Volkswagen UK is supporting tyre safety organisation TyreSafe’s campaign and encouraging drivers to be safer than ever this winter, with the launch of a winter tyre programme that offers customers a cost-effective way of getting the right tyres on their vehicles.
‘The message we want to get across is that you don’t need snow to make the most of winter tyres,’ said Volkswagen UK Parts Marketing Manager Eric Ekins. ‘In fact, once the mercury hits seven degrees Celsius or below, winter tyres tend to outperform their summer counterparts with greater grip for acceleration, cornering and braking.’
A common misconception is that the UK is rarely cold enough for winter tyres, but Met Office statistics show that the mean average UK temperature in winter months over the past century has always been under six degrees Celsius, which means winter tyres make perfect sense, whether it snows or not.
What’s more, as most people drive to and from work in the early morning and late afternoon, when temperatures are even lower than the daily average, winter tyres are recommended over summer tyres for up to six months of the year.
Winter tyres can be ordered to fit existing wheels on any Volkswagen car from a Polo to a Phaeton, and are priced from £250 a set, fully fitted. Winter wheel-and-tyre sets are also available. These are 15-inch to 19-inch alloy wheels which have been designed to offer maximum anti-corrosion resistance to snow and salt, and start from £725 including fitting.
Winter tyres use a rubber compound optimised for temperatures of less than seven degrees celsius. Conventional tyres become stiffer at low temperatures, but the winter compounds remain softer and therefore better able to maintain grip. They also benefit from a special tread pattern that optimises water displacement and additional grooves, called sipes, which help to maximise traction.
Winter tyres therefore help to provide better grip whether under cornering, braking, or acceleration, and whether the roads are wet, icy, snowy or simply cold. According to safety organisation Tyresafe.org, they can reduce braking distances by up to 11 metres in icy conditions, and around eight metres (or two car lengths) on snowy roads.
As well as tyres and wheels, Volkswagen also offers durable high-quality nylon tyre/wheel storage bags at £25 inclusive for a set of four.
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