Confused about picking the right tyre? Well we’re here to help!
Picking new tyres for your car can seem like a bit of a daunting prospect. There are so many brands, styles, sizes and variations that, unless you are a real car enthusiast, can make the whole process pretty confusing. Here at Click On Tyres we want to make the process as painless as possible and help you get the right tyre, at the right price for you with minimum fuss. In this post we will be explaining what you need to consider when choosing a tyre and also explaining the differences between brands and styles to help you make your choice as quickly and easily as you can, leaving you more time to drive!
The main factors that will affect your choice are your driving style, the conditions you usually have to drive in, your mileage and your budget. There are other things such as design and size which will have a bearing as well.
So let’s begin by looking at how to figure out what size tyres you will need.
As we explained in our tyre jargon busting article there are a series of numbers on the sidewall of every tyre, which will look like this 205/55/16. The first thing any tyre sales person or mechanic will ask is for these numbers so it’s worth making as note of them when you start to look for new tyres. There will also be a set of numbers and letters which will look like this 91H. These show you the maximum load the tyres can take and the maximum speed the tyres are designed to run on.
There will also be useful information about the recommended tyre sizes in the cars manual or handbook. So it’s worth having a look in here as well to see if the car manufacturer recommends a certain tyre for the car. You don’t have to go with their recommendation but it’s always useful to have it in mind when choosing your tyres.
Once you are armed with all the sizing details it’s time to have a look at what type of tyre is going to suit you and your car best.
Driving Style and Mileage
How you drive your car and how many miles you clock up in it will have a huge bearing on what kind of tyres will suit you best.
If you have a sporty driving style and like to push your cars performance (within legal limits of course!) then you will want to look at more premium tyres. They will give you better handling in corners, more grip and better traction than a cheaper tyre, as well as being harder wearing so they won’t need replacing as often.
If you have a more conservative driving style then you may be better looking at the mid-range tyre brands. They will offer quality grip and traction on city roads and will be more than adequate on motorways and long journeys as and when you need. They also offer as much longevity as a premium tyre if you drive more conservatively on them.
There are 3 different styles of tread patterns that you will come across when shopping for tyres. They all offer different qualities so we’re going to explain the differences to help you make the right choice for your needs.
The symmetrical tread pattern is consistent on both sides of the tyre. They offer good traction in both wet and dry conditions as well as maintaining steering responsiveness. These tyres are usually fitted according to the direction of rotation in order to maximise the amount of water that is drained away from the tyre, making sure you maintain grip in bad weather. They are perfect for urban driving and are best used as summer tyres.
This pattern has become increasingly popular in the last decade and many new passenger cars are equipped with them. They combine 2 different styles of tread pattern to maximise performance in both wet and dry conditions, without one impacting on the other. You will most often see this style of tread on all season tyres.
The inner part of the tread is designed with smaller tread blocks and more sipes in order to displace more water away from the tread. This ensures maximum contact between the tyre and the road, helping to avoid aquaplaning and ensuring you get the best handling in wet conditions.
The outer part of the tread is designed to have large and wide tread blocks, giving you better traction and handling in dry conditions. This will ensure you have better handling and responsiveness.
The directional pattern has v-shaped grooves which radiate out from the centre of the tyre. This pattern maximises the amount of water that is displaced away from the tyre to ensure you still get superb grip and traction in wet or snowy conditions. You will often find this pattern on tyres used for performance vehicles which require maximum grip and contact with the road, as well as a lot of winter tyres.
Finding The Right Brand
There are many brands of tyre to choose from. Ranging from the well known brands, such as Goodyear, Michelin and Continental, through to smaller manufacturers such as Kumho and Nankang, with a whole host in between as well. The brands are usually classified into 3 different categories – Premium, Mid-Range and Budget/Economy. Below are details of the major difference between these categories.
Premium brands such as Vredestein, Hankook and Goodyear offer top quality tyres and unrivalled performance, but they do come at a cost. With all the money that is put into the design, the research and the high quality materials being reflected in the final price. Due to the high quality they do outperform and out last the smaller brands, making them a worth the extra investment.
As the name suggests these sit between the premium and budget tyres as far and both quality and price go. The brands might not be as well known as the premium brands but they still invest heavily in design and testing, so you still know you are getting a high quality product but at a more reasonable price. You can still get a lot of miles out of them depending how much driving you do and your driving style. Brands like Uniroyal, Nankang and Kingstar are classed as mid-range tyres
As the name suggests these tyres are the cheapest on the market. They will do a job for you, especially in summer conditions. However, you will not get the same longevity and performance over time as you would from a premium or mid-range tyre. They usually last around 7,000 – 8,000 miles, compared to the 15,000- 20,000 miles you will get from a premium tyre. They are also not as effective in bad weather conditions, so they aren’t a great choice over winter. Infinity, Primewell and Haida are all budget tyre brands
So, put simply;
Premium tyres will offer you superb performance over a longer period of time but at a higher cost.
Mid-Range tyres offer good all round performance and longevity at a steady price
Budget or Economy tyres offer reasonable performance at a low price but don’t have the longevity and consistent performance over time that premium and mid-range tyres offer.
Hopefully this guide has been useful and has helped you in your search for the right tyres for you and your car. We know it can be a lot of information to get your head round, that’s why we are here to help. If you would like further information on tyres and what is best for you then feel free to contact us via email or phone and speak to our tyre experts who are here to help you make the right decision.