When it comes to buying new tyres for your car, there are many factors that you should consider. Since car tyres are quite an expensive purchase, consumers always want to get the best value for money.
The owner’s manual for your car will tell you the size of the tyres that you need, but there is likely also a range of different tyre types that will fit your car that you can choose from. Here is an introduction to the different types of tyres that are available and some of their pros and cons.
Pick the right kind of tyre
There are many different types of tyres and tread designs with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of these include:
- Radial tyres – These have become the standard for just about all automotive tyres. “Radial” refers to the way that the tyres are designed and manufactured. It’s likely that all the tyres available for your car will be a type of radial tyres.
- Run-flats – Run-flat tyres are constructed so that the sidewalls of the tyres are thick and strong enough to support the weight of the car. This means that if you get a puncture, you can still drive on the run-flat tyre so you can get to a service centre or complete your journey. However, your speed is limited to 80km/h, and your range is limited to 80km when driving on a punctured run-flat.
- Directional tyres – Directional tyres are designed only to work in one direction of rotation while driving. The tyre tread typically has an arrow pattern which disperses water more effectively, reduces road noise, and improves directional stability. This also means that a directional tyre will only fit the left or the right side of your car, not both.
- Asymmetric tyres – Asymmetric tyres are designed so that one side must always face outwards. The tread on the outside of the tyre is larger and stiffer to help with cornering performance while the tread on the inside is designed for water dispersion like directional tyres. These need to be fitted correctly in order to get the benefit of this design.
- Retreads – Retreads are an option for extending the life of tyres with worn out tread. Retreading involves bonding new tread onto the bottom of your worn out tyres. These typically aren’t recommended by tyre experts because there is potential for the tread to separate from the tyre and cause a blow-out if it heats up too much. They are a lower cost solution than buying new tyres, but they typically do not offer the best value for money.
- Space-savers or TUSTs – Temporary-use spare tyres (TUST) or space-savers are often what comes included as the spare tyre for new cars. They are typically smaller and should only be used for a short time and at a speed limit of 80km/h.
Some of the specialty designs here are likely to come at a premium price. Whether or not these features offer good value for money will depend on your preferences and how you plan to use your car.
Other things to consider
There are a few other aspects of tyre construction that you should be aware of.
Stiffer tyres are typically more durable and last longer than softer tyres. However, softer tyres wear out faster because they are better at gripping the road, and leave more rubber on the road surface because of that. Tyre manufacturing will always involve some degree of compromise between grip and durability.
Another important factor is rolling resistance. In theory, tyres with lower rolling resistance require less energy to push them forward from a standstill, meaning that you’ll use less fuel. However, there is no easy way of testing or measuring this. Some tyre manufacturers claim to have tyres that can improve fuel economy by up to 10% due to low rolling resistance.
Probably the most important decision you can make for getting the best value out of your tyres is choosing the right tyre manufacturer.
About the author
Club Money is a licensed Small Amount Credit Contract lender. If you need a new tyre after a flat and you’re short on funds, a quick cash loan is one option that could help you pay for it.