In the Netherlands there is no obligation for summer tyres or winter tyres. Both types of tyres can be used legally all year round, provided they meet the legal requirements. But that also means that you can combine summer and winter tyres without breaking the law, but that is definitely not wise. Read here why.
FOR WINTER TYRES, REAR SUMMER TYRES
There are drivers who think they are smart and, from a cost-saving perspective, decide to buy two winter tyres instead of four. Those tyres are then mounted on the drive wheels. Or vice versa. When the winter is over, the summer tyres are neatly put back on the drive wheels and the winter tyres on the other wheels remain in place.
However, combining summer and winter tyres can lead to dangerous situations. Summer and winter tyres have different properties. They are specifically designed to perform in summer or winter conditions. The temperature of the road surface and the outside air has a major influence on this.
DIFFERENCE BRAKING DISTANCE WINTER TYRES AND SUMMER TYRES
At temperatures above 7 degrees Celsius, the performance of a traditional winter tyre deteriorates significantly. The same with summer tyres below 7 degrees Celsius. In the first place, the tyres offer much less grip. Not only can this cause unpleasant surprises when cornering, it also ensures a longer braking distance. In comparison: at a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius and a speed of 50 km / h, a car on summer tyres can stop on a dry road surface within 12 meters. On winter tyres, a car needs about 15 meters in the same conditions. And as the temperature increases, the difference in braking distance gets bigger and bigger.
In addition, the braking force of the front and rear wheels has been fine-tuned by the car manufacturer for safe and stable handling during braking. If the summer tyres on the rear axle provide much more grip than the winter tyres on the front axle, the rear wheels can brake more forcefully than the front wheels, which is precisely not the intention. This can seriously endanger the stability of the car, with all that that entails.
“Especially with a front-wheel drive car, which by nature has an understeered character, the electronics are not designed for the rear wheels to slip.”
FUEL CONSUMPTION WINTER TYRES AND SUMMER TYRES
Furthermore, the electronic stability control of a car is also precisely tuned to the character of the car. Especially in a front-wheel drive car, which by nature has an understeered character, the electronics are not designed for the rear wheels to slip. If in winter conditions only winter tyres are mounted on the front axle and the summer tyres on the rear axle provide much less grip, the car can exhibit unpredictable and uncontrollable handling.
Then you also have to deal with the fuel consumption of the car. At temperatures above 7 degrees Celsius, winter tyres provide much more rolling resistance than summer tyres. In addition to excessive wear, winter tyres also lead to higher fuel consumption in warm weather.
WINTER TYRES AND SUMMER TYRES COMBINE MOT
Despite all the disadvantages and an increased risk of an accident, it is not prohibited in the Netherlands to combine summer tyres and winter tyres. It is also not a rejection point for periodic APK inspection, provided the tyres meet the legal requirements, such as sufficient tread depth and the same tyre size left and right. There are therefore many cases of motorists who, prior to the APK inspection, exchange two worn summer tyres for two winter tyres that are still in the shed and then leave them under the car for a longer period. So that is definitely not wise. Better no winter tyres than two winter tyres.