It may be the second week of fall, but you may as well start preparing for winter. As the temperature dips below seven degrees Celsius, it is time to dust off those winter tires and book an appointment with your mechanic.

Why Winter Tires Over All-Season?

Winter tires are engineered to withstand the frigid temperatures and slippery road conditions your car may encounter during the cold season. Under these same conditions, the rubber of all-season or summer tires stiffens and provides less traction. That’s not all, the tread patterns and depth of winter tires work together to reduce snow buildup and provide better grip. Therefore, winter tires may prevent accidents by providing better traction and a greater stopping distance.

Switching Could Save You Money

Not only will investing in winter tires extend the life of your summer tires, saving you money in the long-term, but you can receive up to a five percent discount on your car insurance.

Currently, winter tires are only mandatory in the Province of Quebec (December 1 to March 15) and on some British Columbia highways (October 15 to May 1). However, insurance providers typically require you to switch to your winter tires by November first and keep them on until April to qualify for the discount. Switching to your winter tires earlier can help you beat the last-minute rush to the garage and prepare your car for the unpredictable Canadian weather.

Winter Driving Refresher

Just because you are prepared for winter, doesn’t mean your fellow drivers are. It is a good idea to refresh yourself on winter driving before the first snowfall.

According to Global News, “nearly 200 minor collisions were reported in the city during a 12-hour period due to the snowfall”, early last November. So, it may be best to change your winter tires sooner rather than later.

Tips for winter driving:

  • Clear all the snow off of your car: This is not only safe but can prevent you from getting a ticket.
  • Drive conservatively: Adjust for slippery road conditions and double the two-second rule. This should leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Prepare an emergency kit: Keeping a small shovel and some cat litter in your car can help dig you out of a snowbank. Spare anti-freeze is also important.
  • Top-up your tank: Keep your gas tank above half so that you always have plenty to heat your car if you become stranded.

Having a clean driving record and prepping your car with winter tires may help keep your auto insurance rates low. However, unless you compare rates regularly you are probably overpaying for car insurance. Compare quotes at Rates.ca to get the best deal on car insurance.

Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

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