Allianz urges UK motorists to fit winter tyres

Allianz Global Assistance UK, the roadside assistance expert, says that 1 in 5 calls it receives during January relate to tyre issues and, as predictions of snow to fall across the UK in the coming week hit headlines, the company is urging drivers to ‘be prepared’ by fitting winter tyres. This, says Allianz, will not only reduce braking distances by as much as 50 per cent in snow and ice, but can enable a car to stop 11 metres earlier on icy roads when travelling at just 20mph, making a crucial difference to road safety at this time of year.

Colin Watt, Head of Service Delivery at Allianz Global Assistance in the UK, comments, “Unlike drivers in some European countries, most UK motorists are inexperienced at driving in harsh winter conditions, yet shy away from taking precautions, such as swapping their summer tyres for winter tyres. Historically, this may have been because people believed winter tyres to be a financial burden, not helped by the fact that some motor insurers levied premiums for those who had the wisdom to fit them. However, times have changed.

“We’re seeing car manufacturers offer affordable winter tyre packages through their Dealer networks, easing the cost significantly. Some Dealers will even swap your wheels over and keep your summer tyres in storage over the winter, reducing the inconvenience of storage. As cold weather degrades regular tyres by up to 40 per cent, swapping to winter tyres during the cold months not only provides additional safety it also starts to make financial sense.

“Furthermore, the Association of British Insurers has launched the Motor Insurance Commitment which promotes, on its website, those insurers who don’t ask for an additional winter tyres premium provided that the tyres meet the relevant vehicle manufacturers’ specifications.

Concludes Colin Watt: “With the winter arriving across the country the safety benefits of fitting winter tyres cannot be underestimated. When you take into consideration the support being provided by car manufacturers in providing free storage of summer tyres, coupled with additional financial benefits of reduced wear over summer tyres, the choice is a much simpler one to make.”

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