So here we go again. Our annual visit with Mr MOT for our second car and all was well – kind of. The car passed but had advisories on 3 tyres.
I am often mocked by friends about my tyre purchasing habits. When we bought our family car, it came with budget tyres. To make it worse, the rear tyres were not circular anymore and had developed a flat spot that caused a really irritating drumming noise. Being a family car, used for transporting my army of kids daily, I felt it only right to change them. An obscene amount of money later, my car had new treads.
Given that tyres are a hot topic in our house, I thought I would use my first guest post to tell you the 5 things I look for when buying new tyres.
1) Brand and model
Look at what your car originally came with. If your car came out the factory with Pirelli P6000s, think about sticking with it. Car manufacturers spend millions developing cars to perform and handle in a specific way. Some of this is attributed to the tyre choice. If you like the way it drives from the factory, go for it again.
2) Tyre size
Check you’re putting the correct size on your car. When I bought my first Focus, it had smaller tyres with a lower speed rating than designed for the car. I can only presume the previous owner thought it looked “sportier”. What they didn’t consider was the impact this has on a number of safety and driving factors. A smaller tyre means your speedo is out. In my case it was 7-8% lower than what I was actually doing. This was also decreasing my fuel efficiency which nobody wants!
To make things simpler, websites like Point S help you search and buy tyres by just entering the UK reg number. So even if you don’t know the size, speed and load rating it doesn’t matter!
3) EU Tyre Rating
Just like buying a fridge or washing machine, tyres are required to have a rating. There are 3 ratings given to tyres for fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise. Fuel efficiency and wet grips are scored A to G with A being the best and noise by 3 bars, the loudest getting 3 bars. The AA give a good explanation of the ratings.
Personally, both my cars have nothing less than a B rating for wet grip and fuel efficiency and the noisest have a 1 bar rating (70db).
These are vitally important. I always read through many consumer reviews and professional test drive reviews on a specific brand of tyre before deciding.
Very obvious but shop around. Companies often have offers which make the individual tyre price cheaper the more you buy. Also, check cashback websites like Quidco for offers on top of the original discounts.
I hope this helps explains what to look for when buying new tyres for a safe family drive. I always like to remind myself that the tyres are like shoes for the car. The better they are (not always the most expensive) the less likely you are to lose grip and fall over.