New research identifies high cost and 'too mild' UK weather as key reasons why British drivers are unwilling to commit to winter tyres and wheels
Cost and perceived milder climate highlighted by poll of UK drivers as to why they won’t be buying winter tyres.
25% claim cost is too high
20% believe the weather is too mild in the UK to need them
19% say it is too much hassle to change
Investing in a second set of wheels and tyres for the colder months is an extra cost that UK motorists are reluctant to commit to according to new research undertaken by tyre manufacturer Falken. Despite the widely accepted safety benefits of winter tyres, over a quarter of male and female respondents stated the higher cost was a reason not to opt for the cold weather rubber. 20 percent of those questioned suggested the UK’s milder climate as a reason why they would not buy winter tyres this year. This was closely followed by 20 percent of drivers saying they didn’t need them for their car and a similar percentage (19 percent) claiming it was ‘too much hassle to change’ to winter tyres. Of particular note was just eight percent of drivers hadn’t heard of winter tyres, suggesting the awareness of cold weather tyres was more widespread than just a few years ago.
“The results surprised us, particularly the belief that the UK climate was sufficiently mild enough not to need cold weather tyres,” says Falken’s UK director Matt Smith. “Exacta weather is predicting a very cold winter and consumers seem to have forgotten the conditions that caused travel disruption from just three or four years ago.”
Based on the survey results, Falken believes an all-season tyre such as its Euroall AS200 could be the ideal, sensible cost-saving solution for UK drivers not ready to commit to winter tyres. Specifically designed to be used all year round, the Euroall AS200 tyre provides excellent balance and control, grip and longevity in all road conditions. Thanks to its hybrid construction and bespoke compound, the AS200 is capable of shorter braking distances and precise steering response even in the snow, whilst still offering grip when temperatures are over 7°C. Clever technology keeps the tyre fresh throughout the year too; the AS200 has a built-in anti-ageing mechanism in which an anti-ageing agent permeates continuously from the lower reservoir tread to the outer tread, thus protecting the running surface from ageing and aggressive environmental influences.
“Even for owners of the UK’s most common car, the Ford Fiesta, the cost of winter wheels tyres could cost well in excess of £500, plus there’s also the problem of storage space,” adds Smith. “Switching to an all-season tyre could well be the solution for Britain’s drivers unwilling to commit to pure winter tyres. With many sizes on offer, it is often possible to find a tyre that fits the standard rims, eliminating the cost and hassle of having an extra set, solving another issue raised in the survey.”
To cater for a wide range of popular UK cars, Falken offers 38 different dimensions from 13 to 17 inches. That includes a 185/60/15 for the Ford Fiesta, a 215/50/17 for the Ford Focus, the 195/55/16 for the Corsa and Britain’s most popular size, the 205/55/16.
Nick Bailey, 44 (0) 7813 956664
About FALKEN Tyres Europe:
The technology and development of Falken High Performance Tyres and their driving characteristics have for many years been derived from motorsport, most recently its participation in the American Le Mans Series and Nürburgring 24 Hours. Tyre technologies developed on track are often transferred to the road, offering improvements in wet and dry grip, efficiency, feeling and control.
Falken is a brand of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Japan, with European headquarters in Frankfurt. In Europe, Falken has aggressively expanded its product range, launching new products in new sectors and niches across Europe. Falken’s current products range from the track-inspired AZENIS series including the latest FK453 flagship through to the efficient and innovative ZE914 and the rugged all-terrain WildPeak A/T and cold weather EUROWINTER HS449.