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Canstar Blue research finalised in December 2014, published in February 2015.
No need for a pit stop with our award-winning tyre manufacturers
Two top tyre brands have snatched our latest customer satisfaction award, with both Michelin and Pirelli taking top honours for 2015. While the field was especially competitive this year, no other rated brand could match our award-winners in key ratings criteria. Let’s take a look at all of our five star rated brands in greater detail.
It’s little wonder why Michelin is so well known – it’s been making tyres since the 1800’s. The brand markets tyres for an enormous range of vehicles, supported by several great product lines.
- Energy XMZ, that (reportedly) last 20% longer than its competitor’s equivalents, and have a 10% reduction in rolling resistance.
- Primary LC, which apparently reduces the road noise of your vehicle significantly, and saves fuel.
- Pilot Sport Series, which reduces braking distance and enhances grip when cornering – it’s even used in Le Mans.
This brand received five stars in these results for overall satisfaction, value for money, tyre life, handling, and noise.
While Michelin hails from France, Pirelli’s home is in Italy, which means that racing is in the company’s blood. A quick look through its website will confirm this, with countless vehicles posited across the pages looking custom made for their spot in pole position. All of them are using Pirelli rubber to make their mark.
However, this brand delivers on a consumer level as well, if our survey results are anything to go by. Pirelli achieved five stars for overall customer satisfaction, value for money, warranty, noise, and customer service / advice.
If you’re looking for great value tyres, this South Korean manufacturer should fit the bill. What we really like about this brand is the iDrive Tyre Selector on its website. It recommends different tyres for different kinds of drivers (e.g. family drivers, city drivers, eco-conscious drivers). It’s a great idea for anyone who’s unsure of what product is right for them.
This brand received five stars for both value for money and road noise (or lack thereof).
Kumho provide a 60,000km guarantee on its Road Venture SAT tyres (at time of print), and an 80,000km guarantee on the APT product line. In short, this company is happy to stand by its products long term, which could give drivers peace of mind when making their purchase.
Kumho received five stars in these results for value for money.
What does $150-a-tyre buy you?
You can have the safest car in the world and it’d still be meaningless without a solid set of tyres beneath your car.
Based on the results of our latest survey, the average driver spends $151 on each new car tyre they purchase. So, what does $755 buy us? It’s an important question, considering nearly three quarters of our survey respondents are wary of being ripped off with new tyre purchases.
Tyres largely buy us piece of mind. Most new cars come complete with Antilock Braking Systems for improved stopping distances in most conditions, but that won’t mean much without good tyres.
According to TyreRight, new tyres typically have an 8mm tread depth. When braking at 80kmph, 3mm tyres travel an extra 9.5 metres than the 8mm tyres before stopping, and tyres on the legal minimum – 1.5mm – take 18 metres.
Granted, the above scenario is for wet weather conditions, but it is likely you’ll have to drive in the rain eventually – and therefore it bears thinking about.
Besides the obvious safety upsides, there are several other great reasons to invest in new tyres:
- Less rolling resistance means greater fuel efficiency (read: free money!).
- Better tread means less road noise for a quiet drive.
- Improved handling enhances the ‘driving experience’, if you’re into that kind of thing.
- You can recycle old tyres, and feel good about it not going into landfill.
How we rated car tyres
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought new car tyres (not retreads) in the last 18 months – in this case, 950 drivers.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
A good tyre means peace of mind. While cheaper tyres are available, there are many other factors you need to consider and looking at the various aspects is crucial. Here we will look at tyres in detail to help you find the right make and model for you.
Believe it or not, there are lots of different car tyres available on the market to fit different needs, budgets and applications. These days, radial tyres are the standard option, providing good handling and efficient grip, but there are many others that have their place and could be a better option for you. These include:
A retread is a second-hand tyre that has a new tread bonded to the tyre case with the idea being that it gives the tyre a new lease on life. Although it may sound cost efficient and environmentally friendly to reuse old tyres, it can be extremely dangerous and is usually not worth the risk. At higher speeds, usually on the highway, the tyre will warm up and the new tread may separate from the case leading to blow-out and loss of control. Due to this, the tyre is not only unsafe, but also often doesn’t meet the manufacturer’s specifications for speed and load-carrying.
The idea behind a run-flat tyre is just that – it will continue to run when flat. This can be great for those moments when you get a flat tyre and need to travel to the nearest service point or your destination before fixing it. When flat, the tyres can be used at 80km/h or less for up to 80km. this can remove the need for a spare tyre and make fixing the problem easier and more efficient. However, these tyres do have their downsides that make them unsuitable for most cars. To use them, you need an on-board tyre pressure monitoring system to warn you when one or more of the tyres are flat. Also, unlike a conventional flat, there are no obvious external signs, such as a flat tyre or the vehicle behaving strangely. They also need full replacement when punctured, rather than a simple repair.
Also known as TUSTs (Temporary-Use Spare Tyre) this is what many car owners might find in their boot as a spare tyre for when the unforeseen happens. Although in the past a spare tyre was often just another of the tyres currently on your car, improvement in technology and the need to save space and reduce weight has led to car manufacturers using these to improve fuel consumption and improve the overall drive. A TUST is an emergency tyre only and should be used only to get you to safety or the nearest service centre for help. While it can be handy and reduce space, you will need to get a new tyre to replace the one that is flat making a TUST more about efficiency within the car. They should never be used like a normal tyre.
There are many different sizes for tyres that suit different styles of car and can be used to modify how a vehicle runs. However, it is recommended to follow manufacturer guidelines, which can usually be found in the manufacturer’s book or your car door, to ensure the best drive.
The first thing is to check the size. As mentioned, this can be found in the manufacturer’s book or your car door. Once you know this, you can look at the brands and styles of tyre available, thinking about your needs when driving. Some things to consider are:
- Do you go on long journeys? Make sure the tyre manufacturer is widely represented so you can always pop in when you need help.
- What type of roads do you drive on? The type of tyre you choose can change dependent on whether you are commonly a city driver, are on the highway a lot of do a lot of off-road or outback driving.
- Do you prefer a quiet and comfortable drive or do you like to feel the curves in the road? Make sure the tyre is defined as either a smooth road with low noise or made for handling and steering precision.
- When shopping around, make sure the quoted price includes fitting, wheel alignment, balancing, new valves, and disposal of the old tyres.
It has been found that many car owners put off buying new tyres, with 48% surveyed delaying the experience as long as possible. If you are one of these, you may need to keep a bit more of an eye out on your tyres. Tyre maintenance is not hard and most of it can be done while filling up at the station! Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Look out for items embedded in the tread. Remove all stones and other objects embedded in the tyre tread before driving.
- Ensure the tread depth is adequate. If your tyres are worn to the tread-wear indicators (TWI), they must be replaced.
- Check the condition of the tyre’s sidewall. If there are bulges and cuts, have the tyre examined, as the damage may be more serious than it appears.
- Check air pressure regularly and invest in a quality air gauge.
Read more on checking your tyres here.
There are lots of different brands to choose from on the market making it easy to get a quality tyre at a reasonable price. Some of the main car tyre brands in Australia are:
- Bob Jane
How did our survey respondents rate car tyre brands?
Canstar Blue has surveyed everyday Australians to find some of the best tyres available, with these 5 topping the list:
Tyres are one of the most important components in the car. Choosing wisely ensures you get a better drive and spend less. With the above information, finding the right tyre for you is easy!