One in five drivers sees importance of winter tyres – survey

Just one in five motorists thinks that it is important to switch to winter tyres, a new survey has found.

Audi UK spoke to 1,486 UK drivers and found that 61 per cent of respondents had ‘no plans’ to switch from summer to winter tyres this year. For 44 per cent of those that replied, the lack of legal obligation was enough to bypass winter tyres, while the extra cost of buying and maintaining an additional set of tyres was a drawback for 40 per cent of drivers.

In addition, 22 per cent said that the issue of storing the extra set of wheels and tyres during the warmer months was the main reason for avoiding winter tyres.

Winter tyres
Winter tyres can prove extremely useful on the UK’s wet and slippery roads

James Allitt, a member of the Leadership Team at Audi UK, said: “The safety benefits of winter wheels and tyres are considerable from temperatures below 7°C – regularly seen in the UK as the winter months roll in.

“Our research highlights misconceptions among UK drivers about their merits, and also understandable concerns about the cost and inconvenience of ownership, and I hope we’ve gone some way towards addressing these misconceptions.

“Fundamentally, though, I firmly believe that any driver able to make the switch to winter tyres won’t ever regret doing so when they feel the difference they can make.”

Winter tyres can have a real impact on grip levels at temperatures below seven degrees celsius. Thanks to their clever compound, winter tyres can provide the best-possible grip during wet, icy and even snowy conditions. As a result, they bring improved stopping distances compared with standard tyres, while also bringing better traction over slippery or icy surfaces.

As you may expect, winter tyres don’t operate as effectively during warmer months, which is why drivers will need to switch their cars back to conventional summer or all-seasons tyres when the temperatures start to climb again.