Car tyres are car tyres, right? Well, they’re all round, black things that go between your wheels and the road. However, choosing the right tyres for your car and, equally important, for your needs is imperative. Here are some pointers to help you make the right choice.
The Right Type of Tyre
There are five distinct tyre types you can choose from and it isn’t always a case of one tyre type for one car; the choice is also about usability.
Standard car tyres, otherwise known as all-season tyres, are the least specialised. They are suitable for year-round use, in wet or dry conditions. In some respects, run flat tyres lie in this arena. Run flat tyres can do exactly what their title suggests; you may continue using them, albeit at a given maximum speed over a specified mileage, even after a puncture.
The third variety of car tyres differs in the conditions to which they’re suited. Winter tyres can handle colder conditions better than standard tyres and they generally have a tread pattern with larger blocks in a more open pattern, for better grip. Our fourth tyre type is also based on the conditions to be encountered, specifically in terms of terrain, rather than climate. All-terrain tyres can cope with mud, sand and gravel and are often found on 4×4 vehicles used off the road. However, the additional grip in adverse conditions has a cost. All-terrain tyres are noisy when used on ordinary tarmac roads.
Lastly in this quintet, performance tyres are for performance cars. As well as offering superior grip in wet or dry conditions, performance car tyres usually have a higher speed rating.
The Right Tyre Size
When it comes to car tyres, it is anything but a matter of one size fits all. The manufacturer’s recommended fitment may be found in your car’s handbook and if in doubt, you could always have replacement tyres like the existing ones. However, small changes in tyre section and width can be accommodated, often beneficially. The staff of a good car tyre retailer will be happy to recommend the best tyres for you.
The Right Tyres for your Driving Needs
While remaining within the manufacturer’s specified parameters, you can ring the changes by using car tyres that suit your driving style and/or particular needs. You may need economy tyres for better mileage from your gallon. Certain tyre types are particularly quiet in use and therefore better for motorway use. Similarly, some tyres are well suited to stop/start motoring. As mentioned above, you’d be well advised to consult the tyre retailer.
The Right Price
The price of car tyres varies considerably but here, commonsense must play an important role. You can’t for example, have economy tyres fitted to a high-performance sports car and expect good results, not to mention longevity. Conversely, there’s little point in having high specification tyres fitted to a car that covers a small yearly mileage. However, if you use your car daily, economy tyres could represent false economy; budget tyres may not last as long as better quality items.