Everything you Need to Know About Car Tyres

(Image Source: Flickr)

Tyres are one of the most crucial parts of any motor vehicle, with those four pieces of rubber on the wheels of your car being its only connection to the road, and without which driving would be an impossibility. There are a number of different factors that can contribute to a legal, safe and solid tyre – with legality being of particular importance due to the fact that the use of illegal rubber can result in driving licence points, as well as the possibility of a large fine. So what kind of things do you need to look for to get the best tyres?


There are a few brands that constitute premium-level tyres, and often come with a cost to match, such as the likes of:

  • Michelin
  • Pirelli
  • Continental
  • Vredestein
  • Bridgestone
  • Goodyear
  • Dunlop

Budget may well be an important factor in the type of tyre you decide to purchase, and in some cases the kind of vehicle you drive may also be relevant. Tyre fitment can sometimes be specific to certain vehicles, and can have a detrimental impact on the handling of a car if the wrong type is used. If you have any doubt as to the kind of tyre you should fit on your motor vehicle, make sure to check the servicing book that came with your car for recommended types. A number of the budget tyres can be surprisingly impressive performers in some circumstances but not so much in others, which has resulted in a labelling system that is industry recognised for all new tyres.

How does tyre labelling work?

From 2012 onwards all new tyres had to carry a label showing a number of different factors, specifically fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise. For fuel efficiency, which relates to the tyre’s rolling resistance that impacts on the amount of fuel used by your car, a sliding scale lists from the best performer (which is rated A) to the worst fuel economy (which is rated G). Tyres which have a better wet grip are able to have a shorter braking distance when in damp conditions, with a sliding scale from A to G again used. External noise comes with two ratings; one which measures the level of noise made by the tyre in laboratory conditions and is shown in decibels, and one that displays between one to three “soundwaves” that put the rating in context with those achieved by other tyres.

Checking tyre pressure

It is a good idea to check your tyre tread and pressures at least once a month. If your tyre has insufficient pressure it will result in you using up more fuel more quickly, while too much pressure can have a negative impact on the handling of your car. Slow punctures will also be noticeable before they become a serious problem. Check the manual for your car to determine the pressure that your tyres ought to be set to, and then visit your local tyre fitters or petrol station in order to have them adjusted. Many modern cars even come with inbuilt tyre pressure monitoring systems.