Bradley Jando | Monday 8th November 2021 11:18am
Picture the scene. One of your tyres has given out and no amount of anti-puncture tape is going to fix the problem - itís time to buy a new tyre for your car. For something that can be (relatively!) hassle-free, buying a new tyre for your car can often throw up many valid questions, with perhaps the most common of all being whether or not you can use different brand tyres on your car.
The short answer? It is perfectly legal to use different brand tyres on your car, however, this doesnít always mean you should. Slight differences in the tyre could end up causing huge differences in performance, which can ultimately end up damaging both your car and your wallet as a result!
The long answer is a bit more complicated, so letís explore the ins and outs of using different brand tyres on your car.
Why people use different brand tyres
The most common reason people opt for different brand tyres is that they can potentially save you money. Alongside all the big name brands, thereís also plenty of smaller brands available that are typically cheaper overall. Of course, sometimes the reason people opt for different brand tyres is that theyíre the only option available at the time!
The rules around using different brand tyres
With that said, using different brand tyres is not as simple as picking the cheapest one available and calling it a day. There are plenty of rules you still need to follow when picking a tyre, both from a legal and safety point of view.
Legal rules around using different brand tyres
When it comes to using different brand tyres, a lot of it comes down to which specific tyre you are looking to replace. If youíre wanting to use a different brand tyre, it needs to be installed across the same axle if youíre only changing the one. Not doing so can result in different tread patterns across axles, which can end up affecting grip, steering, and acceleration. As such, youíll need to ensure you only install different brand tyres on different axles or ensure all your tyres are replaced with the same different brand.
You also need to be careful with different brand tyres when it comes to cross-ply and radial-ply tyres. Both have their perks and cons, but their differences mean you should never mix them, as they can affect braking efficiency, as well as how accurate your speedometer is.
Recommendations on using different brand tyres
While there are also some things you can get away with when it comes to using different brand tyres on your car, it doesnít always mean you should.
Different brand tyres, even when similar, can have different tread depths. Having a mix of different tread depths can affect your levels of grip, which is why itís recommended to install new same-brand tyres on the rear axle to help minimise this. Opting for different brand tyres means thereís an increased likelihood they won't be exactly the same as your carís current brand of tyres, which could slightly affect the levels of grip when driving.
The exceptions to using different brand tyres
With all that said, there are a few types of cars that can get away with not following some of these rules due to their unique build, meaning they have been designed to be able to handle different types of tyres by default.
These are the exceptions though, which means if your car is able to manage tyres of varying sizes, youíd likely have been told this when you first purchased the car. If in doubt, donít hesitate to ask your local tyre expert on your next visit!
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