What to know about buying tyres

For most people, buying new tyres for their car is a confusing business. Most people have no idea which tyres are best suited for their particular vehicle, and that means they often make a poor choice when it comes to equipping a new set.

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Lots of drivers are guilty of letting the price of a new set of tyres dictate their choice, but there are more important considerations such as fuel efficiency, grip and noise.

Do some research

The first thing to do is to check your vehicle‘s user manual to see which type of tyres the manufacturer recommends. It’s usually not advisable to go for tyres with different specifications to what’s recommend, as this can affect the car’s handling. Another concern is the car’s warranty – if you use an unsuitable tyre, it could well make this invalid.

Tyre labelling

Luckily for buyers, government legislation means that tyres have to be correctly labelled with the ratings for fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise level. Fuel efficiency is measured according to a tyre’s rolling resistance, and rated on a sliding scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient. Wet grip is also measured with a similar scale, and is based on braking distances when driving in a straight line on a wet surface.

Many drivers might think noise level isn’t as important as the other two factors, but for those who do care, this is clearly indicated in decibels on each tyre.

Summer tyres vs Winter tyres

Some tyres are built for driving in summer, while others are more suited to winter road conditions. The biggest difference between the two is the amount of tread depth and also the tread pattern. Summer tyres are designed for drier, warmer conditions and usually have less tread, whereas the winter variants come with a larger depth tread, offering better grip in adverse weather. Winter tyres can be identified by the snow flake and mountain symbol printed on the outside.

Save money by buying online

With the advent of the Internet, there are many cheaper options for buying tyres online. A good example is http://www.tirendo.us/, which sells a wide variety of tyres for all road conditions. It’s possible to make big savings when you purchase tyres online, because these retailers don’t have to pay the overheads that come with a brick and mortar store. As such, these savings can be passed onto the consumer.

Be cautious with used tyres

While they’re cheaper, used tyres are generally not going to offer the same quality or level of safety. Be sure to check the tread very carefully on used tyres, and only buy from trusted retailers. Remember that the legal tread depth limit in the UK is 1.6mm, any less than that and you are breaking the law.

Check the speed ratings

Last but not least, you should check that the minimum tyre speed rating in your car’s manual matches that of the tyres you buy. This speed rating can be found on the exterior of each tyre, and fitting a tyre with a speed rating that’s lower than the recommend minimum would invalidate your car insurance.

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