All season tyres, M+S tyres or winter tyres?
Are M+S tyres winter tyres?
No, they are not necessarily. The M+S mark is the result of an autonomous evaluation on the part of the manufacturer. The M+S stands for ‘Mud & Snow’. All winter tyres carry this mark, but the reverse is not true. A tyre with the M+S mark is not always a winter tyre, as you can find this mark on all season tyres and those for SUV’s. The only label that attests to measured winter capacities is a pictogram representing a snowflake on a mountain background. It is generally known by the acronym 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake).
Are all-season tyres a sensible investment?
Each year all-season tyres are talked about…for the reason that they seem to be the miracle solution. Many think that by buying all-season tyres they will only need one set for the whole year, and thus they will save money.
But all season tyres are always going to be a compromise: neither very good, nor very bad. Sticking with ‘average’ tyres’ may be inconvenient in terms of performance and wear.
Here is a table displaying the results of test carried out by the Swiss Touring Club (TCS).
The results speak for themselves: an all-season tyre performs worse than a seasonal tyre in each test, not forgetting that it uses more fuel and wears faster. Note the proportions of an all season tyre are more advantageous in winter, than disadvantageous in summer.
These latter characteristics show that it is in fact not more economical to have all-season tyres
All season tyres wear faster than winter and summer tyres and it is therefore necessary to change them more often. For example in 56, 000 miles (around 6 years) you will only need one set of winter tyres and one set of summer tyres compared to 3 sets of all-season tyres.
For further information look at the tables comparing performance and cost between all season tyres and winter and summer tyres.
What is an all season tyre worth in winter?