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All Season Tyres vs Summer Tyres

Many drivers don’t understand the advantages of using the correct tyres for the time of year, and aren’t sure of the advantages and disadvantages when it comes to all season tyres vs summer tyres.

Seasonal tyres can provide the greatest levels of safety for your vehicle, they save you money because they last longer, and they ensure the best possible fuel consumption and the smoothest ride.

That’s not to say that all season tyres aren’t effective. Not all drivers can spare the money, time and effort involved with buying two complete sets of seasonal tyres and changing them once conditions are suitable.

All season tyres do provide excellent handling and traction in a variety of weather conditions, but during the warmer months, summer tyres perform best.

What are all season tyres?

As the name suggests, all season tyres are tyres intended for use year-round, during all seasons. They’re a hybrid of summer and winter tyres, taking the strengths of each, allowing them to be effective in most conditions.

All season tyres are designed for use in both cold and warm weather, and perform well when there’s rain and surface water. However, during ice and heavy snow, all season tyres may struggle with traction.

How well do all season tyres wear?

Much like the way all season tyres provide a middle ground in terms of performance, they will also wear faster than seasonal tyres used correctly, but slower than seasonal tyres used incorrectly.

What are summer tyres?

Summer tyres are designed for use during the summer months when temperatures are consistently above seven degrees celsius. Due to the hard rubber compound they’re made of, summer tyres provide the best grip on warm roads - whether dry or wet - ensuring the best level of handling for the vehicle, as well as optimum braking distances and fuel consumption.

Summer tyres do outperform all season tyres when used during temperatures that exceed seven degrees celsius, however, summer tyres perform poorly during the winter months,

What are the main differences?

The hard compound used for summer tyres softens when used on warm roads to allow for traction and braking. That means, when used on cold roads, the tyres can seize up, which leads to the treads wearing quicker and the potential for cracks to form on the surface of the tyre.

Being a hybrid of both summer and winter tyres, the rubber compound of all season tyres is designed to be able to cope much better when used on both warm and cold roads. Because of this, the tyres are much less likely to wear quickly or crack, however, they generally will wear quicker than seasonal tyres used during the appropriate season. This means the treads on all season tyres are more likely to wear below the minimum legal limit quicker, and thus will require changing more frequently.

How do I know if my tyres are all season?

Summer tyres have a sleek appearance, with a larger contact area on the side of the tyres to allow for maximum grip during cornering.

Winter tyres have a much chunkier appearance, with a more complex structure and far more pronounced treads. There will also be a greater number of grooves along the surface of the treads, which are known as sipes.

All season tyres have a hybrid appearance, taking characteristics from both. They have the complex patterns of winter tyres in the centre of the tyre, and the larger contact area of summer tyres on the sides to allow for better maneuvering.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Seasonal tyres do offer the biggest advantages, but that’s not to say all season tyres shouldn’t be considered a reliable option for your vehicle.

Summer tyres

Summer tyres used during warmer conditions will offer the best handling and braking, even when the roads are wet. They also help decrease the risk of aquaplaning.

When you use summer tyres during harsh, wintry conditions, you’re much more likely to slip and experience difficulties with handling and traction. As previously mentioned, summer tyres are likely to wear or crack in the winter, which can lead to further safety issues and mean you need to replace the tyres much sooner.

All season tyres

All season tyres provide good handling for your vehicle during warm, cold and wet conditions. While they don’t offer quite the level of handling or braking distances that seasonal tyres do, they’re more than adequate for a majority of conditions.

The biggest disadvantage for all season tyres is their performance in heavy snow and ice. They are better at gripping slippery road surfaces than summer tyres, but braking and handling won’t be as strong as if you were to use winter tyres.

Can I use all season tyres year-round?

Absolutely. All season tyres are a more than adequate middle ground that many drivers use. They perform well in most conditions, allowing for the best handling and braking on both warm and cold roads. Lots of drivers opt for all season tyres as they don’t require changing twice yearly.

Buy your tyres online

When it comes to all season tyres vs summer tyres, it’s important to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each. Summer tyres do provide the best handling, braking and fuel-consumption thanks to a smoother ride, however all season tyres are a solid all-rounder and don’t need changing twice a year.

If you’re looking to buy tyres online, we have a wide range of all season and summer tyres suitable for your vehicle.

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FUEL EFFICIENCY fuel cert

Ratings from A-G
A = Best Fuel Economy

WET GRIP wet grip

Ratings from A-G
A = Best wet weather
performance

NOISE LEVEL noise level

The lower the decibel,
the quieter the tyre