The results of a survey conducted by Nokian Tyres have shown that a significant percentage of European motorists drive on tires that are unsuitable for the prevailing road and weather conditions. The survey also indicates that central European consumers tend to prefer quality over price when choosing their tires.
According to the survey, the highest percentage of drivers admitting that they use tires designed for the incorrect season is in France (44%). The most aware are German drivers – only 23% of them admit that they occasionally drive on incorrect tires. Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania lie somewhere between these two extremes.
Nokian believes the reason for this may be that drivers feel they do not have time to change their tires, may not know when to change them, switched them too late, or want to get as much mileage as possible out of their current tires before replacing them.
“I am surprised that there are still a substantial number of European drivers who do not respect the functional and safety characteristics of tires, and are taking needless risks as they drive on unsuitable tires. It is clear that a real winter tire can never be reliable in summer, and vice versa – a summer tire or an all-season tire cannot provide as comfortable and safe a ride in wet, icy or snowy winter conditions as a seasonal tire does,” Martin Dražík, product manager for Nokian Tyres, said.
Regarding what type of tires people most often use, seasonal or all-season, the results vary between countries. It was found that all-season tires are most popular in France and Italy, while other countries included in the survey clearly favor seasonal tires.
In recent years, all-season tires have steadily gained market share across central Europe, but seasonal tires continue to be the most popular choice.
When deciding on a purchase, most respondents first take into account quality, then price and environmental friendliness. In this respect, the results in selected European countries are very similar, if not even. Over two thirds of respondents in France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania say quality plays an important role in their purchase. Only one fourth views price as the most important selection criterion. Over half consider premium tires to be safer.