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Seasonal tires

Buying winter tires

In some European countries motorists are required by law to use a dedicated set of winter tires during the colder months.

However even if this is not the case where you live, using tires designed for cold weather can offer performance benefits, with improved traction and control on ice and snow.

Safer driving in low temperatures: When the mercury drops below 7°C the performance of a winter tire actually improves. Sava winter tires feature a special compound containing high levels of silica, giving improved traction, braking and control in winter conditions when compared to summer or all-season tires.

Good grip in ice and snow: Wide tread blocks and additional sipes – small slits in the tread blocks – enhance traction on cold and frozen roads, while also enabling the tire to quickly shed snow. Some winter tires even feature studs for confident grip in the worst of winter conditions.

Obey the law

Some European countries require drivers to mount winter tires after a certain date in the year. Other restrictions may apply to studded tires, which may not be permitted in certain areas, or which must be removed in the spring. Check the legislation in your country before buying.

Do your research

EU legislation requires all tires to display information about their performance characteristics under certain criteria – however winter performance is not one of them. Your best sources of information about the winter performance of different tire models will be your local tire dealer or from tests carried out by independent groups.

Buy a full set

Do not be tempted to mount a mix of summer and winter tires as this will adversely affect handling, especially with tires that have different performance characteristics and tread patterns. Mixing winter and summer tires can make slippery conditions even more dangerous owing to differences in how they grip the road surface.

Store properly when not in use

Winter tires should be stored in special bags during the summer months, and always stacked on their sides as opposed to tread side down. Proper care will prolong the life of your winter tires. Your dealer may advise on storage options if space doesn’t permit in the home or at work.

Inspect your tires regularly

Check your winter tires at regular intervals for correct pressure and adequate tread depth. Where winter tires are required by law, a minimum tread depth will apply. At Sava we advise that winter tires have a minimum tread depth of 4mm (for summer tires, the legal minimum in the EU is 1.6mm).

Never choose speed over safety

Tires designed for winter conditions can have a lower speed rating than summer tires. You should never exceed your vehicle’s recommended speed rating for winter tires.