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Guide to Buying New Tyres

30th October 2018

As the only thing between you and the road, ensuring tyres are well maintained is paramount for your safety as well as looking after your bank balance. Inappropriate, unsafe or neglected tyres can be a major safety hazard and a costly thing to fix if the worst was to happen.

Luckily, as one of the leading tyre retailers, we have a wealth of industry knowledge spanning back as far as 1961 when we set up, and today we want to share some of our knowledge with you to help you on your journey to new tyres!

If you think you may be due an upgrade or want to find out exactly what to look out for with your tyres, keep reading.

When Do You Need To Buy New Tyres?

If you’re not an experienced driver or simply don’t know much about tyres, knowing when to change them and what to look out for can be intimidating. However, it doesn’t need to be and by following the below points you can easily determine whether you are due a tyre upgrade:

  1. Do your tyres have any visible damage to them? You want to look out for cracks, cuts, lumps or tearing. These things may be able to be fixed by a tyre specialist, however in most cases you may be due to replace the tyre completely.
  2. Check your tread depth. If your tyres have a depth smaller than 3mm, then it is time for an upgrade. Although the legal minimum of tyre tread is 1.6mm, it is largely recommended to replace at 3mm.
  3. Your tyres are completely flat due to irreparable damage.

If you find that your tyres meet any of the above, then it’s probably time that you got yourself to a tyre retailer. Driving on tyres that don’t meet legal standards is not only incredibly dangerous, but it can incur hefty fines and even points on your license.

How to Buy New Tyres

So you’ve established that your car is due for a tyre replacement. Great! That’s the first step taken to a safer and more reliable vehicle. The next thing to do is to know WHAT you are looking for; despite appearances, not every tyre is the same so it’s a good idea to do a bit of homework beforehand.

The main features you must consider when buying new tyres are:

  • Size
  • Speed rating
  • Tyre type

Whilst there are dozens of important factors to consider when buying new tyres, these things are the most important and can ensure you are purchasing legal tyres that are going to last well.

Tyre Size

Knowing the size of your tyres is the first step to replacing them. You can find the tyre size in your car’s manual, or alternatively each tyre has its size printed on the side of the tyre. This will look like a series of raised lettering and includes the following:

  • Width of tyre
  • Aspect ratio
  • Tyre type
  • Diameter of tyre
  • Load index (how much weight the tyre can take)
  • Speed rating

Once you have this information, you will then be able to make an informed decision when finding your replacements. Buying a tyre that is the wrong size for your vehicle can have a detrimental effect on the way your car handles and can make it a danger to drive.

Speed Rating

Every tyre has a speed rating, which refers to the maximum speed that the tyre is legally approved for. Applying the wrong type of tyre to your vehicle can invalidate your insurance, so making yourself aware of your specific vehicle is vital. You can find your tyre’s speed rating printed on the side of your tyre.

Tyre Type

Not every tyre is made equal, whether you’re watching the pennies and opt for a mid-range or budget tyre, or want to go all out with a premium; the financial aspect of buying new tyres isn’t the only thing to consider.

You may also be faced with the choice between purchasing a summer tyre, winter tyre or all-season tyre depending on the time of the year. If you live in a place that doesn’t suffer from extreme summers or winters, an all-season tyre can be a great versatile option. However, summer tyres are designed specifically to cope well in high temperatures, and likewise winter tyres are made with special rubber for extra grip in torrential conditions, so this is something to consider.

When it comes to making your choice, budget will play a huge part, however we would always recommend those who are looking to pay less opt for a budget tyre over a second hand or part-worn premium one.

EU Labelling

Since November 2012, all UK tyres must by law have a label, which demonstrates the tyre’s fuel efficiency, noise performance and wet grip. These labels are distinctive and easy to follow using a visual grading system, with the higher rated being more cost-effective, and the lower being less so.

If you are on the market for a tyre, this labelling system can prove extremely helpful in whittling down your options. One tyre that may be efficient in grip may be noisy, so you will have to decide based on what matters the most to you.

Talk To An Expert

If you’re looking for further guidance and advice, why not contact us? One of our friendly team will be happy to help you find the perfect tyres for you!