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How to choose car tyres

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 21st August 2019 3:03pm

Tyre size

When it comes to buying new tyres for your car, the amount of choice can make the decision of which tyres to buy tricky. It can sometimes be easier to ignore the fact that your tyres need replacing. However, tyres with insufficient tread depth caused MOT failures for 830,000 drivers.

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 when choosing tyres.

Where can I find my tyre size?

It is important to know your correct tyre size before purchasing tyres.  You can find your tyre size on the sidewall of your tyre or in its manual and documentation. 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 better safety and performance. 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.

Does each tyre have to be from the same manufacturer?

Generally speaking, this one is very much a truth. By having the same model of tyre on each wheel will be able to maintain even performance and control of your car. And legally you must have the same tyres across the same axle.

The reason for using the same tyres on all wheels is to ensure a consistent level of performance. Each tyre manufacturer will create their products differently, with different compounds and 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.

What is the difference between summer and winter tyres?

Tyres that are specifically designed for summer and winter respectively are always going to offer the best performance during the season they were designed for. As a result of this, it makes sense to switch to the correct tyres when the season changes. However, all-season tyres can be a good alternative for countries like the UK with relatively mild climates all year round.

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. You can see all of the car manufacturer’s OE codes here.

Premium or budget tyres

Expensive tyres tend to be better than cheaper budget alternatives. This is shown by independent tyre testing. The reason for this 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. 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.

What are the right tyres for your car?

The right tyre for you depends on what you use your vehicle for and your driving style. It is important to consider what your needs are for your tyres before making the purchase. If you need any advice on choosing your tyres, head down to your nearest Kwik Fit centre and they will be happy to help.

Tags : Tips Tyres

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