Tyre fitter standing in front of tyre racking

Which tyres should I buy

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 you have?
  • How much mileage you do?
  • What tyres are currently fitted to your vehicle?
  • Is your car fitted with OE (Original equipment) fitment tyres?

Choosing the right tyres for your vehicle

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. 

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 who is using their car for town driving. Although we’d always advise you to fit 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.

Tyres designed for your vehicle

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 (*) star rating

Audi (AO)

Mercedes (MO)

Jaguar (J)

Do I need runflat tyres?

Some vehicles are designed to have tyres with specialist runflat technology.

These tyres can be identified by markings on the sidewall such as SSR (self-supporting runflat), ROF (run on flat) or simply RF, Run Flat.

Runflat tyres are mainly fitted to BMW & Mini vehicles. They are designed to have reinforced sidewalls so they stay inflated in the event of a puncture.

Lady fitting Continental tyre

Choosing the best tyres for 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, the more affordable the tyres. This is because tyres that can be manufactured in large quantities are less expensive 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:

  • Budget
  • Home brand
  • Mid-range
  • Premium

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

Budget tyres are the lowest cost 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. However not all budget tyres benefit from the same level of extensive development and high quality compounds associated with better quality tyres.

The budget tyre brand we recommend is Radar which is one of the most reliable budget tyres on the market and available in a wide range of sizes. Radar tyres generally get very high rating for wet grip, as indicated on the EU tyre label.

Home brand tyres

A popular choice for drivers wanting something a little better than a budget tyre is our home brand tyre Zeta.

Zeta tyres are great value for money and is available in many sizes and suitable for a wide range of vehicles. As we keep a good level of stock they’re normally easy to match up to if you need a replacement and one of the most popular tyres we sell.

Mid-range tyres

Mid-range tyres are a popular choice for drivers wanting a branded tyre but not wanting to stretch to the cost of premium quality tyres. They are often manufactured by premium tyre manufacturers, for example Continental tyres make Uniroyal tyres & Bridgestone manufacture Firestone. This means they benefit from the development that goes into premium quality tyres but are made from slightly less expensive materials in order to bring their cost down.

They offer excellent value for money for many drivers who want the assurance of a branded tyre.

Mid-range tyres to look out for include:

Premium tyres

If you’re looking for the very best tyres for your vehicle then opting for a premium branded tyre is the best option.

High quality tyres from household names such as Michelin, Continental & Bridgestone are excellent 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.

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.

Premium tyres to look out for are:

If you need further advice on which tyres to choose then don’t hesitate to contact your local branch or call our team on 0345 2997 955