Winter tyres

Last year I bought two 12 month old Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 petrol cars for a total cost of £15,250. One for my wife and one for myself.

Good value I think for a much under-rated car. We live at the bottom of a steep hill and last winter both cars proved to be completely hopeless in the snow, and spent 2 weeks parked in my driveway. Not wanting a repeat this winter, and having read your comments about winter tyres vs 4x4, I fitted a set of four Rockstone Eco Snow winter tyres to my wife's car at a cost of £390. Her car is completely transformed and feels sure footed in all conditions from ice, deep snow, compressed snow and slush. It just goes anywhere!

My own car remains abandoned in the driveway for the last 8 days sitting on its factory fit tyres. I intend to run these winter tyres throughout the year. The only downside seems to be a slight increase in tyre noise, but otherwise we are delighted. Thanks for your advice and excellent pages. Do I need to inform my insurance company about the tyres - would they see it as a 'modification'? Thanks.

Asked on 7 December 2010 by Paul Gray

Answered by Honest John
Better to buy another set of rims from a scrappie, fit them with summer tyres and run the wife's car on them from March to November. Winter tyres are only really suitable for below 8 degrees centigrade. They don't grip as well as supper tyres above that and the wear rate my be considerable at 20 degrees plus.
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