So, officially, at least, the Summer is over. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us. However, that is not stopping temperatures getting into the mid 20's, (yes, even though I am an old fogey, I use Celcius because Farenheit is a nonsense).

Inevitably, though, temperatures will drop and before we know it Winter will be here. Last Winter was a bit of a non-event with only the occasional cold snap to accompany the gloomy dark mornings and evenings. But I was still very pleased that I had my winter boots on. By which, I mean winter tyres.

Winter tyres are much misunderstood. It is not only snowy conditions when they ar beneficial, and they cost nothing, (almost). I bet that latter statement raised a few eye brows!

First things first; winter, (or cold weather), tyres are particularly beneficial on rear wheel drive cars. That automatically encompasses Mercedes and BMW, but there are several others out there. That is not to say they are a waste of time on front wheel drive cars. Whether 4x4's need them is debatable, but you have to ask why manufacturers bother to make cold weather tyres for 4x4's if they are nor needed.

Second, they become effective at temperatures of 7 deg C or below, especially in the wet. The compound of which the treads are made remain soft and grippy at these temperatures while conventional tyres become hard and un-grippy. Also, they have additional grooves which help disperse water more quickly and, when it is snowy, bite down into the snow to improve traction.

So, what about the cost? It is simple - when you put winter tyres on, you take your conventional tyres off. You are only wearing out one set of tyres at a time, although you actually own two sets. If you alternated the tyres every six months, (actually, winter tyres tend to be fitted for around four months of the year), together they would last twice as long as one set of tyres. So, it does require some additional up-front investment, but the cost is almost the same in the long run.

I always fit cold weather tyres, usually some time in November. I drive a lot of miles, often very early in the morning and it is a "no brainier" for me. I would urge you to think about whether you could benefit from some better grip in tricky conditions - and who couldn't?