Do I need winter tires?

Although having winter tires is not mandatory in Ontario like it is in other provinces, most automotive experts do recommend their use. While it seems like most of the time you won’t need them or appreciate the difference between having winter tires and normal tires, it’s that one moment you can’t expect or plan for where having them is crucial.

Here are some reasons why having winter tires is a good idea:

  • All winter conditions. Winter tires, or snow tires as they’re also called, are specifically designed to work optimally in all winter conditions: deep snow, icy roads, extremely cold temperatures.
  • Traction. A common perception is that you only need winter tires for snow, but they are also important for braking and turning on icy roads, or even just cold weather. This is because they are made specifically to stay soft enough to maintain grip, whereas all-season tires begin to harden up and lose grip in weather below 7ºC.
  • Insurance. Another benefit of having and using winter tires is the discount Ontario drivers get to their insurance rates. As a result of a recent Ontario budget initiative introduced in April of 2015, drivers will get a discount on their insurance rates just by having and using winter tires.

You can check out our Tire & Wheel Tool to see what brands, sizes, and prices for winter tires that are available for the year, make, and model of your car.