Snow Socks, Are They Any Good?

Every year we update our content on winter driving to keep it relevant with today’s motoring and the products available to help us. Snow Socks are a relatively new idea and something we haven’t covered before. Essentially they do what it says on the tin, they are a kevlar cover (Sock) that you can place on your drive wheels to improve grip when driving on snow and ice at speeds of up to 25/30 mph.

There are a few different ones on the market at the moment and a quick google search will show you the options available to you. They all tend to do a similar job performance wise but from what I can see the higher end big-brand ones look a little easier to fit.

Do Snow Socks Work?

All of the research I have seen online suggests that yes they do, they can improve grip when travelling in snowy conditions and are a light weight and mostly cheaper alternative to heavy snow chains.

Take a look at this video from Which? that shows a real life review of the AutoSock.

What Are The Benefits When Hiring A Car?

I can see these being useful for rental car drivers in a few ways.

Firstly they are lightweight and do not take up a lot of space, so if you are travelling abroad and are limited on space and weight then these are ideal.

Secondly is the cost, those that have hired a car in winter before will know that costs can inflate quite a lot, not just because suppliers like increasing prices but because of the additional products you may need. Snow chains and winter tyres can set you back between £50 and £120 per week on top of your rental, you may want to avoid paying these by hiring a car that is fit for the conditions but renting a 4×4 isn’t cheap and even a 4 wheel drive vehicle can come unstuck in wintry weather if they do not have the correct winter tyres fitted. By purchasing a set of snow socks, you can keep the cost down and they are yours to reuse as many times as you like.

Lastly is their practicality, if you are not heading to a destination with a huge chance of snow and maybe just hiring a car in the UK with winter tyres just because we may get some snow could be seen as overkill, especially when the weatherman has a 50/50 shot at getting his prediction right. So by having a pair of these tucked away in the boot could be the best answer, just in case snowmageddon does arrive.

What Are The Draw Backs Of Snow Socks?

From what I have seen in the above video and other research they are not as straight forward to fit in real life as the manufacturers make out. By design they fit snug to the wheel so are quite tight and hard to pull and push into place. If you are caught out by a snow shower then you may find yourself on your knees in the cold and wet trying to fit them while getting pretty dirty.

They are designed to work when driving on snow and ice alone and will be damaged if used on defrosted, gritted roads. So once you have freed yourself from the side streets and hit the clear main road, you need to jump back out and take them off, otherwise you may be back to buy some more sooner than you thought.

Lastly, they come in different sizes because wheels and tyres come in different sizes. So if your sole use for them is when you are travelling and driving a hire car then you would need to consider which size to buy. Most suppliers we deal with have varied fleets of vehicles but would do what they can to find a car for you to suit your needs but there is always that chance that when you arrive you end up with a car that your snow socks just wont fit.

Would I Buy Snow Socks?

I think they are a good option for your own car, if you know the size of the drive wheels you can buy a set to chuck in the boot safe in the knowledge they are there when needed. The practicality of these for a hire car however isn’t great. I can see they have a use and are a low cost alternative to winter tyres but where you gain in cost saving you lose in time, effort and dry cleaning bills.

If you have any questions regarding car hire in winter, snow socks, chains or winter tyres then please get in touch. Our team are on hand to take you through all options available to you.