Skip to main content

A third of Canadian drivers are less likely to buy winter tires due to costs of living: report

A new survey finds that one in three Canadian drivers are less likely to buy winter tires due to today's economic climate.

The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) said in its report Monday that the main reason drivers use winter tires is for safety. Even though many are aware of the benefits, 31 per cent are less likely to buy winter tires this year due to the high cost of living.

"Certainly, in this era of the high cost of living, winter tires are considered an expense by some," said Carol Hochu, president of TRAC.

TRAC's survey found that 67 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires, which offer superior grip and shorter stopping distances. However, switching out two sets of rims and tires every spring and fall adds up, and drivers must also find a place to store them.

Despite the added costs, the survey found 85 per cent believe winter tires are an essential investment.

"The plain all-season tire will not perform so well once the temperature hits 7 degrees Celsius," Hochu said.

Consumer Reports just tested all-season, all-weather and winter tires and found that a dedicated winter tire is the best choice for grip and traction for winter driving. However, some all-weather tires have some of the same attributes as winter tires.

"In our testing, they absolutely work. They are not as superior as a winter tire, but they're better than an all-season and a notch below winter tires," said Ryan Pszczolkowski, tire expert with Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports tested 50 sets of tires and, for winter tires, rated the Bridgestone Blizzak highest, followed by the Michelin X-Ice Snow and the Continental VikingContact 7.

Winter tires are now mandatory in Quebec and on most routes in British Columbia.

Through Leger's online panel, TRAC surveyed 1,521 Canadian drivers between Oct. 20 and 22. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Top Stories

Ontario doctors disciplined over Israel-Gaza protests

A number of doctors are facing scrutiny for publicizing their opinions on the Israel-Hamas war. Critics say expressing their political views could impact patient care, while others say that it is being used as an excuse for censorship.

'No concessions' St-Onge says in $100M a year news deal with Google

The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act that will see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to publishers, and continue to allow access to Canadian news content on its platform. This comes after Google had threatened to block news on its platform when the contentious new rules come into effect next month.

Live updates

Live updates Hamas frees 10 Israeli women and children, 4 Thai nationals

Ten Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals held captive in Gaza were freed by Hamas, and Israel followed with the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners Thursday. It was the latest exchange of hostages for prisoners under a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war. Two Russian-Israeli women were also freed by Hamas in a separate release.


opinion Don Martin: With Trudeau resignation fever rising, a Conservative nightmare appears

With speculation rising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will follow his father's footsteps in the snow to a pre-election resignation, political columnist Don Martin focuses on one Liberal cabinet minister who's emerging as leadership material -- and who stands out as a fresh-faced contrast to the often 'angry and abrasive' leader of the Conservatives.

Stay Connected