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Winter Tires vs Winter Chains

By February 14, 2018January 11th, 2023No Comments

If you are new to cold weather driving, it may not be apparent how to prepare to drive in wintery conditions. A common question that drivers face is when to get snow tires and when to use chains on their tires. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. However, for most drivers, a good set of snow tires will usually suffice. A good option if you are still unsure what to do is to call up your local garage and ask their professional opinion.


Snow Tires:

Snow tires are a special set of tires that drivers will use in wintery conditions. They use modern technology to offer good grip and handling, even when the roads are rough. Snow tires are great for everyday use. They handle well on icy and dry conditions, which is an advantage over chains. It can also help you save time because you can leave your snow tires on during clear winter days. Another advantage of snow tires is that they have a proper fit on your car. As a driver. You can feel confident that the tires you buy will work for your car model – there’s no guesswork involved. Finally, snow tires will not damage your driveway or the roads. After the cold weather has passed, it is best to switch back to your all-season tires. This is because you don’t want to wear out your snow tires when it’s not winter!



Chains are an older method of getting traction during snow. They work the best in deep snow and handle poorly when the conditions are more clear. Some smaller cars and sedans cannot use chains because of their low clearance. While this method is more out of date, it is still useful if you are driving on mountains. In California they may be required depending on the severity of the snowstorm.


All-season tires:

While all-season tires are good for the majority of the year, if you really want good traction in the winter, winter tires are the best option. Keep in mind that all-season tires will still perform well in mild conditions. These should be used during the majority of the year when the roads aren’t icy or snowy.


Which is best for you? If you plan to drive through the California mountains during the winter, then getting chains may be necessary. But for the average driver, snow tires are typically good enough. The technology today has advanced so that drivers can still control their car during inclement weather. And if you still have questions, call your garage to speak to a professional. They can give you a recommendation and some peace of mind.


Here’s a quick recap:

  • For the everyday driver, snow tires are a great option
  • Chains are an outdated methodology
  • If you plan on driving through deep snow, consider chains
  • Opt for winter tires over all-season tires for greater traction and control in wintery conditions


Call an Encharter Agent to make sure that your auto insurance policy is ready for the cold winter weather! 888.754.8299!


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