Jack Dreyer | Thursday 24th February 2022 11:30am
Buying new tyres for your car can be more complicated than you might expect. There is a huge range of different tyres available, in different types and sizes, and manufactured by different brands.
With so many car tyres available, it can be difficult to know which tyres you need for your car.
In this guide, we’ll cover the main points to consider when choosing tyres for your car:
What type of tyres do I need?
The first thing to consider when choosing tyres for your car is the type of tyres you need. The main types of tyres available are:
Summer tyres are fitted to cars in the UK as standard, thanks to their all-around performance. Summer tyres provide a high level of grip in warm, dry conditions, while also ensuring safety in wet weather.
Winter tyres are designed for use in winter weather conditions. They have a high groove ratio, making it easier for them to grip on wet or snowy roads. Winter tyres perform best below 7 degrees.
All-season tyres offer an alternative to summer and winter tyres. They are best suited for countries such as the UK where temperatures stay relatively moderate all year round, providing improved performance in cold, icy conditions, as well as the warmer summer months.
Runflat tyres have a reinforced interior wall, meaning you can travel further if you have a puncture. This will give you time to get somewhere you can have your tyres changed, without needing to repair them at the side of the road.
If your car is a 4x4 or SUV, you may require 4x4 tyres. These are designed to withstand larger loads and deal with off-road conditions.
Tyres for fuel economy
Some tyres offer low rolling resistance, meaning they don’t get too stuck to the road. This makes them more fuel-efficient.
Tyres for wet breaking
Wet weather can make breaking difficult, and different tyres offer different stopping distances.
What size tyres do I need for my car?
Another thing to take into account when deciding which tyres you need for your car is the size. The size of tyre needed for your car depends on the make and model of the vehicle.
When finding the right size tyre for your car, you’ll need to consider:
- Section width
- Wall thickness
- Rim diameter
- Load rating
- Speed rating index
This can seem complex, but there are a number of ways to get this information. Most cars have a sticker on the inside of the door jamb on the driver’s side, displaying both the size and pressure of the tyres.
You can also look at the tyres currently on your car. The tyre size should be on the sidewall of the tyre.
Or, simply put your registration number into our tyre size by registration tool, and we’ll tell you what size you need.
What brand of tyres should I buy?
There is a diverse range of tyre brands available, meaning it can often be difficult to know which ones are the best choice for your car.
Leading names such as Bridgestone, Pirelli, Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, Dunlop, Arrowspeed, Maxxis, and Budget are all known for offering good quality tyres to meet the needs of different cars and drivers.
The best brand of tyres will depend on the type of car and how you use it. If you own a sports car, for example, you’ll need high-performance tyres from premium manufacturers, such as Bridgestone, Pirelli or Michelin.
Brands such as Bridgestone, Goodyear, Pirelli, Continental, and Michelin all use high-grade rubber compositions that are more effective when it comes to wet grip and shorter stopping distances.
Should I replace my tyres with the original equipment tyres?
Original equipment tyres (OE tyres) are the tyres the car or van would have been equipped with as it left the factory, and are specially designed by the manufacturer and tyre engineers to offer the best performance for a specific car. This includes handling, noise, comfort, fuel efficiency, and even safety levels.
For example, a Mazda 2 will have different tyre needs and performance demands compared to a Land Rover Discovery. They are all very different cars and require differing levels of comfort and handling depending on how they will be expected to be driven. Another example of this was a partnership between Audi and Bridgestone. Audi was looking to minimise in-vehicle noise and increase comfort, and Bridgestone was able to achieve this by filling cavities with sound-absorbing materials and making various other adjustments. This combination was all part of innovation with proprietary B-Silent Technology – available on the Audi A6.
Therefore yes, car owners should consider replacing their worn tyres with OE tyres to ensure their car has the best performance and safety levels, as intended by the manufacturer.
What price range should my tyres be?
The price of tyres varies depending on the type of tyre, ranging from premium to budget tyres.
Premium tyres, including those from brands such as Bridgestone and Pirelli, are the most expensive, but they typically offer more precise handling and an all-round better driving experience, while budget tyres are more cost-effective, but offer less in terms of performance. And then there are mid-range tyres, which sit somewhere between the two.
What tyre pressure do I need?
Tyre pressure is measured in pressure per square inch (PSI) or BAR pressure. If you want to keep your tyres in good condition for longer, it’s important to keep the pressure close to the recommended level. This also helps make them more fuel-efficient and keeps them safe.
Underinflated tyres increase the risk of:
- Accelerated wear
- Tyre blowouts
- Fuel inefficiency
While overinflating tyres can also be damaging, risking:
- Loss of traction
- Poor braking distances
Tyres typically lose up to two PSI of air each month, so it’s important to check your pressure regularly.
If you’re unsure what tyre pressure you need for your car, try our handy tool. Simply enter your vehicle registration number and we’ll let you know what tyre pressure you’ll need.
Tyre buying tips
For all vehicles, irrespective of performance, we recommend:
- Don’t mix tyre patterns across a vehicle
- Don’t mismatch tyres on an axel pair – this can lead to uneven wear and reduced handling in wet conditions
- Replace tyres across an axle as a minimum requirement
- Check tyre pressure every two weeks
- Consider using original equipment tyres
Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.
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