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Seasonal tyres

Buying winter tyres

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

However even if this is not the case where you live, using tyres 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 tyre actually improves. Sava winter tyres 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 tyres.

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 tyre to quickly shed snow. Some winter tyres even feature studs for confident grip in the worst of winter conditions.

Obey the law

Some European countries require drivers to mount winter tyres after a certain date in the year. Other restrictions may apply to studded tyres, 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 tyres 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 tyre models will be your local tyre 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 tyres as this will adversely affect handling, especially with tyres that have different performance characteristics and tread patterns. Mixing winter and summer tyres can make slippery conditions even more dangerous owing to differences in how they grip the road surface.

Store properly when not in use

Winter tyres 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 tyres. Your dealer may advise on storage options if space doesn’t permit in the home or at work.

Inspect your tyres regularly

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

Never choose speed over safety

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