Although considered to provide better grip than socks, they are not suitable for every vehicle. Some standard cars and vehicles which have been modified have dropped suspension, or have larger than standard tyres with reduced clearance between tyre and bodywork are liable to sustain damage when fitted with chains.
If you are not 100% sure your vehicle can safely accommodate chains check the handbook, or have a word with your local dealership. Although snow chains only need to be fitted to the driving wheels of your vehicle, handling characteristics will change so extra care needs to be taken. Many of the UK’s motoring organisations recommend fitting chains all-round when the need arises. Snow chains will cost around £60/pair but shop around.
Made of a woven fabric, snow socks are considered a cheaper alternative to chains, around £30/pair, but this isn’t necessarily the case – so again, shop around. Snow socks work by soaking up the layers of snow, thus providing the additional grip that standard road tyres don’t.
With a thinner profile than chains, they are easily fitted to most makes and models of cars and vans. While a pair fitted to the driving wheels will improve traction, fitting them all-round should improve overall handling.