We tend to think that buying new tyres will be a fairly straightforward task, but actually, when you start to look into it properly, it can seem surprisingly complicated. Even if a garage makes recommendations, you will still need to weigh up what they say and commit to a particular brand.
Making the wrong choice
The first thing to remember is that any new tyre you buy should be safe, so you don’t need to worry too much about your decision. Even if you go for the cheapest option, it should be roadworthy. However, you probably should give the matter a little more thought than that. Different tyres offer different levels of durability and will be suited to different conditions.
Weather and terrain
If it rains a lot where you live, this might be one consideration. Certain tyres will perform better in wet conditions, which can mean staying safer on the roads overall. However, there’s always a compromise and so these tyres might not perform quite so well when it is really hot. Again, it is important to reiterate that every option will be safe. It is just a question of degrees of performance.
Another consideration might be the type of roads you typically drive on. If you live in the countryside, you might spend more time on rough roads than someone who does little but motorway driving. There will be options appropriate for your type of usage.
You can also get winter tyres, which provided superior performance when temperatures drop or when it is icy. These can significantly reduce stopping distances in poor driving conditions and so many people put them on just for the winter and then change back to summer tyres when the weather starts to warm up again.
Sticking with what you’ve got
If you bought your car new then the tyres it came with are probably appropriate, so you could just stick with the same type. This is also reassuring in that you know what performance you are going to get. In fact, it will be slightly improved compared to what you have been used to as the replacement tyres will be in better condition.
One thing worth noting is that price is not always indicative of quality when it comes to tyres. This is usually cause for concern, but here it is also something that can be exploited. You might be able to find the right tyres for your needs at a really good price, in which case why pay extra for something less suitable?
If you’re still struggling to weigh up all these factors, you can always consult an expert. There are so many tyres on the market, it can be difficult to compare their various qualities. An expert will have a better idea as to what is and isn’t important (because some attributes will be highlighted even though they don’t really have much of an impact). Speaking to someone can help make things a little less overwhelming. You can give them your price bracket and simplify things that way or the person may have a recommendation to make.
Megan Oldroyd is due to replace the tyres on her Fiat. She’s currently looking at what’s on offer from Race and Road.