Tyres are an essential part of your car’s anatomy, so when you need replacements, it’s important that you choose the right ones. With such a wide variety of options available, it can be difficult to know what tyres to buy. To help you make the right decision, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions.
What Tyres Do I Need?
One of the first things you’ll need to think about when you ask ‘which tyres for my car?’ is the size of tyre you need. It’s easy to get this information, and we explain more about how in the next section.
Then there’s the issue of the type of new tyres you go for. A popular choice is summer tyres, which are designed to perform best in fair weather conditions when the temperature is above 7°C. Because the UK isn’t known for its extreme weather, many drivers use these tyres year-round. Alternatively, if you’re looking specifically for tyres that offer impressive grip in cold weather, winter tyres should be your go-to choice. However, bear in mind that if you choose these tyres, it’s recommended that you switch to alternatives in milder conditions.
If you want a hybrid that you can use throughout the seasons and that offers better grip in icy weather than summer tyres, all-season models could be for you. They are good all-rounders in a variety of conditions, including ice and light snow.
Runflat tyres are also a popular choice. These tyres feature reinforced sidewalls that prevent them from deflating in the event of a loss of pressure. This extra strength means they can be driven for a short time following a puncture, giving you a chance to reach a safe place or get to a garage to have a replacement fitted.
Once you’ve decided on the type of tyre you want, you’ll need to consider quality and price. All tyres sold in the UK meet strict safety standards, but if you want tyres that will offer maximum longevity and the most comfortable drive, it may be worth going for premium models. On the other hand, if you’re looking to save money, budget tyres can be a great choice.
What Size Tyres For My Car?
It’s crucial that you choose the right size tyres for your car, and this means asking yourself ‘what size are my tyres currently?’. You’ll find this information in your vehicle’s handbook or on the walls of your tyres.
You may find the way the information is displayed confusing. To help you understand what the different numbers and letters refer to, check out our guide to tyre markings.
How Long Should Tyres Last?
Once you’ve bought them, how many miles should tyres last for? It’s not possible to give a precise answer to this because it depends on a range of factors, including the particular tyres you choose, how well you look after them, how much you drive, the road condition and your driving style.
However, experts typically suggest that after around five years on your car, you should make sure your tyres are checked over by a professional at least every 12 months. If they’re still on your car after 10 years, they should probably be replaced as a safety precaution even if they still have sufficient tread.
In terms of distance travelled, as a rule of thumb you can expect to get 20,000 miles or more out of your front tyres, and double this for the ones at the back of your car.
Because there are no set rules, it’s really important to keep an eye on your tyres for signs of wear and damage. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, and safety experts recommend switching to new tyres long before this when the tread gets down to around 3mm. Meanwhile, if you spot cracks or bulges in the sidewalls, or foreign objects imbedded in the tread, it’s time to get replacements.