How to Choose the Right Tyres for Your Car

Bradley Jando | Friday 10th September 2021 3:03pm

Tyre size

When it comes to buying new tyres for your car, the amount of choice can make the decision seem impossible. It can sometimes be easier to ignore the fact that your tyres need replacing at all. However, tyres with insufficient tread depth are illegal and can cause MOT failure.

Making sure that your tyres are in good condition before your MOT test can save you money and time in the long run. If you’re looking for new tyres, make sure you establish what factors are important to you before choosing.

Where can I find my tyre size?

It is important to know what size tyre you'll need before purchasing.  You can find your tyre size on the sidewallof your tyre or in its manual and documentation. The first important thing to check is the load index to see if the tyre is able to support the weight of your vehicle. It’s also important to look at the maximum speeds that your tyres can run at to ensure that they are compatible with your vehicle. Make sure that the tyres you purchase have a valid speed rating otherwise you may void your car insurance.

The diagram below shows how to read your tyre size.

tyre sidewall markings

Why is tyre size important?

Finding tyres that are the right size for your car is important for a few reasons. Tyres that are the right size for your vehicle will allow for increased safety and performance. 

Does each tyre have to be from the same manufacturer?

Generally speaking, the answer is "Yes".

Each tyre manufacturer will create their products differently, with various compounds, materials, and tread patterns. As such, they all perform differently. The danger of having a mix of tyres on your car is that it can lead to uneven performance, such as when clearing from the road, and that increases the chances of having an accident.

By having the same model of tyre on each wheel you will be able to maintain even performance and control of your car. And legally you must have the same tyres across the same axle.

Should I buy the same brand as my existing tyres?

Some cars come fitted with OE (‘Original Equipment’) tyres. The OE tyres that your car comes with are the tyres that have specifically been designed by the manufacturer with your vehicle in mind. This will bring out the best of your vehicle in terms of safety and performance. If you’re not sure whether your vehicle was fitted with OE tyres when you bought it, look at the sidewall of the tyre. OE tyres have letters to identify the vehicle maker

Premium or budget tyres

Premium tyres like Continental tend to be better than more budget alternatives, as shown by independent tyre testing. The reason for this difference in quality is that premium tyres tend to have undergone more intensive research and development process than budget ones. So, although they may seem more expensive initially, premium tyres can be a good investment.

Part-worn tyres

Part-worn tyres can seem like a bargain compared to premium tyres. But these tyres have already been worn down so they are less safe than new tyres. Also, they don’t last as long as some of the tyre has already been worn down. This means that your vehicle has less grip on the road and therefore endangering yourself and other road users.

Tags : Tips Tyres

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

registration plate

Please enter your postcode to see availability information from your local Kwik Fit centre.

Exclusive Online Pricing

We are committed to offering customers our most competitive prices on tyres and more. Read about our exclusive online pricing.

Locate A Centre

Kwik Fit has over 600 centres across the UK including Northern Ireland, many of which are open 7 days a week for your convenience.


We offer a series of FAQs to help you learn more about our services or your vehicle.

Customer Care

0800 75 76 77
You can reach our customer care team 6 days a week from 9:00am to 6:00pm on Monday and Thursday, 8:30am to 6:00pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm Saturday, and 10:00am to 4:00pm on Bank Holidays.