How to choose the best car tyres

A guide to purchasing quality car tyres on a budget

A collection of tyres

Vehicle safety is something that you’d assume is all about always wearing your seatbelt and making sure you airbags are working. However, tyres are also an important contributing factor to your road safety. Tyres are the only part of a vehicle that touches the ground and can often be expensive to change. Therefore, you want to ensure that you’ve got long lasting, quality tyres. While tyres may look very similar the type of tyre you buy will have a lasting effect on your vehicle and how it drives. Tyres can be expensive to purchase and that’s why there are different options available from budget to premium. However, if you’re looking for tyres on a budget it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. Our team at HiQ Tyres & Autocare Havant (Triangle Cars) have put together our foolproof guide to help you purchase quality tyres on a budget.

Checking the tyre size

When you’re planning to purchase new car tyres the first thing you need to find out is what size tyres you need. All tyres have markings on their sidewalls that indicate what size they are. You can check this out on your own car tyres. However, it’s not always easy to interpret them. If you’re unsure you can always refer to your vehicle’s user manual. It should explain what the numbers mean on your tyres and what to look for. Alternatively, you can have a look online and find a tyre website that will help to identify the right size for your car. They’re usually free to use and you just enter your registration number.

What do the numbers mean?

The numbers on your car tyre (from left to right) refer to the width, aspect ratio, diameter, load and speed ratings. Essentially, a tyre with a short sidewall against the width is firmer and easier to handle. However, they do tend to be noisier and more expensive. The load rating shows how much weight the tyre can hold. The speed rating is normally a letter which indicates the maximum speed at which the tyre can carry the load. These letters are usually found in your car’s manual with the corresponding speeds.

The original tyres on your car

Car makers can spend a minimum of three years developing a new car before it’s sold to test what works and doesn’t work for it. It’s a process of elimination and the car makers use different equipment and parts for cars to see what will make the car work in the best way possible. Part of this process is the tyre selection process and when they’ve found the right ones they’ll refer to them as the original equipment (OE). The OE will showcase the best road holding, ride comfort, braking performance, refinement levels and fuel efficiency. That’s why it’s important to get tyres that either match or are close to the original tyres. It means that your car will drive better, be safer and give you optimum and economic performance. It’s recommended to get OE tyres or equivalent for longer lasting car tyres.

Budget tyres or premium?

Car tyres can be expensive, and they’re normally rounded into two main price brackets which are budget tyres and premium tyres. A lot of the time people will be tempted to purchase the cheaper option for the simple fact that they’ll save money. However, this can sometimes result in compromising on the quality of the tyres. Therefore, in the long run, you’ll be changing your tyres more often. It’s not hard to see why customers opt for the cheaper tyre option, however, you can save money by going for a mid-range tyre instead. Budget tyres, whilst will work okay in the summer, often don’t perform as well in wet weather conditions either. We recommend doing your research, or we can help advise you on which tyres will keep you going for longer.

Branded car tyres

OE car tyres are considered the best quality for a vehicle but you may be able to find cheaper branded tyres that are just as good quality. It’s always worth shopping around by looking through different websites and keeping a note of the cheapest prices you find. It’s also better to pick a brand you recognise like Falken, Firestone, Michelin, Pirelli or Goodyear so that you know you’re getting a good quality tyre. If you need new car tyres or are concerned about your tyre tread and have an upcoming MOT, we can help. At HiQ Tyres & Autocare Havant (Triangle Cars), we provide advice and guidance as well as free tyre checks for our customers in Havant. Book online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for MOT, servicing and tyre changes.

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