Canada's Winter Tire Laws and Financing
Of the top 10 snowiest cities in the world, four of them are located in Canada. In those cities, the annual snowfall averages fall between 123 and 131 inches. Throughout the rest of Canada, which still gets a decent amount of snow, the average hovers right around 78 inches. With snow comes ice, two elements that make for hazardous driving conditions.
Because snow is par for the course when living in Canada, snow days are few and far between. When the weather turns south, residents still have to drive to work, school and other obligations. Icy and snowy road conditions can make the commute a treacherous one. To reduce the risk of accidents, vehicle owners must take measures to maintain control while on the roads. One such measure is to equip their vehicles with adequate winter tires. In fact, the right tires are such an integral part of vehicle control that many provinces have rules and regulations that require them.
Winter tire laws vary from province to province and, in some areas, from city to city. Some provinces do not have tire laws but merely recommendations. Below is a brief rundown of each province’s tire laws:
Alberta does not mandate that drivers use winter tires. However, Alberta Transportation does recommend that drivers use durable all-season tires when driving in inclement weather.
British Columbia only requires winter tires and/or chains in certain mountainous regions and during certain times of year (typically October 1 through April 30). Signage will be present to notify drivers of tire requirements.
Manitoba only recommends drivers use winter tires. However, the province does have a winter tire program that helps eligible residents finance adequate tires.
New Brunswick law mandates that school buses are equipped with winter tires. Other than that, the province allows drivers to use their best judgment.
For more than a decade, the province has pushed for legislation to make winter tires mandatory. However, as of yet, nothing has come of the efforts. The region does, however, recommend winter tire usage from November 1 through May 31.
Nova Scotia's lawmakers know that new winter tires are cost-prohibitive for many residents, so they do not require them. That said, the authorities understand the importance of quality winter tires and so recommend that those who can afford them, use them.
Ontario does not have any laws in place that mandate residents use winter tires. However, it does require insurers give a discount to drivers who equip their vehicles with adequate tires. That discount can be as high as 5%, which can amount to huge cost savings.
Prince Edward Island
Province guidelines merely suggest that drivers use durable winter tires. There are no laws, however, that require it.
Quebec is the only province in Canada that has legislation that requires vehicle owners to use winter tires. Per the law, which has been in place since 2008, all vehicles must be equipped with adequate winter tires from December 15 through March 15, at the least. Since this law went into place, the province has reported a reduction in accident injuries and fatalities.
Saskatchewan is one of the coldest and snowiest places in all of Canada. Despite that, the province does not have any laws in place that make winter tire usage mandatory. Moreover, the region has one of the lowest rates of winter tire usage in the country, at just 39%.
The Territories also do not have any laws requiring winter tire usage. This is despite also being one of the snowiest regions in the country.
Financing Winter Tires
Winter tires are cost-prohibitive for many Canadian residents, yet Manitoba is the only province that recognizes this and offers financing options. If you cannot afford winter tires outright, but live outside of Manitoba, don’t forego quality tires because of affordability issues. With a little time and research, you can find the best deals and tires and discover the most cost-effective way to pay for them.
When shopping for winter tires, call several different shops to find the best prices. Be sure to inquire about deals, as many tire shops have ongoing discounts on seasonal items.
Once you’ve found the best tires at the best price, shop around for financing options. If you have a credit card with a fair annual percentage rate, you may want to consider using that to finance your new tires. Doing so can help you avoid the hit to your credit that comes with a new loan application and give you flexibility in terms of repayment.
If you don’t have a credit card that can accommodate the cost of new tires, consider alternative sources of lending, such as a personal loan. Though useful, personal loans can be costly, which is why you should shop around and compare rates and terms before deciding on any one solution. To simplify the loan search process, use LoanConnect’s Personal Loan Search Engine, which can help you find the best loan rates in less than a minute.