Are winter tires mandatory in Canada?

Each Canadian province has its own laws vis-à-vis winter tires. Installing winter tires is a mandate only in Quebec. Winter tires are required by law in British Columbia if driving on snowy mountain passages, and in New Brunswick only school buses have to bring in winter tires in the winter time. Other than these three regulations, there is no law that Canadians use winter tires in the rest of the country. Even though there is no law for winter tires in some provinces, having them put on, especially when the weather hits minus temperatures, is not a bad idea.

Benefits of winter tires in Canada

What are the cons of winter tires?

Avoiding the extra cost of winter tires is reasonable for many drivers. Over time, winter tires can burn your wallet. All-season tires are a great option for Canadians who live in provinces that do not get hit with a lot of ice and snow. Further, all-season tires last on average up to three years, whereas winter tires are only good for the winter season. Although winter tires usually last up to six years, having them installed every year and rotated throughout the season is an added cost. Some vehicles also need other attachments to winter tires, like hubcaps or steel rims, in order to successfully attach winter tires. If you choose against snow tires, all-season tires may be a reasonable investment that will ensure your safety on the road.

What are the benefits of winter tires in Canada?

Having the most apt tires for winter means increased safety on the road, which for some, depending on the province that you live in, will outweigh costs. If you wish to minimize accidents and vehicle damage, paying the extra money for winter tires are absolutely worth it. After two years of driving with winter tires, it is likely that they will have paid for themselves, and with proper maintenance, they can last up to four more years in winter conditions. Winter tires have superior treads that allow for improved traction when driven through ice and snow. With a softer rubber material, these tires are only suitable for winter driving. In the summer, when temperatures are warmer, this softer material will experience more wear and tear, which is why they should be removed as soon as the spring arrives.

Are winter tires worth the money?

Some Canadians decide against winter tires due to the price. Depending on the model of your vehicle, winter tires can range up to $2,000. However, placing safety above all else is extremely important, especially when it comes to Canada’s dangerous slippery snowy roads. According to Canadian Collision Statistics, 30% of accidents in Canada happened on snowy or icy roads. Therefore, putting yourself and other drivers at risk should be your primary concern.

Are there alternatives to winter tires?

Drivers who do not use winter tires may invest in all-season tires or using vehicle features such as ‘snow mode’ which can offset the slippery nature of driving. Many drivers, particularly those that are driving in parts of the country that are more prone to snow and icy weather, may choose to use all-season or regular tires during the warmer seasons and replace them with winter ones during the colder months. Choosing to install winter tires on your vehicle is a decision that should depend on your province’s winter climate.

Whether you decide to invest in winter tires or not will depend on your specific situation. How often you drive during the winter season, road conditions and the kind of vehicle that you drive are all factors that should be considered before you invest in winter tires. If you have made up your mind on a new vehicle before the winter weather hits, Canada Auto Experts can help you get approved for a new car loan — regardless of your credit score — that is best suited to fit your budget, lifestyle and credit rebuilding needs. Visit Canada Auto Experts today to learn more about their programs or you can fill out their online car loan application now.