Use of so called summer tyres is common in the UK, even in the colder parts like the East Coast of Scotland.
The issue is not driving to the conditions primarily, I have never had an accident in snow or during cold weather.
But if you want to cover all bases then putting on cheap winter tyres will be better than most summer tyres.
For example Avon ZV3's were excellent in the snow on the wife's Clio but wore out quickly on the front in summer/autumn etc.
The Kumho KH17 is a reasonable tyre, but the tread pattern is just straight lines and the compound is on the harder side.
I have winters on my Volvo and hand on heart I don't think they made any real difference last winter apart from being 40% more expensive than a normal tyre, that will be called a summer tyre in the US and perhaps in mainland Europe.
I does demand on amounts of snow though, if we got the levels of snow in the UK that you do in other places I may have a different opinion.
From what my old workmates say the London Ambulance Service is not putting on winter tyres this year, they did it last year for the first time ever and I don't think the cost could be justified, as they ended up leaving winter tyres on for the rest of the year, and nothing wears out faster than a winter tyre getting pushed hard in hotter temperatures. Holy shoulder wear Batman!
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