Tips and advice to buy the right tyres - Which tyres? Which brands? What price? ...

Which tyres? Which brands? What price? ...

Buy the right tyres Philippe Carval

Choosing tyres is often a real head-ache. How do we find our way through the jungle of the hundreds of brands on offer, what price to pay, and how to assess the performance/price ratio? In short, a whole series of questions which we need to answer before we pull out our credit card.

Marking on the sidewall of a tyre How to decode the marking of a tyre? - Copyright © : Rezulteo

The classification generally used for tyres is split into three categories: Leading brands in tyre performance, the intermediate brands which are very often owned by the leading brands, and the other brands. Each of them meets quite specific criteria, has a different performance and offers prices ranging from basic to triple.

Leading brands in tyre performance: These are the major manufacturer brands – Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Michelin and Pirelli. Their performance in terms of safety, grip, the environment and lifespan are largely superior to the other brands. In addition, their manufacturers make heavy investments in research and development and have test centres in order to fine-tune their products and control quality. These products always have an after-sales service, or follow-up by the manufacturers.

Large numbers of these tyres are produced and distributed on the international market and are offered in wide ranges with a large coverage of dimensions. They are generally Original Equipment suppliers for new vehicles.

Intermediate brands: The performance of these brands is lower than the above and although belonging to the major groups, do not benefit from the same investment. They may be efficient in certain fields (safety, comfort, 4X4, sport, …) but they rarely enjoy a global performance in terms of safety, grip, environment and lifespan. They are less well distributed, are generally less expensive but are also relatively less efficient. As a general rule, they are not Original Equipment suppliers for new vehicles.

Other brands: These are brands from the « emerging » countries. Their performance is clearly less efficient, their distribution very limited and price rather low. Although their price is unbeatable, the global performance compromise is mediocre. In other words, they cost you less to buy, but the quality/durability/safety/price ratio is questionable, and the after-sales service somewhat poor. 

Cupboard with stock new tyresCopyright © : © istockphoto - naphtalina

Therefore, whether you are attached to a brand or you follow you distributor’s recommendations, you should always ask yourself the same type of questions when you are buying tyres: What do I use them for? How often do I use my car? What is my driving style? What weather conditions do I most frequently encounter? And, naturally, at what level do I rank safety? The answers to these questions may not give you the choice of brand, but will help guide you towards one range more than another.

Choosing a performance leader brand will save you some unpleasant surprises and will always guarantee you safe driving, longer use of your tyres and an after-sales service worthy of the name. In a word, the cheapest tyre will not necessarily be the one which will save you money. Build into the price the tyre life and its rolling resistance, which are determining factors in the cost price of a tyre.

You can also consult our rezulteo rating system on our website on which will guide you, advise you and simplify your search and therefore your purchase. "Forewarned is forearmed" …