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Which Tires are Best for Winter Driving in Vancouver?

Winter Tires vs. All-season Tires in Vancouver

The choice between all-season and winter tires is primarily determined by the weather and road conditions. For the most part of the year, rain dominates Vancouver's weather calendar. When winter arrives, we usually see snow on the mountains or higher elevations, but mostly wet rainy surfaces on the lower mainland.

So, do you need snow tires in a city that almost rarely snows? What about all-season tires, which should perform admirably in any weather? In Vancouver, the debate over whether all-season or winter tires are better is never-ending. We examined both winter and all-season tires to assist you in determining your best tire options for safe winter driving and, hopefully, clearing the mist entirely.

What are All-Season tires?

All-season tires are designed to provide a relatively quiet ride, long tread life, and all-year performance. All-season tires, in theory, provide versatile performance in a wide range of weather conditions, including wet surfaces and light winter conditions.

All-season tires, however, sacrifice some maximum summer and winter performance capabilities to achieve this versatility. They won’t provide the same level of extreme grip and sharp handling as a summer tire. Similarly, an all-season tire is not intended to handle extreme winter conditions such as snowshoeing or driving on ice.

All-season tires are recommended for temperatures above seven degrees Celsius so they are not all-weather tires, and not recommended to use in snow and ice. They will provide excellent year-round performance for drivers who live in temperate climates and do not frequently face extreme cold, ice, and snow during the winter months.

What are Winter Tires?

Winter tires are specifically designed to withstand cold temperatures, ice, snow, freezing rain, and slush. Their distinct characteristics enable them to handle these conditions flawlessly and optimally. Their tread patterns, for example, are designed to remain soft in cold temperatures for improved road grip. They also have deeper tread depths, which help to reduce snow buildup and provide better traction in the snow, as well as evacuate snow and slush from the tire's footprint for better hydroplaning resistance.

Winter Tires vs. All-Season tires: Which one is best?

We started by stating that the best tire for you is one that is appropriate for the weather and road conditions in which you are driving.

In BC, drivers are required to use M+S or 3PMSF tires for winter driving from October 31st to April 30th on designated routes. Both all-weather and winter tires are permitted for use during this period. Some good winter tires to consider with excellent tread designs for winter are Michelin X Ice Tires and Bridgestone Blizzak Tires.

Although all-weather tires bear the M+S symbol, they do not provide the necessary safety and performance to deal with Vancouver's rain and black ice. Winter tires are not only the safest but also the best option.

Do you need really need winter tires in Vancouver?

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not you need winter tires in Vancouver. In a city that experiences mild winters, it can be hard to justify the added expense of winter tires over all seasons.

That said, there are some definite benefits to using winter tires in Vancouver. For one, they provide greater traction in slippery conditions, which can be essential for staying safe on icy or slushy roads. Additionally, winter tires are better at combating the effects of winter weather, such as snow and ice build-up.

If you do decide to switch to winter tires, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that your winter tires are aligned and balanced properly. Second, don’t forget to switch them back to all seasons in the spring – using winter tires in the summer can significantly decrease their lifespan.

Ultimately, the decision to use winter tires in Vancouver comes down to personal preference and safety. If you feel comfortable driving in slippery conditions without them, then you may not need them. However, if you’re concerned about the potential for accidents during the winter, then winter tires are a good investment.

Shop for tires at

When it comes to driving in winter conditions, having the right tire is critical. carries a large selection of winter and all-season tires for your car, truck, and SUV  to meet your driving needs and budget and can help you find tires that fit your vehicle.

Visit or call us today for the best tire prices, low shipping rates, and hassle-free installation services.

Hours: Monday – Friday 10:30am – 7:30pm EST is a Canadian based business serving the community since 1972. We're very proud of our reputation for excellence in serving Canadians nationwide.

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We offer customers the widest selection of winter, summer, all-weather, and all-season tires. Shop warehouse direct with today!

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