Difference between summer, all-season and winter tyres

When searching for a new set of tyres, you’re confronted with decisions even before you know which tyre to buy. Chief among them: Which tyre type do you want? Will it be the jack of all trades, the all-season tyre? Or will you be placing the benefits of winter and summer tyres above them? To help you answer these questions, we’ve collected the most important facts of each tyre type and their key differences. This way, you can take a well-informed decision.


What are all-season tyres?

All-season tyres are exactly what their name suggests: They work in all seasons throughout the entire year – with some exceptions. In the following, we’ll break down the traits of the all-season tyre and its advantages.

All-season tyre appearance

The all-season tyre features several solid ‘tread blocks’. These are classically arranged in a chevron-like pattern. The tread depth is not too shallow like in summer tyres or deep as in winter tyres .

The tyre compound is slightly harder, especially when you compare all-season vs winter tyres. This is how these tyres don’t wear as quickly – the all-season tyre has a longer tread life due to its harder compound. But its compound is not as hard as that of a summer tyre. And in turn, the tread life is shorter when compared to that of a summer tyre.

All-season tyres can carry one to two markings that indicate good winter performance: One is the M+S (Mud + Snow) marking, which indicates that it performs well on both surfaces. However, it is not certified. That is the case with the second marking, the Alpine symbol (3PMSF – “3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake”). This is why from October 2024 onwards, only winter and all-season tyres with this symbol are permitted for use in the winter months.

Barum. A brand of Continental.
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