Do I Need All-Season Tires?

All-season tires are a durable option that will work great for anyone who doesn’t drive in extreme weather conditions.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
All-season tires are designed for a smooth and quiet ride in most moderate weather conditions. They’re durable, long-lasting, and perform well in dry, rainy, and lightly snowy conditions. 
You might think that you can drive your car off the lot with whatever tires are on it at the dealership, but there are actually a variety of tires designed to suit your specific driving needs. However, with all of the options out there, it can be hard to know exactly which kind to choose.
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is here to help! We’ve created a detailed tire guide so you can confidently decide whether all-season tires are the right option for you.

What are all-season tires? 

All-season tires are exactly what they sound like—tires designed to be used all year round. They’re made of natural rubber and are great for driving on regular roads in extremely hot, mild, and cool temperatures. They also perform well in both dry and wet conditions. All-season tires are designed to be long-lasting, so they’re a great no-nonsense option.
However, it’s important to note that all-season tires are not designed for extreme winter conditions. While they can get you through the occasional winter flurry, they’re not a safe option for deep ice, snow, or consistent cold weather (temperatures regularly below about 45𝇈F). 

All-season tires vs. all-weather tires

While the phrases “all-season” and “all-weather” sound quite the same, they actually refer to slightly different types of tires! All-weather tires have many of the same features as all-season tires but will perform better in winter conditions. 
The main difference between the tires is the tread compound. An all-season tire’s tread compound is designed to be durable and stand the test of time, but it stiffens in colder temperatures. On the other hand, all-weather tires have a tread compound that remains flexible in winter conditions. However, they don’t offer as smooth a ride and will wear down a bit faster. 

How many miles will all-season tires last? 

All-season tires have one of the longest lifespans out there—good brands will last up to 80,000 miles! On average, people drive 12,000-15,000 miles a year, so you can get several good years out of an all-season tire if you do not abuse them. 
Keep in mind that cheaper all-season tires will wear out much more quickly, so it’s still important to invest in a quality brand. Additionally, if you drive your all-terrain tires in too-cold conditions, they’ll expire much sooner (and you’re much more likely to cause an accident). 
If your winter weather typically falls near or below freezing (even if you don’t see a lot of snow), consider switching out your all-season tires for winter tires during the coldest months of the year. This will make both sets last as long as possible! 
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Will all-season tires decrease fuel efficiency? 

To understand how your tires affect your fuel efficiency, you need to understand the term rolling resistance. A tire’s rolling resistance simply refers to the amount of force required to keep it moving. The higher the rolling resistance, the more force (and fuel!) required.
Tires with less tread have less traction, meaning they have low rolling resistance. All-season tires fit into this category! This means that all-season tires have great fuel efficiency, though they won’t offer much traction in slippery snow and ice. 
Fuel efficiency is, perhaps, one reason many drivers prefer all-season tires over their higher-traction counterparts. 
Key Takeaway All-season tires are fuel-efficient for warm and mild road conditions. 

Are all-season tires worth it?

There’s a reason all-season tires are one of the most common options—they’re smooth, reliable, and durable. Additionally, you’ll find a wide variety of options at every single price point because of their popularity.
However, all-season tires are an inefficient year-round choice if you live somewhere with low temperatures and severe winter weather. Not only will they wear quickly, they’ll actually be extremely dangerous to drive with! 
Of course, you can always use all-season tires in the warmer months and trade them out for winter tires when the snow flies. This will allow for maximum performance and safety, preserving the life of both sets of tires. 

How much should you pay for all-season tires? 

Because all-season tires are a popular, versatile option, you’ll find a wide range of price points. According to CostHelper, all-season tires can be found for as low as $50 per tire, and as expensive as $200 per tire!
Of course, the quality of tire you select should be dependent on the quality of your vehicle, as well as on your driving habits. (We wouldn’t suggest putting a very cheap tire on a brand new luxury vehicle!) However, the average price range for all-season tires is about $80-$150 each.

What type of tires does your car need? 

It’s important to remember that your vehicle’s tires can impact ride quality, road safety, and gas mileage. That’s why you should carefully consider which tires are best for you and your car.
Here’s a cheat sheet with some things to consider when examining all of your options:
Type of vehicle
Driving conditions
Best type of tire
Average cost
Average lifespan
Passenger vehicles (car, SUV, or minivan)
Climates above 45° F
All-season tires
$80 to $150
60,000 miles
Passenger vehicles
Extensive commuting in moderate weather
Highway tires
$100 to $300
60,000 miles
Passenger vehicles (especially sports cars)
Racing and warm-weather driving
Summer tires
$150 to $300
30,000 miles
SUVs and trucks
Mix of highway and off-road driving
All-terrain tires
$150 to $300
40,000 miles
SUVs and trucks
Mud tires
$125 to $300
20,000 miles
Cold weather, snow, and ice
Snow tires
$80 to $200
30,000 miles or 4 winter seasons

How to find affordable car insurance

Once you’re finished tire shopping, there’s one more thing to do before your wheels are ready to hit the road! You’ll need to make sure your vehicle is protected with a great insurance policy.
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