All-season tires: a convincing alternative for drivers?

By David Barlow
Last Updated: September 13, 2021
all season tire

With all-season tires you save a set of tires and the annoying change from summer to winter tires. At first glance, this makes the all-rounder an attractive alternative. But this is not the optimal solution for every driver.

Depending on the season, drivers have to change tires twice a year. In spring summer tires replace winter tires, in autumn they are replaced again. That not only costs time but also money. According to the law, those who are on the road with all-season tires are allowed to drive all year round with just one set of tires – this is cheaper at first glance. The only requirement: the all-season tires must at least be marked with the M + S symbol. The marking is given to all tires that only have a coarser profile. An additional snowflake symbol is compulsory for new tires produced from 2018 and certifies that the all-season tire is more suitable for winter.

All season tires are a compromise

However, all-weather tires are not the ideal choice for every driver, because all-season tires only ever offer a compromise when it comes to their performance. During development, manufacturers look for the middle ground that satisfactorily masters the requirements in both summer and winter conditions. In the case of strongly seasonally changing weather conditions, the advantages of the summer and winter specialists outweigh the advantages.

The advantages and disadvantages of all-season tires

The advantage of all-season tires is obvious: Drivers save themselves the appointment in the workshop twice a year, so the costs for seasonal tire changes and the storage of the tires are eliminated. In regions with moderate temperature fluctuations and little snowfall, all-season tires are a good compromise. Even the pure city car, with which one does not drive long distances, or the second car, on which one is not necessarily dependent, do not necessarily have to have 8 tires.
All-season tires have to cope with many different weather conditions. Therefore, of course, they are not specialists and are not ideally suited for every surface. A summer tire is always quieter and more fuel-efficient in warm weather, a winter tire always offers significantly more grip than an all-season tire in snow and slippery conditions. Even for frequent drivers with more than 30,000 kilometers a year, an all-season tire is not an optimal solution, because the mileage is significantly lower. The bottom line is that the combined use of summer and winter tires is cheaper for frequent drivers

For which drivers are all-season tires an alternative?

  • Drivers can opt for an all-season tire if:
  • You are traveling in areas with little snow, where there has not been a “real winter” for a long time.
  • You drive a small or compact car that is mainly used in city traffic.
  • You go on holiday in regions with a moderate climate – so neither go on a skiing holiday nor in hot southern regions.

Conclusion on the all-season tire check

In extreme weather conditions, summer or winter tires are definitely superior to all-season tires. In addition, higher wear and tear and fuel consumption quickly nullify the supposed cost advantage due to the omitted tire change – the combined use of summer and winter tires is particularly worthwhile for frequent drivers. Even drivers who want sporty, dynamic driving behavior, who are bothered by the louder road noises and want to save fuel, are better off with 8 tires throughout the year.

David Barlow

Automotive Experts at World Tire Review

Hi everyone, I’m David (Tireguy). I believe that finding tires can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration for almost every driver. That’s why I would like to bring my experiences and knowledges to develop World Tire Review blog, it will give people a deeper understanding of what choosing the right tire is really like!

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