Summer Tyres

Summer tyres are designed and engineered to work best during the warmer summer months.

Summer tyres are created with a specific tread pattern for optimal performance on both dry and wet roads when the air temperature is above +7C.

Summer tyres at Kwik Fit

Kwik Fit stocks a wide range of cheap summer tyres to suit any budget from premium brands including Pirelli, Continental, and Goodyear, to budget alternatives.

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What are summer tyres?

What does it mean by summer tyres? Summer tyres are tyres designed specifically for use in warmer weather. They differ from all-season tyres in that theyre not formulated to work effectively below +7C. However, they certainly will still do so but just at the cost of fuel efficiency and braking performance. Summer tyres use a soft rubber compound that remains flexible in warm temperatures to ensure maximum contact with the road.

How do summer tyres work?

Summer tyres are made from a much softer rubber compound than winter tyres which delivers better grip and superior handling on both dry and wet roads in warmer conditions.

Summer tyres also feature a simple, yet effective, tread pattern with minimal grooves and sipes (up to ten times fewer tyre grooves than winter tyres). Why? Such tread patterns optimise contact with the road during dry summer months affording the vehicle better traction and braking ability.

This same compound and tread design makes summer tyres less suitable for wintery weather conditions where the temperature drops below +7C.

The benefits of summer tyres

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider summer tyres from their reduced fuel consumption to greater vehicle handling in warmer weather. Here are some of the advantages of switching to summer tyres:

  • Better mileage and reduced fuel consumption - Because the compound in summer tyres has less elasticity, on dry roads the rolling resistance of the tyre is reduced. As a result, drivers benefit from longer-lasting tyres and better fuel economy.
  • Improved driver comfort and reduced noise - Summer tyres are softer than their winter counterparts, which means they are better at absorbing vibrations from uneven road surfaces and are generally quieter. Find out more about the differences between summer & winter tyres here.
  • Improved control - Softer tyres provide better grip on dry surfaces so during the milder months, summer tyres provide unrivalled handling and steering stability.
  • Good all-rounders - In countries like the UK where the weather is generally less severe during the winter months, summer tyres can be used year-round - offering excellent performance on both wet and dry surfaces.

Why fit summer tyres?

It is highly likely that your car is already fitted with summer tyres as the majority of vehicle manufacturers fit this type of tyre as standard especially in the UK, where the climate typically does not become extremely cold for extended periods. There may be regional differences, for example, between temperate London and chilly Edinburgh so this will require you to keep a close eye on the seasons and average temperatures.

However, if you have switched to winter tyres during the colder months of the year, it is recommended that you switch back to summer tyres when the weather reaches average temperatures of +7C to allow for optimum grip on warm, dry roads.

Dont be fooled by the name: summer tyres are not just for driving on hot, sunny days. While summer tyres provide exceptional performance in dry conditions, they also provide excellent grip on wet roads. So, even when the unpredictable British summer brings cloud and rain, summer tyres will offer the best performance at this time of year.

Can summer tyres be used all year?

Summer tyres certainly can be used all year, but theyre likely to wear much faster than an all-season tyre or a tyre for the appropriate season. This is specifically because of the rubber compounds used to optimise for temperature.

A winter tyre in hot weather, for example, will tend to become overly soft and stick to the road surface more than it should. A summer tyre in winter, on the other hand, will tend to over-harden and crack.

Summer tyre tread patterns are also optimised for contact with the ground, whereas winter tyre tread patterns are optimised for removing water and maintaining grip through wet and icy conditions.

Is it legal to use summer tyres in winter?

The legality of driving on summer tyres in the winter varies from region to region and country to country. In some countries where the weather can get extreme, it is mandatory to swap out your summer tyres when the warm weather starts to fade. In these areas, snow chains are sometimes also required and fines can be put into place too!

However, in areas with more mild climates like the UK and parts of Europe, there are rarely legal implications of driving with summer tyres when the weather is wintry. That being said, it certainly isn't best practice to use summer tyres in the cold, especially from a safety and vehicle handling perspective. If you are driving somewhere new with summer tyres, we strongly advise you to check the local laws and regulations.

When is it best to fit summer tyres?

In the UK, we recommend that you fit summer tyres to your vehicle between the months of April to September as the average temperature is much warmer and far less likely to drop below +7C. If by Spring you still have winter tyres fitted to your vehicle, you will find they are less effective on warmer roads and offer poorer handling and fuel economy.

Summer tyres FAQs

Still got questions about switching to summer tyres for the warmer weather? Find a list of more specific questions below for more information. Alternatively, you can always contact our experts directly.

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