More snow and freezing temperatures are predicted, inlcuding a white Christmas for many. The question of snow tyres and whether they affect your car insurance is confusing for some. We take a look.
Whilst snow tyres are common place in many countries, they are not here in the UK. However, with the recent Big Freeze now being hotly followed by another, more motorists are considering snow tyres.
As Direct Line advise, snow tyres must be fitted by an expert and should only be used in cold weather.
Some insurers do charge an additional premium on your car insurance for having them fitted. As an example though, Direct Line does not charge.
If you buy a new set of wheels for snow tyres, you should try to purchase the same wheels you already have. If they are different, you should check with your insurer, as some wheels may be determined as a modification and incur an additional insurance premium.
Even with these tyres fitted, in extreme weather extra caution should be taken. They are not guaranteed to prevent an accident, especially as the majority of cars on the road will not have them. If there is extreme weather, you should think carefully before venturing out on the roads.
It’s not just dealing with snow tyres either, if you are driving in hazardous weather conditions, top tips from Direct Line include
- Use the defroster and windshield wipers for better visibility. Ensure the blades are in good condition and it is also worth adding an anti-freeze inhibitor to the screen wash fluid container
- When driving keep your distance, keep an eye on your speed and turn slowly, even if the roads have been gritted and give more warning than usual to other drivers when turning, stopping or changing lane
- In extreme conditions try not to stop on an upwards hill as you may find it hard to move off
- Pump the brakes slowly and gently if your car does not have anti-lock brakes. Constant pressure can cause them to lock and skid
- Be extra wary of black ice – it is an invisible danger that can catch out the most careful driver
- Approach corners at a steady speed, in as low a gear as possible. Don’t touch the clutch unless it is absolutely necessary, steer smoothly and try not to brake on the bends.
Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the second largest general insurer in the UK and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.