a set in 2007 and tried them over that Winter... the difference is amazing. I feel it's a small price to pay for keeping me safer every day from October to March, while not wearing out my Summer tyres. Two weeks ago at minus 4 one morning, I could twist the tread blocks like chewing gum.
 

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My understanding is that winter tyres are designed to be used when the temperature is below +7 degrees. I would have thought using them in the UK from October to March is a little excessive and inappropriate. I was surprised to read a report from the AA that during the winter of 2010/11 some insurance companies increased premiums and even refused insurance to motorists using winter tyres. Whilst I understand the value of winter tyres in the designed for conditions, there is no substitute for driving appropriately.
 

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The insurance thing is now sorted, i let mine know without any charge and quite rightly so!

I will be running mine late October to march next year
 

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I wonder how many days during that period the temperature will have been below +7 degrees? Today we are in double figures!
 

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I've fitted winter tyres to my cars for the last three years and can say that they greatly improve the feeling of grip at low temperatures (sub 8 degrees from Nov - Mar usually where I live). I've driven on snow on a number of occasions and my cars have felt quite 'sure footed' with these tyres fitted.

To me fitting winter tyres is just about reducing risk - less chance of getting stuck, sliding into a tree/ditch/another vehicle etc. Of course, winter tyres will not help you if the roads are clogged with other vehicles (without winter tyres) that can't get traction on the snow.

As for snow chains, I keep a set of these in the car but have not had to use them as yet. I view these as my 'get out of jail' card, so to speak, if I do get stuck.
 

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I am a new winter tyre convert - even though we don't see that much snow, typically.

Yes the up! copes well with the conditions on standard tyres, but the extra grip and reassurance afforded by winter tyres is worth every penny and as you can only use 1 set of tyres at a time, they cost very little more in the long run (once you have a 2nd set of wheels).

With all the rain we've had they have been great too and you would be surprised how often the temperature is below 7 degrees - it may be 10+ during the day but at 6:30 this morning ( when I started my 40+ mile commute) it was 6 degrees.

I agree you should always drive according to the conditions - but unexpected things happen whilst driving and when it's snowy ABS is next to useless on standard tyres - winter tyres give the ABS system a chance to function by giving additional grip.
 

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(The point about driving appropriately is of course right, and applies whatever tyres one has).
I think the variance between air and road temperatures varies by day and night, and also by season. There's a lag between cooling and warming of air and roads, and the lag is different in the Spring from what it is in Winter and Autumn. Anyway, I think what that means is that the information we get from e.g. weather forecasts on daily temperatures relates only to air temperatures, not roads. So if the maximum air temperature given for a certain day at noon is 10 degrees, one may have driven to work on a road which was below or around freezing early that morning. Here is some information which refers to a Met Office study:

'This follows Met office data showing that the average temperature levels
last year remained at below 7 °C for six months, making cold weather
tyres suitable for use from October ""“ March.'

http://www.blackcircles.com/tyres/winter-tyres

Also, it's not the case that Winter tyres suddenly become dangerous or inappropriate if the road is 8 degrees or higher. They just wear out slightly faster. Winters at 8 or 10 degrees grip much better than Summers at 1 degree, so on average, it makes sense to fit them and keep them on all Winter. Racing teams and drivers are very aware of this direct traction relationship between track temperature and rubber compound, and have a number of different tyres to choose from for maximum grip.
 
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