Advertorial : Choosing the right tyres for your car

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

The Pirelli Sottos (quiet noisy, but great turn in)
Choosing the right tyre isn’t always easy.

The tyres on our car are often the least considered feature, but they are actually one of the most vital parts of any vehicle. Your safety, fuel economy and braking efficiency all rely on having the right tyres on your car.

So when it comes to replacing them, the decision is a critical one and many drivers will take the easy route and simply choose the previous make and type fitted to their car. This might be the right decision, but it could be that for the particular driving conditions that you face, or with new developments in tyre design, there are better choices available to you.

You can get advice from your local dealer or tyre fitting business, but sometimes they may not be offering the best make for your requirements. Budget, of course, also comes into it – and tyres conform to that old adage that it’s often wise to spend money to save money. Some of the more expensive makes on the market might also offer much greater longevity, working out more economical in the long run.

Safety, efficiency and economy are all good reasons for informing yourself about the right tyres for your car. Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) provides you with some tips on how to choose the right tyres for your car:

  • Get to know the new labeling that is now compulsory on all tyres under a recent EU ruling. Tyre manufacturers now have to display performance grades on fuel efficiency, wet braking and external noise levels so that the consumer can compare different makes. But trying to interpret the string of numbers and symbols on the side wall of a tyre can present a confusing challenge for the average motorist. The key information that you need is tyre size and dimension, maximum load bearing ability, the maximum speed that you should run the tyre at, and winter markings – (if a tyre is specifically designed to operate in snow and mud). There are useful guides to the range of symbols on most major manufacturer’s websites.
  • Given the level of rainfall in the UK it’s a good idea to research wet weather performance. Look at tyre tread patterns and grooves, and research what the manufacturers say about the ability of the tyre to operate safely in very wet conditions. It’s almost impossible to entirely prevent aquaplaning when driving in extreme weather, but because of their “anti-surf” tread design some tyres do a more effective job in sluicing away the water than others.
  • Stick to the right tyre size and dimension for your car – mixing tyres can be dangerous at worst, and at best lead to quicker wear. If you have a 4×4 most manufacturers will strongly recommend you to use the same tyres on all four wheels – both make and size (unless your front and rear wheel sizes are different, of course)
  • Match your choice of tyres to your usage. If most of your driving takes place in an urban environment, with lots of stop/starts, you will need to look for the tyres with the best braking distances and low rolling resistance to save fuel. If your job takes you on long motorway journeys then you’ll need tyres that provide the best braking distances in both wet and dry conditions which are designed to be safe at higher speeds, and that offer comfort in noise levels and vibration. Tyre noise over a long period can be a major cause of driver fatigue.
Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

4 Comments

  1. This is an area were you get what you pay for is key.I have learned the hard way that part worns,or unknown brands-even in North Korea area false economy,and dont lend themselves to road holding or ride comfort.

  2. @1 Nonsense the South Korean Kumhos I ran on my Jag XJ were far better, wet or dry, than the OE pirellis they replaced, they were quieter too. The Nexens I had on my C5 were superb too – the OE Michelin Primacys lasted well but had no grip at all in the wet. The cheap nasty all season Chinese tyres on my misses’s C3 ride much nicer than the Michelins they replaced and have performed faultlessly in last and this year’s snow – I’ve lost count of the number of stranded cars I’ve passed – most presumably on “superior” top brand rubber.

    I’m sure there are some rubbish tyres out there but use the internet to your advantage and you will buy good tyres at a great price.

  3. I think it was Fifth gear that recently did safety checks on tyres, testing a well known brand, Mid range brand and a set of part worn that included two winter tyres.

    In the Wet the part worns came out top with the mid range second.

    Only high speed handling showed the well known brand as best.

    For years I ran my XJ8 on Hankook’s which are now standard fitment on some new Fords and VW cars.

    Im presently running Nexens on my Range Rover, with no problems.

  4. My mate and regular AR Online contributor Micky Humble keeps well way from ‘part worns’………little did I know he was referring to women who have previous children…….PMSL !

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