Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - primeradriver

I know what the received wisdom is, but please just humour me for a sec.

I know that this doesn't seem to be a popular idea, but I'm just wondering why not.

The (probably silly) idea I had in my head was that, on a FWD car, one could use two "all-season" tyres on the rear of the car, and more specialist rubber on the front depending on the time of year.

Now I know that mixing summers and winters is a daft idea in winter due to the widely-differing responses of the tyres. But if an all-weather tyre is seen as being "half-way" betwixt one and t'other, what would be the problem with this approach?

The all-season tyre would be at least as good as a "budget" summer tyre in the summer at pretending to be a summer tyre, and at least as good as a "budget" winter tyre in the winter at pretending to be a winter tyre. So where exactly is the problem with this?

At the first sign that this is a *bad* idea I will forget all about it, and either go the "replace all four wheels" approach or buy the Kleber/Vredestein all-seasons etc that have been mentioned.

Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - SteveLee
Currently I have all-season tyres on the front (driven wheels) and summer tyres on the rear - I've had no problems, the car feels fine, I've driven it hard in the wet, jumped on the brakes mid corner - all sorts of silly things to try and unsettle it - it's fine.

I've only driven it on lightish snow in the current configuration - again it was fine - loads of traction and it stopped straight and true.
Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - ForumNeedsModerating

I'm sure there are pros & cons to this, and without getting into 'purist' mode or spouting the accepted orthodoxy, the one thing I'd be careful of would be insurance validity.

It may invalidate or compromise an insurance claim if it's shown that a non-standard or non-manufacturer tyre configuration were used in the event of an accident.

Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

It may invalidate or compromise an insurance claim if it's shown that a non-standard or non-manufacturer tyre configuration were used in the event of an accident.

In that case using different brands of tyre from OE would be a no no.

I never mix brands on the same axle but have no problem with different tyre brands front and rear. On my current car, I've fitted later design of Michelins on the front- the originals are simply not made any more.

I've had all weather tyres on the front only and had no qualms, as per the above reply.

Using budget tyres on one axle only makes a bigger difference IMHO.

Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - primeradriver
Thanks for the replies. The comment about insurance is interesting, and would make me think twice.

The way I see it though, as has been mentioned, the idea I outlined would amount to nothing more than what would happen if I put good, new tyres on one axle, and budgets on the other -- something you see on cars all the time.

Differences in grip graphed here: tinyurl.com/5s2ef5f

Does anyone have any official documentation from an insurer with regards to their position on tyres?

I know I should probably just put all-seasons on all year around, but they are expensive (quite a bit dearer than both comparable winters and comparable summers), apparently wear quite rapidly and aren't quite as good at gaining traction in the snow as full winter tyres are -- at least this is the impression I get from reviews.
Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - primeradriver
On reflection I think I will go back to my first thought of buying a set of steels for the Focus and put decent winter tyres on them, and stick to the Toyos for the summer.

On the second car though I will be replacing the current P6000/Admiral mix with a set of all season tyres as and when they wear out (these are smaller so will cost less anyway).

Thanks for all the comments on this and the other thread, much appreciated.
Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - gordonbennet

Back in the day it was quite normal to fit a pair of 'town and country' pattern tyres to the drive axle only (virtually all cars being driven from the correct, rear, end) in the winter months.

4 cross plies all round, drum brakers all round, no power steering, no myriad of driver aids...we managed quite well enough without wrapping ourselves around tree stumps...somthing many modern drivers seem unable to accomplish with the highest tech cars.

Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - SteveLee
The insurance companies may try to get out of claims for all sorts of reasons - the main word being "try" as long as you know where you stand they can take a running jump. As long as the tyres meet the load and speed ratings for your car (and one could argue adequate load rating and speed ratings for the the speed limit) then they do not have a leg to stand on - this is not Germany with their stupid TUV regulations which stipulate things like makes and models of parts.

It's the old saga about modified cars not being insured - this urban myth saves insurance companies millions, under British law 3rd party cover is covering YOU, the driver - not the car - unless they can prove you were wantonly driving a defective car then they cannot withdraw 3rd party insurance cover. similarly the very way 3rd party cover works (insuring the driver not the car) implies "drive any other vehicle" cover automatically, the clauses in the policies that take away that privilege are invalid. You are often being charged extra for cover you already have.
Mixing Winter/All-Season/Summer Tyres - primeradriver

See it now sounds as if my idea is nothing more than an extension of what a lot of you are doing already.

I've got the whole spring, summer and some of the autumn to work this one out. I would take it that an insurer wouldn't try to back out of a claim on the grounds that a car had four mismatched budget tyres, so it would be an odd one if they would worm out of two sets of slightly different decent tyres with plenty of grip.

Ask Honest John

Value my car