Winter tyre sales up by 50 per cent

UK buyers are turning to winter tyres more often than in any previous year, according to Michelin.

Steve Dolby, Product Marketing Manager at Michelin, said: “There has been considerable interest from UK consumers in cold weather tyres this year and sales so far are estimated to be more than half a million tyres – up nearly 50 per cent over the same period last year.”

Despite the growth in sales, Dolby has described the UK as still some way off European countries where the number of people using winter tyres is much higher.

“This only represents around 2% of total UK tyre sales,” he said: “Still much lower than many other European countries.”

Winter tyres are considered safer in temperatures below seven degrees Celsius because the rubber compound used does not stiffen in colder weathers like the rubber used on standard tyres does.

Winter tyres provide more grip in wet, icy or snowy weather. The deeper, wider tread will also help to prevent the car aquaplaning in wet conditions.

In previous winters, ice and snow across the UK has encouraged more UK customers to use winter tyres during the winter months.

Many manufacturers now sell winter tyres and offer summer tyre storage. Manufacturers like Vauxhall have designed more temporary measures such as ‘snow socks’ to use in the event a driver is caught in a burst of winter weather.

According to Michelin, drivers should use winter tyres from October to March in the UK. However, unlike some European countries, winter tyres are not a legal requirement for UK drivers.