As someone who drives in Swiss winters, I'd like to endorse your recommendation of winter tyres.

I have just read the letter from TP of Barnstaple who seemed to think you had little experience of driving on snow and ice. I am glad you put him right about that, and the better performance of front-wheel drive with winter tyres versus 4-wheel-drive on summer tyres. I have lived in Switzerland for over 40 years, and spend winters in the mountains. All sensible drivers here change to winter tyres (on dedicated steel rims) in late autumn and back again in spring. Even those who rarely venture into the mountains get better control and response below six degrees centigrade.

Also, we don't need to advise our insurance companies of the change. It is assumed that all sensible drivers run on winter tyres. As for 4x4s on summer tyres - they are useless on snow and ice. Much merriment is had watching visiting Brits in Chelsea Tractors get stuck trying to get up even modest inclines without winter tyres.

Asked on 5 December 2012 by MH, Switzerland

Answered by Honest John
Many thanks. What you write echoes off the Alps what I have been preaching for the past two years. This year, winter in the UK did not start until February and then suddenly there was a lot of response about the issue of cold weather tyres. Now it's May, everyone will have forgotten.
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