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Summer Tyres, Are They Worth It?
29th June 2015
Summer is quickly approaching the UK and with rumours of both heat waves and summer showers it may be time to consider changing your tyres. This is because summer tyres have been specifically designed to handle challenges that the season may bring to the roads.
These tyres are a popular choice amongst motorists as they mean less visits to service centres and can save you time and money.
Designed to be multi-purpose, all-season tyres should provide an average level of efficiency all year long as they combine the characteristics of both summer and winter tyres. Summer and winter tyres require very different specifications, so there has to be a compromise in performance as this tyre needs to be able to deliver a certain standard all year round.
Some tyre specialists argue that the rubber compounds developed for all-season tyres ensure that they can provide a performance comparable to winter tyres during tough conditions. They argue that this means that they cannot possibly then also reach maximum potential during summer.
All-season tyres, however, do have their advantages. If you experience a stable weather condition all year round where you live, then these tyres should be able to perfectly adapt to your driving needs. They are also particularly useful during unpredictable weather conditions such as spring frost.
When it comes to summer tyres the clue is in the name. These have been specifically manufactured to excel in hot temperatures, providing exceptional control during wet conditions and a superior grip to the road surface.
Summer tyres have been developed to deal with warm conditions that can be found during spring, summer and autumn in the UK, however, misjudging seasonal change and adjusting your tyres too soon could result in irreparable damage to your summer or winter tyres.
Unlike all-season tyres, summer tyres focus on providing great traction throughout the warmer weather. This is because all-season tyres traditionally contain a greater density of sipes, which is ideal for driving on snow, but not so much when it comes to controlling your vehicle on warm or wet surfaces.
Summer tyres feature a similar focus on effectively preventing aquaplaning, a safety feature essential for anyone who may need to drive during wet conditions.
Which should I choose?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of tyre and it is important that you choose the one that is best suited for your needs.
Generally, summer tyres are estimated to perform better than all season tyres due to their superior control on dry and wet roads. The tread patterns and rubber compounds designed for summer tyres are the reason for this, as they allow for better braking action and firmer grip.
But, of course, there are other drawbacks to having season-specific tyres and it is important to evaluate your personal vehicle use before making this decision.
|You should choose summer tyres if...||You should choose all-season tyres if...|
|You drive more than 3000 miles per year||You drive less than 3000 miles per year|
|You see a difference in conditions throughout the seasons where you live||The weather where you live is at a fairly constant variable|
|Safety is a high priority for you when choosing tyres||You drive mostly in the city|
|You seek tyres with a longer lifespan||You wish to use the same set of tyres all year round|
|You tend to drive dynamically||You tend to drive calmly|