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Winter tyres

Visiting German in laws this week in my '97 Astra estate, I bought four Uniroyal MS Plus 66 winter tyres (195/55 R 15 85H fitted, balanced, new valves) for Euros 441.56 - that's 375.12 UK pounds at a branch of ATU (AutoTeil Unger - a Halfords type chain).

Price included my old tyres wrapped in plastic bags and loaded into the back of the car. I stored them with relatives and will refit them in March. The tyre fitter said I was lucky to get them as Germany mandated winter tyres on December 1 and there's been a rush for them.

He claimed customers were coming from nearby Netherlands and even Belgium for tyres. He had no steel rims in stock my size, but could get them in 2-3 days. My tyres cost Euros 95 each, but I later saw German made remould winter tyres in at Euros 35 each in a Toom store - a sort of B&Q/Homebase type business. Snow/ice is worse in Germany and the stopping/starting grip with these new tyres is substantially improved...probably side grip too, but I don't attempt RAC Rally speeds.

This feedback prompted by your "Winter Tyre Advice" notes.

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Many thanks. Well done. You are now a lot safer and the new tyres are not costing you much because your summer tyres would actually be wearing at a faster rate than wintery tyres wear in winter.

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