Tyres FAQs

Your one stop spot for choosing, buying and maintaining the right tyres for your vehicle and your budget.

Recommended to fit winter tyres

Winter tyres are not mandatory, however the use of Winter equipment like Winter chains or spikes are required on specific roads.

Recommended to fit winter tyres

Norwegian law requires "tyres with sufficient grip" and at least 3mm tread. The Scandinavian Tire & Rim Organization (STRO) recommends fitting winter tyres for Winter driving.

Mandatory to fit winter tyres

All vehicles driving on snow covered roads must have winter tyres (or all-season tyres marked M&S/mud and snow) during the winter season (from 1 November to 15 April) and if roads have a covering of snow, slush or ice outside these dates. Tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 4mm.

Mandatory to fit winter tyres

Germany has recently (4 December 2010) introduced new regulations requiring all passenger cars and motorbikes including vehicles from foreign countries to be fitted with winter tyres or all season tyres on all axles when conditions are wintry. Winter tyres (or 'all season' tyres) should bear the mark M&S or the snowflake symbol on the side wall.

Mandatory to fit winter tyres

Winter tyres, marked M+S (with or without spikes/studs), with a tread depth of at least 3mm are compulsory from 1 December until 31 March for Swedish registered vehicles and trailers and also for foreign registered vehicles.

Recommended to fit winter tyres

Snow tyres are not compulsory but vehicles not equipped to travel through snow and which impede traffic are liable to a fine.

Recommended to fit winter tyres

Winter tyres are recommended when driving in Andorra and snow chains must be used when road conditions or signs indicate on at least two drive wheels. Only use snow chains when there is sufficient snow covering - a fine may be imposed if damage is caused to the road surface.

Recommended to fit winter tyres

From 15th October to 15th April vehicles must be equipped with cold weather tyres or snow chains in the Val d'Aosta area.

Mandatory to fit winter tyres

From 1 December to the end of February (in practice from November to April) unless otherwise indicated by road signs. Tyres must be marked M&S on the sidewall. Spiked/studded tyres may be used from 1 November to the first Monday after Easter.

Mandatory to fit winter tyres

Winter tyres are compulsory in:

  • Estonia (December 1st- April 1st),
  • Lithuania (November 10th - April 1st),
  • Latvia (December 1st - February 29th) and
  • Slovakia (November 15th - March 31st).

Recommended to fit winter tyres

At present there is no cold weather tyre legislation in the UK, however the average temperature in the UK from October 2009 to March 2010 was 2.5°C, and there were 149* days below 7°C. Fitting winter tyres when the temperature is under 7°C is recommended. Please see 7 key reasons for the benefits of using winter tyres.

Although there is no regulation on tyre fitments in the UK for winter months, it is important to recognize and consider the potential dangers of driving on summer tyres in winter.

As temperatures fall below 7 degrees, summer tyre compounds begin to stiffen resulting in reduced traction, posing not only a risk to you as the driver, but also the sustainability and condition of the tyre itself. Evidence of increased wear cause by colder conditions can include cracks and chips along the sidewall and tread block compromising overall performance and saftey.

Keep yourself safe; always consider your tyre choice!

All season tyres occupy the middle ground in performance, providing a compromised driving experience throughout the year and avoiding the hassle of changing tyres bi-yearly. By using all season tyres you'll save money and effort between switching tyres, although compromising on some performance between seasons.

In many European countries with extreme winter conditions, legislations require drivers to switch from summer to winter tyres during colder months. In the UK however, there is no such legislation which can make winter road conditions tricky for many drivers.

All Season tyres are designed to offer consistent performance all year round; from hot summer days to cold wet winter nights. Special compounds and slightly more tread patterns ensure that you maintain road performance even when the temperature drops.

What this means for you!

  • All season tyres can be used year-round whilst maintaining a good level of performance and avoiding the need to switch between summer and winter sets
  • Decreased wear and tear results in increased mileage for improved cost efficiencies.

All-season tyres are adapted to provide drivers with consistent tyre performance in all weather conditions year-round, combining the driving characteristics of both summer and winter tyres.

Although there is no law on seasonal tyre fitments here in the UK, you always should consider the type of weather you experience throughout the year. If you live in an area of the country that experiences severe winter conditions, we would suggest a set of both summer and winter tyres which you can switch between. However, for places where the winter is not too harsh, then a set of all-season tyres would be suitable to ensure performance levels are maintained all year round.

With low average temperatures in the winter and consistent rainfall all year round, many UK drivers choose All Season tyres as a cost-efficient alternative to switching between winter and summer tyres.

With all-season, you have complete peace of mind that your tyres are prepared for weather changes ensuring you remain confident with on road performance.

You should not mix all season tyres with summer or winter tyres. This is because different treads will cause traction issues and destabilise your handling when you need it the most.

Summer tyres usually contain a much stiffer compound versus a winter alternative and is optimised to work at temperatures in excess of 7 degrees. A stiffer compound and less aggressive tread pattern result in lower friction, improving fuel efficiency and reducing the number of trips to the petrol pump.

If you don’t re-gas the air-con system, it will gradually become less efficient, making the car uncomfortable in hot weather, and cause the car to take longer to de-mist the windows in winter.

Not re-gassing your air-con system will be bad for it in the long run, too, with pipes likely to crack and parts likely to seize up if it isn’t used.

When swapping out summer tyres for winter ones in the colder months, you’ll need somewhere suitable to store your summer set. Many of our locations offer a tyre storage service, click here to find your nearest centre.

If you’re storing your tyres at home, you’ll need to give them a clean with a mild detergent and let them air dry before storing them. This will be a good time for you to take a look at your tyre tread closely. And don’t forget to also mark exactly which tyre is which, so you can put them back in the right position, or even rotate your tyres if they’d benefit from it.

Summer tyres provide excellent performance during warmer months (above 7 degrees Celsius), delivering both excellent dry and wet traction along with precise handling.

Although many drivers in the UK often keep the same set of summer tyres on all year round, this is not something we would advise you to do. As temperatures drop below 7 degrees, the performance of summer tyres is significantly impacted and can become hazardous particularly when there is snow and ice on the ground.

All season tyres consist of a unique compound that works to maintain rubber elasticity in cold weather, providing you better grip and control in adverse conditions. In addition, they have specially designed tread patterns that consist of multiple grooves, known as ‘sipes’, which provide added aquaplaning resistance to help keep you safe in those heavy downpours.

As with anything there are both positives and negatives to filling tyres with nitrogen over air.

Nitrogen molecules are bigger than normal air molecules and so it is harder for them to leak out. A tyre filled with nitrogen will maintain air pressure longer and so long term your pressures will remain more stable. When your tyre pressures are stable and correct you’ll benefit from lots of things including fuel economy and longer tyre life.

It is always best to check your tyre pressures when your tyres are cold, usually if you have driven less than two miles.

You can use a tyre pressure gauge or most petrol stations have a facility for you to check and top up your pressures.

HiQ Hints

It is also useful to clean valves and check for leakage, you should also look to replace missing valve caps. And whilst your checking don’t forget to include your spare, just in case.

You’ll find an easy to use table in your vehicle’s manufacturers handbook telling you the correct pressures for your vehicle. Often this is also displayed on the arch of the driver’s door of your vehicle.

You can also use our handy tool – just pop your reg in, check the tyre size is correct and voila!

Although it may seem tempting to over inflate your tyres, your braking ability could be at risk. Not only that, but it reduces your traction on the road, decreases the life of your tyre due to inconsistent tyre wear and in extreme cases this could cause a blowout.

There are two units of pressure that are used to measure tyre pressure: bar (metric) and pounds per inch (PSI) which is the imperial measurement.

Both are often quoted together in user handbooks or tyre pressure stickers but be aware that if this is not the case you will need to use an appropriate pressure gauge to avoid confusion.

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