All tyres are created equal, right? Wrong.
The kinds of tyres you fit with your vehicle with are extremely important, so it’s handy to have a bit of tyre know-how when you’re shopping for new tyres.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
What tyres does your vehicle need? Look at the manufacturer requirements
This should fairly clearly outline the right specifications for tyres that you fit your car with, including what size and maximum carrying capacity the tyres should have to be able to support your vehicle. Your vehicle should have a Tyre Placard which will detail the minimum standards required.
Learn what all the numbers mean
Tyres are noted by a specific code which tells you what type of tyre it is and specs around it such as P205/65R15 95V. You can decode the code as follows:
For example, if the code starts with a P, this means that the tyre is a “P-metric” size designed for vehicles that are primarily used as passenger vehicles (like cars, light duty pickup trucks, minivans, and SUVs). Different letters also mean different things, like “LT” for light truck, or “ST” for special trailer.
In some cases, if you really want the best performance out of your car, you’ll need to seek out special types of tyres. Sports car owners, for example, technically COULD get away with installing regular passenger vehicle tyres on their pride and joy, but should seek out premium performance tyres, which are designed to handle and grip extra well with powerful engines travelling at higher speeds.
Speak to a professional
If you still find that you’re confused about all the different types of tyres out there for sale, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Speak to a vehicle expert about what you’re looking for in a tyre, what your driving habits are (including whether or not you tend to take your vehicle off-road, or stick primarily to city driving). This can be done at the same time you take your car in for a service, so be sure to ask any questions about anything you’re unsure of.
What are your top tips for choosing the best tyres for your vehicle?