With February's weather being much milder than in previous years, does this mean that soon winter tires will no longer be obligatory? Those keen to swap their tires over may have to hold their horses a bit longer...

The Highway Code stipulates that cars must have winter tires mounted during winter conditions, which normally encompasses black ice, packed snow, slushy snow, patches of ice, and frost.

As a result, there is no particular period during the year in which motorists must have winter tires mounted to their vehicles. Instead, the stipulation depends on weather conditions and ordinarily, the police recommend remaining cautious and keeping the winter tires on, even if the weather looks set to improve.

For those motorists anxious to retire their winter tires until the autumn in light of the warmer weather, the official recommendation is to continue using winter tires when temperatures g under 7 degrees Celsius. The police recommend equipping cars with winter tires from October until Easter.

Additionally, the police highlighted that using winter tires reduces your breaking distance by 25% compared to summer tires.

Further to that, it is generally a good way to keep track of tire wear by travelling the same distance with winter tires as with summer tires. As a result, neither set of tires should in theory wear out quicker.

So, it is best not to be too hasty and swap the tires over: if the weather turns in March with a late snowstorm (which has happened in the past) and you're caught out without your winter tires, the police will fine you €74 and immobilise your vehicle.

Other recommendations

Although the Highway Code stipulates that winter tires must have a minimum groove depth of 1.6 mm, the police recommend replacing tires with groove depths of less than 4mm.

After all, while there has been much technological innovation in braking assistance, your vehicle relies on your tires to brake and those tires should be in a good condition in order to best serve your car.

If you do have to fit new tires, it is better to fit the newer (or less used) tires at the rear of your car. The driver does not control the loss of traction at the rear of the car, so new tires at the back of the vehicle provides the driver with more security.