A Guide to Buying New Tyres
Replacing tyres isn’t something that we tend to do all too often, but it’s vitally important that we get it right to ensure a safe drive and optimum performance. But how do you know which type to get, when to change them, or who to buy them from? How do you know whether they’re good quality or not? In this article, we’ll be guiding you on how to go about buying new tyres.
How often should your tyres be replaced?
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often your tyres should be replaced, but it tends to be around 3-4 years on average. The general consensus is that they shouldn’t be used any longer than 10 years after they were manufactured. You can find this information on the sidewall of the tyre: there are usually four numbers following the letters DOT, which represent the week number and the year (so, for example, ‘2417’ represents the 24th week in 2017).
Whether or not your tyres need replacing is affected by various factors, including:
- Driving style/speed – the faster and more reckless you drive, the sooner your tyres will need replacing
- Position – in a two-wheel drive vehicle, the front tyres will wear out quicker than the rear
- Load – heavier loads will weigh down your vehicle causing the tyres to wear quicker
- Wheel alignment – quick and uneven wear of your tyres may indicate that they are incorrectly aligned
How to tell if your tyres need changing
There are several signs you can look out for to find out whether you need to replace your tyres. These include:
- Uneven wear patterns
- Significant damage/lacerations
- Bulges/blisters on the sidewall
- The 20p trick – to find out whether the tread depth of your tyres is legal, insert a 20p coin into the tread wear bars at various points around the tyre. If part of the outer band of the coin is visible, the tread depth is too shallow. The legal lower limit for tread depth is 1.6mm.
How to choose which tyres you need
It’s really important to order the correct tyres for your car, otherwise you may buy tyres that are incompatible with your vehicle and can’t be fitted, or that pose a safety risk. In order to find out what you need, look at the markings on the sidewall of the tyre. Here, you’ll find the following specifications:
- Tyre width (mm)
- Aspect ratio/profile – the ratio of the tyre’s cross-section to its width
- Tyre construction – whether it is radial or non-radial
- Rim diameter (inches)
- Load index – the maximum capacity the tyre can hold
Speed rating index – the maximum speed a tyre can maintain
Tips for buying new tyres
There are certain things you should know before you set out to replace your tyres:
- Replace all four tyres at the same time – this ensures that the tread depth of all of your tyres is equal, resulting in optimum performance. If not four, at least replace two tyres on the same axle, to ensure that balance between them is right
- Make sure they match – if you are replacing just two tyres, it’s important that they are both the same
- Check the EU ratings – Find out the fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise performance of different tyres – this is all listed in the EU label supplied with the tyre, but if you can’t find it, ask your dealer
How to avoid being ripped off when buying tyres
Buying tyres for your vehicle is a big investment, so it pays to make sure that you’re getting great quality products. Do your research and choose a reputable dealer who knows what they’re talking about.
Premium branded tyres are usually more expensive because these companies invest in research and have access to cutting-edge technology, which is reflected in the quality of their tyres. However, that’s not to say that mid-range or low-cost tyres aren’t just as good – when premium tyres are released, manufacturers of budget tyres can replicate these products. So, tyres recently introduced by budget manufacturers can be just as good as a premium tyre that came out a few years ago.
Founded over 20 years ago, Tyre Warehouse is Brackley’s leading independent tyre retailer. We stock the biggest brands whilst maintaining our small, customer-focused team. We’re proud to provide high-quality tyres throughout Brackley, Bicester and the wider Buckinghamshire area – contact us today to find out more.