The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has today reassured motorists that they will not be affected by increased car insurance premiums as a result of using winter tyres to improve their vehicle’s safety during the winter months. Following discussions with the Association of British Insurers (ABI), SMMT has clarified that the fitment of winter tyres does not constitute a modification that will affect premiums.
SMMT is recommending motorists use winter tyres to improve grip and overall stopping distances during harsh winter driving conditions and is urging drivers to seek further advice from their local franchised dealer.
“Winter tyres ensure that the driver gets maximum traction on and off road, thereby ensuring that safety and stability are optimised,” said SMMT Chief Executive, Paul Everitt. “Despite increasingly harsh winter conditions in the UK, only a handful of drivers have vehicles with winter tyres, but there are many vehicle manufacturers providing a range of winter tyre options to ensure optimum performance and driver safety during winter driving conditions.”
It is proved that winter tyres significantly improve grip and reduce stopping distances in temperatures that drop below 7?Celsius because, unlike normal driving tyres, they do not harden. This enables them to maintain better traction in low temperatures as well as in the wet and on snow, slush and ice. Tests found that stopping distances were reduced by 4.8 metres on wet roads and 11 metres on icy roads when travelling at 20mph.