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Buy winter tyres

When the first snowflakes start to fall, the road turns white and becomes a real ice rink. It then becomes difficult to have good road holding with regular tyres.
To avoid any inconvenience, you need to equip your vehicle with the most suitable tyres for this time of year: winter tyres. What are they? How are they useful? How can you make a good choice? We explain everything in this guide.

What is a winter tyre?

Tyres are certified "winter" when they meet all the conditions for effective and safe use during the winter season. A winter tyre must have the 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake) marking, which means they have been tested and approved for use in winter conditions.

The rubber of winter tyres is specially designed to withstand the cold and provide excellent grip and stability in the harshest weather conditions: ice, snow, bad weather... Between +7°C and up to -40°C, the tread of the tyre does not harden and allows you to continue driving safely.

What is the difference between a winter tyre and a snow tyre?

There is often confusion between winter tyres and snow tyres, but in reality, these two terms refer to the same product. They are made with a special rubber that remains flexible even at low temperatures, thus offering better grip.
Both types of tyres bear the 3PMSF marking.

How to recognise a winter tyre?

Winter tyres are easily recognisable because they have a 3PMSF marking and their tread contains more sipes than regular tyres.

First, take a look at the tread patterns: those of winter tyres are generally deeper and more complex than those of summer tyres. These grooves are specially designed to effectively evacuate water, slush, and reduce the risk of aquaplaning. They also have a large number of sipes (small cuts in the tread blocks) that provide additional edges for better grip on ice and snow.

Next, observe the marking on the sidewall of the tyre.
You have probably already noticed the "M+S" indication on some tyres. This is a mandatory certification for winter tyres. It is also found on some summer tyre models.
Not all products with this marking are necessarily intended for use in cold weather.
The models truly suitable for winter conditions are those that meet the 3PMSF standard. All 3PMSF tyres have the M+S marking.

Rarer, products bearing the ICE (Nordic Tyres) mention are also suitable for extreme cold. They are generally found in northern European regions. They are more efficient than 3PMSF certified models. If you want more information on tyre markings, you can consult our article on this subject.

Finally, the presence of small holes or 'studs' can also be an indicator. Some winter tyres are studded or studdable for extra traction on ice, although these are less common and subject to specific regulations depending on the region.

What is a 3PMSF tyre?

The 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake) marking has become essential when discussing winter tyres. But what does it exactly mean?

It is a certification that guarantees the performance of your winter tyres and allows you to drive in compliance with the law when it requires the use of winter tyres during a given period.
To obtain this certification, the tyre must pass performance tests on snow in accredited certification centres. These evaluate its traction and mobility capabilities.

The 3PMSF symbol consists of three mountain peaks surrounding a snowflake and is affixed to the sidewall of the tyres.

Why use winter tyres?

Thanks to their specific design, these tyres provide better grip on snow and ice, significantly reducing the risk of skidding and accidents. Consequently, they ensure better road holding and very good braking on snowy or icy roads, thus promoting safety.

The grip and traction offered by snow tyres result in better vehicle handling and smoother driving. Your car will be easier to control in turns and less likely to lose power by skidding, making your winter journeys less stressful.

In some regions, the use of snow tyres is mandatory during the winter months. Ignoring this obligation can result in fines and legal consequences in the event of an accident. Snow tyres are generally an investment worth making, especially if you live in an area prone to long and harsh winter seasons. They are a thoughtful choice that prioritises safety and performance while offering peace of mind.

Which winter tyres to buy?

Snow chains Continental Continental WinterContact TS860S
Continental WinterContact TS860S
22 reviews
The Continental WinterContact TS860S is a benchmark. It is designed for the most powerful and prestigious large saloons or SUVs. It incorporates all of Conti's know-how.
Size
53 dimensions
Diameter
From 16" to 23"
From
£123.59
In stock
Continental WinterContact TS860S
22 reviews
The Continental WinterContact TS860S is a benchmark. It is designed for the most powerful and prestigious large saloons or SUVs. It incorporates all of Conti's know-how.
Size
53 dimensions
Diameter
From 16" to 23"
Snow chains Michelin Michelin Agilis Alpin
Michelin Agilis Alpin
38 reviews
The Michelin Agilis Alpin tyre has outstanding traction, remarkable safety, low tread wear, and high robustness. Long tread life, ultra high performance mileage and wear. At the conception sta...
Learn more
Size
11 dimensions
Diameter
From 15" to 16"
From
£123.59
In stock
Michelin Agilis Alpin
38 reviews
The Michelin Agilis Alpin tyre has outstanding traction, remarkable safety, low tread wear, and high robustness. Long tread life, ultra high performance mileage and wear. At the conception sta...
Learn more
Size
11 dimensions
Diameter
From 15" to 16"
Snow chains Michelin Michelin 4X4 O/R XZL
Michelin 4X4 O/R XZL
1 reviews
The Michelin 4X4 O/R XZL tire is designed for challenging off-road conditions. It offers remarkable traction on soft or muddy ground. Reinforced sidewalls.
Size
1 size
Diameter
16"
From
£185.99
In stock
Michelin 4X4 O/R XZL
1 reviews
The Michelin 4X4 O/R XZL tire is designed for challenging off-road conditions. It offers remarkable traction on soft or muddy ground. Reinforced sidewalls.
Size
1 size
Diameter
16"
Snow chains Bridgestone Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
425 reviews
Stay in control this winter with the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005. tyre, designed for passenger cars, SUVs and 4x4s. Braking distances on snow and ice are reduced thanks to the 2D sipes at the ce...
Learn more
Size
13 dimensions
Diameter
From 14" to 19"
From
£73.49
In stock
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
425 reviews
Stay in control this winter with the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005. tyre, designed for passenger cars, SUVs and 4x4s. Braking distances on snow and ice are reduced thanks to the 2D sipes at the ce...
Learn more
Size
13 dimensions
Diameter
From 14" to 19"
Snow chains Nankang Nankang SV-3 Winter
Nankang SV-3 Winter
86 reviews
The Nankang SV-3 Winter tyre is suitable for winter driving with passenger cars, city cars, family cars or saloons. The directional profile drains water and slush well. Thanks to lateral groov...
Learn more
Size
10 dimensions
Diameter
From 12" to 21"
From
£37.69
In stock
Nankang SV-3 Winter
86 reviews
The Nankang SV-3 Winter tyre is suitable for winter driving with passenger cars, city cars, family cars or saloons. The directional profile drains water and slush well. Thanks to lateral groov...
Learn more
Size
10 dimensions
Diameter
From 12" to 21"
Snow chains Rotalla Rotalla Setula W Race S330
Rotalla Setula W Race S330
6 reviews
High-performance winter car tire at a very low price, the Rotalla Setula W Race S330 has nothing to envy premium brands. Its profile is sophisticated with a V-shaped central part, wide longitu...
Learn more
Size
22 dimensions
Diameter
From 18" to 21"
From
£79.99
In stock
Rotalla Setula W Race S330
6 reviews
High-performance winter car tire at a very low price, the Rotalla Setula W Race S330 has nothing to envy premium brands. Its profile is sophisticated with a V-shaped central part, wide longitu...
Learn more
Size
22 dimensions
Diameter
From 18" to 21"
Snow chains Kumho Kumho Protran CW51
Kumho Protran CW51
9 reviews
The Kumho Protran CW51 tyre offers a good quality/price ratio.
Size
12 dimensions
Diameter
From 15" to 17"
From
£86.89
In stock
Kumho Protran CW51
9 reviews
The Kumho Protran CW51 tyre offers a good quality/price ratio.
Size
12 dimensions
Diameter
From 15" to 17"
Snow chains Rotalla Rotalla Setula W Race VS450
Rotalla Setula W Race VS450
4 reviews
The Rotalla Setula W Race VS450 is a high-performance, budget-friendly tire designed for utility vehicles. Reinforced (multi-ply), it withstands load perfectly and remains manageable under all...
Learn more
Size
16 dimensions
Diameter
From 14" to 16"
From
£62.49
In stock
Rotalla Setula W Race VS450
4 reviews
The Rotalla Setula W Race VS450 is a high-performance, budget-friendly tire designed for utility vehicles. Reinforced (multi-ply), it withstands load perfectly and remains manageable under all...
Learn more
Size
16 dimensions
Diameter
From 14" to 16"
Snow chains Rotalla Rotalla S210
Rotalla S210
9 reviews
The Rotalla S210 has been designed to drive in challenging winter conditions. It offers excellent traction on snow. Low rolling resistance and reduced wear.
Size
31 dimensions
Diameter
From 15" to 19"
From
£55.19
In stock
Rotalla S210
9 reviews
The Rotalla S210 has been designed to drive in challenging winter conditions. It offers excellent traction on snow. Low rolling resistance and reduced wear.
Size
31 dimensions
Diameter
From 15" to 19"
Snow chains Pirelli Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
152 reviews
The Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was designed for luxury vehicles with medium and high engine capacity. Stay safe ( safety) with your feet on the ground ( grip) for as long as you can ( treadlif...
Learn more
Size
17 dimensions
Diameter
From 17" to 21"
From
£148.39
In stock
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
152 reviews
The Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was designed for luxury vehicles with medium and high engine capacity. Stay safe ( safety) with your feet on the ground ( grip) for as long as you can ( treadlif...
Learn more
Size
17 dimensions
Diameter
From 17" to 21"

The most sought-after winter tyre sizes:

When is it ideal to fit winter tyres?

It is time to fit your winter tyres when the temperature regularly drops below 7°C. This temperature is not chosen at random: it corresponds to the point where summer tyres start to lose their effectiveness because the rubber hardens, reducing grip and increasing braking distances.

Winter tyres, on the other hand, are designed with a special rubber compound that remains flexible in cold temperatures, allowing the tyre to better conform to road irregularities, even in low temperatures, snow, or ice. This rubber flexibility promotes better grip and increased traction, essential characteristics for your safety during winter driving.

It is recommended not to wait for the first snowfall or significant temperature drop to make this change. With the sudden arrival of winter, garages can be overwhelmed, potentially delaying the installation of your winter tyres.

Another point to consider is local legislation. In some regions or countries, there are specific dates or periods during which it is mandatory or recommended to have winter tyres. Checking and adhering to these guidelines is essential to ensure your safety and avoid any fines.

What is the ideal tread depth for a winter tyre?

The tread depth is a key indicator for assessing the performance of a snow tyre. For a new winter tyre, the standard tread depth is generally between 8 and 9 millimetres.
This depth ensures optimal grip on snow and optimal water evacuation capacity to limit the risk of aquaplaning. With natural wear, these grooves will diminish, reducing the tyre's ability to maintain this essential grip.

In Europe, the legal minimum tread depth for winter tyres is 1.6 millimetres. However, it is strongly recommended to replace the tyres well before reaching this limit.
Most experts suggest replacing them when the depth reaches 4 to 3 millimetres. At this stage, the effectiveness of winter tyres in snow and ice conditions begins to significantly reduce, increasing the risk of accidents.

It is essential to regularly check the tread depth of your winter tyres, especially before seasonal installation. This good practice ensures that your tyres are in optimal condition to protect you and guarantee the best possible performance in difficult winter conditions.

General questions about using winter tyres:

Can the speed rating of a winter tyre be reduced?

Yes, you are allowed to reduce the speed rating by one letter compared to your summer tyres. For example, if your summer tyres are size 205/55 R16 91V, you can fit winter tyres in 205/55 R16 91H.
However, you cannot change the load index.

Can I use summer tyres in the rain?

Yes, winter tyres are designed with deep grooves and sipes that effectively evacuate water, thus reducing the risk of aquaplaning.

Their soft rubber composition allows for better grip on wet roads in cold weather. However, as with any type of tyre, it is advisable to adjust your speed to the road conditions to maintain performance and safety.

Do I need to equip my car with 4 winter tyres?

No, depending on your budget, you can choose to fit only two snow tyres on your vehicle during the winter season.
However, to achieve optimal grip and braking performance on winter roads, it is recommended to equip all the wheels of the vehicle. This will help you avoid certain road holding issues.

What should be remembered about winter tyres?

In addition to the special rubber, the tread grooves are deeper, and the tyre has additional sipes to provide optimal performance below 7°C:

  • Reduced braking distances.
  • Better grip on snowy, icy, or slippery roads.
  • Better stability.
  • Better steering control.
  • Reduced risk of aquaplaning.

Investing in winter tyres may seem expensive, but when weighing the benefits in terms of safety, driving performance, and accident prevention, it quickly becomes clear that investing in snow tyres is a good compromise. Moreover, by alternating between summer and winter tyres, each will wear out less quickly, thus extending the overall lifespan of your tyres and balancing the initial investment in the long term.

Ensure the safety of your journey this winter by equipping your vehicle with snow tyres!

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