Choosing The Correct Tyres for Your Car

16.06.2022: Picking the right tyres is tricky when you consider there are so many varieties and brands. Plus, there are prices to consider, both in terms of manufacturer price and the profits that sellers slap onto them. Here is a quick guide to help you pick the cor

Picking the right tyres is tricky when you consider there are so many varieties and brands. Plus, there are prices to consider, both in terms of manufacturer price and the profits that sellers slap onto them. Here is a quick guide to help you pick the correct tyres for your car.

Tyre Markings for Tyre Sizes

The first thing you need to do is look at the markings on your tyres to see what sizes they are. You then need to go online or look in your owner’s manual to see what tyre sizes you are supposed to have on your car. If the numbers on your tyres say something different to what it says in your owner’s manual, then you may have the wrong sized tyres on your car.

The numbers and letters on your tyre will look something like this:
205 / 55R / 16 91V

They are all different for different tyre types, but here is what they mean.

•    Tyre Width
•    Aspect Ratio
•    Diameter
•    Load Index
•    Speed Rating

The last one is probably the most confusing. It isn’t the speed your tyres can run at. If you want to know that, then consult the table below.

Code    mph    Code    mph

Q    100    V    149
R    106    Z    Over 149
S    112    W    168
T    118    (W)    Over 168
U    124    Y    186
H    130    (Y)    Over 186

Here is another example of the letters and numbers you may see on the side of your tyres.
    325/35 ZR22 110Y

Again, you don't have to decode these numbers, you simply need to find tyres that have the same numbers and letters. Once you have checked your own tyres and then checked your owner’s manual/online, you need to start hunting around for your size of tyres.

Shopping Online or Driving into a Tyre Place

You can drive into a tyre place, say “Change up my tyres, Mush!!” and the lady or lad you are speaking to will put some new tyres on your car. The trouble with this method is that you are stuck with whatever prices the company charges. They may have very reasonable prices, or they may not.

You can ask for a quote for tyres, and they may give you a few examples of the types of tyres they can put on along with their prices. This may suit you pretty well if they give you a nice range of prices, but you are still stuck with whatever range they have on offer. For example, if you are looking for fuel efficient tyres or very quiet tyres, then you are stuck with whatever they have in stock.

If you want a broader range of tyres to choose from, and if you want more control over how much you pay, then you can buy your tyres from a place like and then put them on yourself or have your local garage put them on for you.

How Much Do You Want to Pay?

This is usually the first question people ask, and yet it is the most irrelevant in most cases. The cost varies between sellers, and you can probably pick up a good deal fairly easily these days, but that is not what matters. What matters is that you get the right tyres for your car while still getting good value for money.

Your best bet is to set yourself a budget. Figure out how much you are willing to spend on your tyres, and then try not to go too cheap. Remember that the super cheap tyres will not last as long and are not as safe (especially at speed and/or on wintry roads). Get a general idea for how much your variety of tyres cost, come up with a budget, and try to find the most suitable tyres within your budget.

Original Equipment Tyres (OE)

When you read about OE Tyres, they are referring to the types of tyres that the car came out of the factory with. The idea is that the manufacturers probably picked the tyres that they thought were the absolute best for their cars. It does stand to reason that you should buy the type and brand that the cars had when they were first built, but it isn't always a necessity.

For example, there is a chance that the car manufacturer had a sweet deal with a certain brand of tyres and so slapped them on their cars. Alternatively, the brand of tyres being used may now be outclassed by a newer tyre, perhaps a more sophisticated tyre with a more futuristic build. OE tyres are nice, but they are not a necessity and there is no guarantee that they are still the best choice for your car (though they probably are).

Picking The Weather Type for Your Car

There are winter tyres that have plenty of grip and work in cold and wet conditions. There are summer tyres that work better on dry smooth roads and are often more fuel efficient. Then there are all-weather tyres that try to strike a compromise between all varieties of weather tyre, but never really excel in any one area.

There are several considerations when it comes to picking your weather types of tyres. If you know you have very harsh winters that last a good few months and that cause tricky roads, then having winter tyres is a good idea. On the other hand, if nasty winters are pretty rare and don’t last too long, then keeping your summer tyres on all year round is probably okay.

If you don't use your car a lot, such as if your job commute is only around half an hour away through city roads, then you can probably have all-year all-weather tyres and do just fine. Picking weather specific tyres is for people who need to drive a lot and who need the smooth responsiveness of summer tyres during hot seasons, and the safe strong grip of winter tyres during colder seasons.

Fuel Efficiency and Sound

These two factors are lumped together because they both depend upon how much tread the tyres have. If the tyres have lots of tread, perhaps because they are built for icy roads, snow, and heavy rainfall, then the tyres will be strong, they will be slightly more noisy, and they will be less fuel efficient.

On the other hand, if you have tyres with less tread because they are summer tyres, then they will be very responsive on dry roads, they will work well at speed, they will be quieter than your average all-weather or winter tyres, and they will be more fuel efficient than winter tyres.

Specialist Tyres and Run Flat Tyres

The run-flat tyres are a variety of tyre that allows you to get home at sensible speeds even if you have a flat tyre. They are often more expensive than regular tyres and they have a few minor downsides but should allow you to drive around fifty miles at less than 50mph so that you may get home and change your tyre.

A specialist tyre can mean anything from fancy tyres that last a super long time, to tyres that can run at very high speeds for a long time. Some include tyres that are built at a certain size or in a certain way to fit a certain car or wheel type.

There are specialist tyres that can take a pounding from tough terrain while off road, and others that eject water out of the sides of their tread so that they don't start skidding on puddle-flooded roads.

There are tyres that will eject small stones from their tread so that they do not cause added wear and tear damages, and there are tyres that form a seal around things that puncture them so that they go flat very slowly when they are punctured. As you may expect, specialist tyres often cost more than your average tyres.



16.06.2022 / MaP

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