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Are winter tires worth the investment?

Chances are you’ve experienced a moment of panic on winter roads, trying to brake in slippery conditions, but the tires won’t grip.

While most Canadians have been through this scenario ‐ and understand the importance of installing winter tires – not everyone does. But why not? Possibly the expense or a belief that all-season tires are good enough for winter driving. Let’s take a closer look at why those reasons don’t add up.

Winter tires vs. all-season tires

The cost of winter tires, also referred to as snow tires, can vary widely: four tires on rims (plus installation and balancing) averages around $1,000. Add in the storage expense and you can see why so many prefer to stick with their all-seasons year-round.

But, the idea of foregoing winter tires to save money doesn’t add up when you look at the most important element of winter tires: their performance.

The rubber in all-season tires begins to lose its elasticity and harden at 7°C, and that means a loss of traction. The latest generation of winter tires maintains flexibility at extremely low temperatures (to around –40°C), providing up to 50% more traction than all-seasons.

The investment pays off

In an accident, a $500 deductible represents approximately half of what you could have spent on winter tires. What’s more, insurance premiums can be affected (depending on fault), and other costs may arise in connection with time lost from work, personal injury and recovery. In the end, you could pay as much as you would have for winter tires – and still be in a position of needing them.

Using winter tires also prolongs the life of primary tires. Instead of buying two sets of all-season tires over the lifetime of your car, you’re buying one set of winter tires and one set of all-seasons.

There’s also your potential insurance discount for winter tires. Depending on your province, you could be eligible for a discount of up to 5% on your auto insurance for installing winter tires. Contact your Financial Advisor and find out if you’re eligible.

Above all, winter tires are an investment in the most significant winter consideration of all: the safety and protection of yourself and those around you.