There are a number of differences between summer tyres and winter or all-weather tyres; summer tyres are designed to be used in temperatures exceeding 7°C (anything less and the compounds aren’t achieving their optimal working temperature). They generally have fewer sipes and grooves in them as water dispersal isn’t key to their performance, and thanks to their larger contact surface area and the compound used, offer a greater degree of grip.
Choosing the right summer tyres
For many, a one-size-fits-all approach to their tyre choice is the natural way forward; swapping tyres with the seasons may not make economic sense, and you can use summer tyres in the winter in a more temperate climate (unless, of course, the weather dictates otherwise). Having the right tyres fitted for the road conditions could certainly yield improvements to your motoring experience. Whatever you do, however, mixing winter and summer tyres is strongly discouraged.
Summer tyres vs winter tyres
Despite not having the same water clearing ability as their winter counterpart, summer tyres are surprisingly efficient and offer good grip levels in the inevitable summer showers that we get here in the UK.
It should also be noted that the road noise of summer tyres is generally lessened, especially when compared to the more specialised winter tyres, and you may even find better fuel consumption, although accurate comparisons can be difficult due to natural differences in driving styles.
While some summer tyres may improve the ride and comfort of your vehicle, you should also remember that the more performance-oriented versions will usually have a stiffer sidewall, which could lead to a slightly firmer ride.