It is advisable to change to winter tyres as early as you think you might end up with winter conditions. The further north you live, that will be early compared to if you live very south. Driving with winter tyres when there is still no ice, but it is cold, is not bad. So once the evening and night temperatures start dropping down closer to zero, it is definitely time to start planning your tyre change.
It is always better to have winter tyres on your car when it is not winter conditions compared to having summer tyres on your car, and you end up having winter conditions. Winter tyres will wear a bit faster when you drive them in plus degrees compared to driving with them during winter temperatures. However, you will still have a good grip even in plus degrees when it comes to safety. When you compare that to driving with summer tyres, summer tyres can be dangerous to drive with during winter conditions. This is because they become hard and lose a lot of the grip that you will need for safe driving.
So if you change your tyres too late and end up in a situation where you are surrounded by snow and ice, and you still have your summer tyres on your car, it is always best to refrain from driving until the weather has returned to plus degrees. If you are heavily dependent on your car, you must make sure to change well before the winter weather arrives, even if it would arrive early. The same goes when the winter is coming to an end; it is better to wait until spring has proceeded long enough so that you are sure that the winter weather will not return.
If you have studded tyres, you will have to comply with the regulations when it comes to the dates by when you can have them on at the earliest, and the same goes for the latest date that you can have them on. These dates don’t comply if you have already winter conditions, as then you have the right to use them. It is all down to safety at the end of the day so that you and your fellow drivers can be safe while driving.
Since you don´t want to miss out and have your summer tyres turn hard, you better plan the tyre change based on temperature than just looking at the weather. When you reach 7°C, your winter tyres actually outperform your summer tyres, so there is no need to wait. You need to prioritize the overall safety and change once you see that the temperature is creeping below the 7°C mark. You also need to ensure that both your summer and winter tyres have a tread depth of more than 4 mm so that they both are as safe as they can be when you have winter approaching
For more information regarding optimal timing for a tyre change, please visit: https://www.nokiantyres.com/