Despite sounding like a stocking filler destined to be lost in the washing, snow socks are tools that could help save you from unexpected snowfall.

Designed to add an extra layer of grip to car wheels, snow socks simply pull over a car's driven wheels for when attempting to drive on snowy roads or move out of a parking space.

Made from textiles with fibres that are arranged at a right angle in the direction of travel, they generate friction between the road and the tyre because dry snow and ice sticks to the surface.

Snow socks also help car handling when it comes to driving over ice as they separate water between the tyre and road surface, therefore reducing the risk of skidding.

Although they should not be considered as a complete alternate for winter tyres, snow socks are considered to be a handy option to store in your boot for when the weather conditions turn against you.

Remove the socks once you have cleared the snow or ice and have stopped the car in a safe position. They should not be used on clear surfaces or tarmac as this will ruin the material.

© AutoSock © AutoSock

Those who regularly have to drive through long distances of snow and ice are recommended to stick with winter tyres over snow socks though, as Which? found that none of the nine snow sock brands they tested performed better than winter tyres. Tests also showed that all of the snow sock brands performed better than summer tyres alone on snow and on icy roads.

How to fit snow socks

Make sure that you can fit your hand between the top of the tyre and the wheel arch.

Pull the snow socks over the wheels and tyres of your car. If your car is a front wheel drive put one on each of the front wheels. For rear-wheel driver put one on each of the rear wheels.

Move the car back and forwards gently until each sock is fully over the tyre.

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