When to Change to Summer and Winter Tires

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When is the best time to change your winter tires over to summer ones? When the snow melts? Maybe – but maybe not. If you live in an area that sometimes likes to play with your emotions by presenting a “spring of deceit” you may be in for a big surprise if you swap too soon and are suddenly met with an unexpected snow dump the next morning. Your insurance provider may have an idea of when best to change your tires to the seasonally appropriate ones, and they’ll thank you for doing just that!

Want to save on your auto insurance premiums? Switching between summer and winter tires – where appropriate – is a great way to do that, as many auto insurance providers will offer discounts for switching tires when it is right to do so. This can also ensure that you are equipped with the best possible tires for the job so that you can remain safe and secure on the road.

Are all-season tires bad?


No, technically all-season tires are not “bad.” It just depends on where you live. You also won’t qualify for a winter tire discount, if that is something that your insurance provider offers.

Here’s the thing – while all-season tires can perform alright in “temperate” weather, they may offer far less traction than summer tires in the heat and winter tires in the ice and snow. They may even curb your ability to steer, brake, and corner. If you live in an area that only sees moderate weather fluctuations and lighter seasonal conditions, all-season tires may be a great way to save a buck, but for those of us who live in areas where we see heavy winters and blazing hot summers, you’re better off making the change twice a year between sets of tires.

This can help save you money and keep you safer on the road. If you opt for all-season tires in areas with extreme weather that occurs seasonally, your tires will wear down faster than if you were changing them twice a year. This means you will have to replace them sooner, and this isn’t always cheap. You may be able to extend the lifespan of your tires by switching between winter and summer where appropriate and when the weather allows.

When should I install winter tires to qualify for the auto insurance discount?


Many insurance providers will offer what is know as a “winter tire discount” on auto insurance premiums to encourage drivers to swap over at a decent time. When it comes to driving in the winter, poor weather and slippery roads are hard enough to navigate on their own – and “all-season” tires or summer tires can perform even worse. They do not provide the right traction on snow and ice, which can make driving safely very difficult. Insurance providers prefer you to drive as safely as possible so as to minimize the chance of having to make a claim, which is why they encourage the switching over to winter tires with the promise of a discount for doing so at a good time. But when is it best to install winter tires to qualify for a discount?

The answer is that it depends on the insurance provider. A good rule of thumb to follow is to change your tires over when the average temperature reaches below 7°C, however many providers’ cut off date is much later than that. Some cut off on December first or mid-November. But, depending on where you live, the temperature may already be consistently dipping below 0°C long before that!

Where you live matters in when you should change your tires.


When it come to car insurance Calgary drivers, and many residents of regions where the snow can come hard and unexpectedly, may benefit from changing their summer tires over to winter tires on a strict timeline. Generally, weather may follow a consistent trend, but you should always be proactive – you wouldn’t want to be stuck with your summer tires and suffer a huge, unexpected dump of snow that can be difficult to traverse and even potentially dangerous!

The same goes for switching to summer tires. When the weather is consistently above 7°C, it is a good idea to make the change. You should take your winter tires off by the date specified by your insurance carrier to still qualify for a discount. You may need to discuss with your broker about the exact date, but generally this is just before or after April 1st. Again, you should stick to the general weather trends of where you live for safety reasons, but these are good dates to keep in mind.

It’s not just about summer/winter vs. all-season – it’s about you.


When choosing a tire, it isn’t as simple as mounting whatever set “seems” right for you. You will want to consider the climate that you live in, the worth of a potential discount, driving conditions in your area, and your performance needs.

You may also want to factor in speed rating, load capacity, and the recommended tire size of your manufacturer. There may be additional specifications you will want to take into account as well.

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