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Summer vs All Season Tyres

20th July 2016

Most cars are usually fit with summer tyres as standard and many motorists choose to switch over to winter tyres when the seasons change. Due to economic reasons, a lack of storage or not wanting to switch tyres over, more and more people are choosing to use all season tyres instead.

Take a look at our guide to help you decide if summer or all season tyres would be best for you.


What’s the Difference?

Summer tyres and all season tyres are constructed differently as they are each optimised for their specific purpose. Summer tyres are designed with a very soft rubber compound which allows them to grip the surface of the road tightly, enhancing their performance and gripping capabilities. This compound can stiffen in cold weather, however, meaning that summer tyres may lose their flexibility, in winter months, and this can have a hugely negative impact on braking distance in cold temperatures.

All season tyres use a compound which will resist stiffening in colder temperatures but this means that they will not be able to grip as tightly to the road in summer and as a result, all season tyres will not offer the high performance that you can expect in summer conditions.

In addition, all season tyres are built with more grooves and sipes than you would find on summer tyres. This is because they need to be prepared to provide traction on snowy and icy surfaces, which summer tyres struggle to do effectively.


What are the Benefits?

As you can tell from the name, summer tyres are the best choice for summer driving. They are optimised to provide responsive steering and good handling capabilities for high performance driving in summer.

The benefits of all season tyres, however, are that they offer a reliable performance all year round. When you use summer tyres, it is recommended that you switch to winter tyres when temperatures drop below 7oc, however, you can use all season tyres in both winter and summer.


Which Should I Choose?

There is no right answer when it comes to choosing new tyres, instead you should base your decision on what you expect from your tyres, the conditions that you face where you live and your vehicle.

Choose summer tyres if…

  • Summer and winter conditions vary greatly where you live
  • You expect a high level of performance from your tyres
  • You already have or intend to purchase winter tyres for cold conditions

Choose all season tyres if…

  • Winter conditions do not drop below -5oc where you live (if they do, you should choose dedicated seasonal tyres)
  • You are unable to store a second set of tyres*

*If storage is preventing you from using dedicated seasonal tyres as you would like, take a look at our tyre hotel.


Merityre Specialists stock a wide range of summer and all season tyres for all vehicles. Simply buy online and have them fitted at your local Merityre Specialists.

For more information on summer and all season tyres, you can click on the links to read more or contact your local branch where our tyre specialists will be happy to provide further guidance.