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Are Winter Tires Worth It?

By: StaffPublished September 28, 2021

Are winter tires really worth it? Commanding a slightly higher price tag than a traditional set of all-weather tires, the value and expense associated with winter tires often falls under scrutiny. Many car owners, especially those who live in climates with only intermittent periods or moderate snowfall, tend to underestimate their importance. Instead of making an investment that could help save them from a myriad of potential headaches, they opt to take their chances and go without.

Advantage #1: Winter tires are designed for cold, not just snow.

The misconception has long been that unless you live at a higher elevation or in an extreme northern climate, where snowfall routinely breaks the two-foot mark, winter tires serve little purpose. The truth, however, is that winter tires are worth it and they do work because they are designed for colder temperatures, meaning their value extends past driving in blizzard conditions. If this seems confusing, think about your tires in terms of pliability. A winter tire is designed to remain pliable in colder temperatures – helping it to grip the road better. Compare this to all-season tires, which harden as the thermometer begins to dip, making it much more difficult to maintain traction on the roadways.

Advantage #2: All-season tires are not really for all seasons.

All-season tires were first introduced to the marketplace about 30 years ago, riding on the marketing hype that these tires were great for all types of weather conditions – including icy and snowy roadways. While the all-season tire did offer a big improvement over many of the tires that were available during those days of yesteryear, the simple truth is that they do not offer ideal performance in colder climates. Instead, for climates where cold weather coupled by periods of snow and ice are common, the winter tire offers the ideal choice. Better suited for everyday winter driving then the “snow tire” but with more traction than the all-weather tire, these tires help to ensure optimal efficiency during winter periods.

Advantage #3: Staying on the road saves you money.

Of course, the biggest argument against winter tires not being worth it simply comes down to economics. Many drivers have enough trouble paying for the maintenance and upkeep of one set of tires. So the thought of adding an extra set of tires into the mix can be overwhelming. The truth, however, is that a good set of winter tires are certainly worth it and can actually save you money. Not only do they help you stay on the road and avoid accidents. But they also help you avoid paying the repair fees, maintenance costs, deductible and rising insurance premiums often associated with those accidents.

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