Over the last couple of years we’ve had a taste of what winter can really do when it decides to turn nasty and, this being Britain, we were, inevitably, not really prepared for it. Fortunately, the dreadful conditions and freezing temperatures were a bit of a wake-up call and rather than just pulling the duvet over our head as usual we’ve come to understand that it’s important to prepare for the worst; and this is especially true when it comes to cars and motoring.
Any sensible driver understands the need to, as an American might say, ‘winterise’ his car and possibly the biggest area of growth has been seen in the sale of winter tyres. Such has been the interest that supplies have run short and dealers have begun to increase their stockholding in the most popular sizes and recommend early ordering.
Winter tyres really do work and shouldn‘t be considered as an unnecessary expense. They are made with a higher content of natural rubber and silica and do not harden up as much as the synthetic rubber in your normal road tyres during cold conditions. In these days of costly low profile rubber and expensive alloy wheels it makes sense if you drive a high mileage or live in a more rural area. The cost of a set of standard steel wheels and four winter tyres may seem prohibitive – and you have to take into account storage elsewhere if you haven’t the space – but it will not be an annual outlay as, obviously, when one set is on the road the other is not being used. Consider this: the MK5 VW Golf is nearly twice as heavy as the Mk1 and it‘s true that most modern road cars have put on a bit of weight.
With the extra bulk comes added inertia and stopping, or changing direction, means tyres have a lot more work to do. Many manufacturers, including Audi casino spiele online and Volvo are offering winter deals right now on complete winter tyre sets and there are savings to be had from tyre suppliers. Kwik-Fit has a 25% discount offer running until the end of the year, for example. It’s no secret that elsewhere in Europe, other nations have for a long time understood the need for winter tyres. In some countries a set of winter tyres is mandatory.
There’s plenty more to be done if you want a trouble free winter. If you are unable, or unwilling, to undertake the necessary checks to tyres and pressures, anti-freeze, screen washer nozzles, lights and the like then dealers and independents will be happy to do this for you. If you are not mechanically minded then this is a good idea and it need not cost the earth. For a ‘ten point plan’ you can expect to pay from about £35 to get your car professional checked.
These days running a car is an expensive business especially when household costs are rising and we’re all feeling the pinch but what price do we put on road safety? Winter tyres and a well maintained car mean safer driving in bad conditions and you can’t put a price on peace of mind.