Tyre Buying Guide
We know that buying tyres isn’t a purchase that most people look forward to, in fact it’s often a headache! However, when you’re choosing which tyres to get fitted on your vehicle you need to feel confident that you’re choosing the very best tyre for your vehicle, driving style and budget. They’ll hopefully be fitted to your vehicle for at least a year or two so you need to make sure you’re going get a comfortable, safe drive.
That’s why we’ve put together this Tyre buying guide, designed to guide you through the process of choosing the right tyre for your vehicle.
The sort of things you’ll need to consider are:
- What sort of vehicle do you have?
- How much mileage do you do?
- What tyres do you currently have fitted to your vehicle?
- Does your car have an OE (Original equipment) fitment tyres?
What sort of vehicle do you have?
A car has very different requirements to a 4×4, van or commercial vehicle. If you own a 4×4 or commercial vehicle then you’ll need to pay close attention to the load rating requirements of your vehicle. The best way to check this is either in the handbook or simply by looking for the load rating on the sidewall of the tyres you have fitted. Read how to check this here.
How much mileage do you do?
If you’re covering lots of miles, perhaps on fast motorways you’re going to have different requirements to someone using their car for town driving. Although we’d always advise fitting the best quality tyre you can afford, this is especially true for those driving on fast, busy roads. A better quality tyre will usually last longer too, much better when your mileage is on the high side. Having said that, different tyres within the same brand can have different characteristics and a very soft “grippy” performance tyre won’t be very long lasting; fortunately our branch managers have years of experience of what to recommend when it comes to choosing tyres, if you’re unsure then just give us a call.
What tyres do you currently have fitted to your vehicle?
If you’re not sure what tyre to choose, the best way to start looking is to know what’s currently fitted to your vehicle. If you’ve been happy with the tyres you have then choosing the same, or a similar quality tyre might be the best option. Customers with very new vehicles will often want to fit matching tyres, especially if they’re just fitting a pair, as they know the performance of their vehicle will remain the same.
Does your car have an ‘OE’ tyre fitment?
Some vehicles have what we call ‘OE’ tyres which are recommended to be fitted by the vehicle manufacturer. This is especially true of cars such as BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Audi. Whilst you can fit any make of tyre that is the correct size, load and speed rating to these vehicles, the ‘OE’ fitment tyres have been tested and approved by the manufacturer on the vehicle and as such are always the very best choice to opt for. Codes to look out for are BMW (*); Audi (AO); Mercedes (MO) & Jaguar (J)
What’s your budget?
Tyre prices vary vastly depending on tyre size, and it’s not always the case that the larger the tyre the more you’ll have to pay! Generally speaking, the more popular the tyre size then the more affordable the tyres; this is because tyres that can be manufactured in large quantities are cheaper to make and so cheaper for you to buy. Once you’ve chosen your car however, you cannot usually change the tyre size and so the question you have to ask is what quality tyre should you opt for.
We tend to put tyres into 4 main quality categories which are:
- Home brand
So what’s the difference? They all look very similar and are all black and round! Well the main difference is in the compound and structure of the tyre, more expensive tyres have much more sophisticated technology and have been developed to give great performance and grip. Having said that, budget tyres offer excellent value for money but as with most things you do tend to get what you pay for.
Budget tyres are the cheapest tyres available and are available in the vast majority of tyre sizes. They meet British Safety Standards and come with the same mm in tread as more expensive tyres but don’t benefit from the extensive development, high quality compounds associated with better quality tyres. They look very similar but won’t perform as well as high quality tyres which benefit from being quieter, longer lasting and have more wet grip.
They can also prove to be more difficult to match up to when it comes to replacing other tyres.
Zeta tyres – Home brand
A popular choice for drivers on a budget that want something much better than the cheapest tyre available is our home brand tyre Zeta. The Zeta tyre is great value for money and is available in many sizes and suitable for a wide range of vehicles. It’s easy to match up to if you need a replacement and is one of the most popular tyres we sell.
Mid-range tyres are a good compromise between budget and premium quality tyres for many drivers. They are often manufactured by premium tyre manufacturers, for example Continental tyres make Uniroyal and Bridgestone tyres make Firestone. This means they benefit from the development that goes into premium quality tyres but are made from less expensive materials in order to bring their cost down.
They offer excellent value for money for many drivers, generally offering good grip and handling qualities.
Premium Quality Tyre
The very best tyres money can buy are premium quality tyres, names such as Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone are great examples. It usually takes around 3 years to develop a premium tyre, the manufacturer aiming to create the very best for performance, handling, comfort and durability.
They are usually easy to match up if a replacement is ever needed. If you’re looking for an ‘OE’ fitment tyre for your vehicle and optimum performance is very important to you then the chances are, you’ll be looking at a high performance premium quality tyre.