Beginner's Guide To: BuyingTyres

There are many types of tyres that will ensure top functionality and fun time on the road. Your driving experience will move onto the next level. For instance, a winter tyre uses a special pattern design and soft rubber. This improves traction in snow or on ice. Remember to change them during winter, right before spring arrives, because they increase the fuel consumption.

Choosing the right tyres shouldn't be difficult. The main thing to decide is wheter to buy brand new or used ones. If you go for used ones check the thread as the legal requirement for tyres is minimum 1.6 mm. With new tyres you can expect to go for at least a few years but of course it all depends on your driving.

Pressure and inflation

The tyre pressure is critical. Lower pressure reduces the tyres' life span. It significantly increases fuel consumption due to increased rolling resistance and can be dangerous. Buy a pressure gauge and be sure to check tyre pressure at least 2 times a month. Do not forget also to check the pressure of the spare tyre.

The tyres are designed and built with great care to provide thousands of miles of excellent service. However, to get maximum benefit from them, you should maintain them in good working order. The most important factors when taking care of your tyres are:

- Proper inflation pressure

- Properly loading of your vehicle

- Regular inspection

- Good driving habits

- Vehicle condition

With adequate pressure, the tyres last longer, save fuel and help prevent accidents. The vehicle manufacturer specifies the "proper pressure" of air.

If your tyres are not up to the standard of legal requirements, you could face a fine of £2,500 per tyre and 3 penalty points on your driving licence. Make sure that you always keep an eye on your tyres' depth, condition and pressure.

The quickest way to measure your tyres' depth is use a 20p coin. Insert the coin between the threads and if you can see the side rims(not the top ones), then your tyres need changing as you are very close to the legal minimum of 1.6 mm.

Tips

Remember to always check the inflation pressure of tyres (including the spare tyre) at least once a month and before every long trip. They should be checked when cold, that is when they travel less than 1 kilometre. If you have to handle more than 1 km to charge air before leaving your home, measure the cold inflation pressure of each tyre and record the cumulative deflation of each tyre. You may notice wear on the "shoulders", which indicates low tyre inflation pressure. Add air to the maximum level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Fitting

There is a choice now - you can go to any seller and buy the tyres and they will fit them onsite for you. If you are busy and you don't have the time to drive up to the garage centre - browse online. You will find many companies that will offer coming round to a chosen by you adress and will fit the tyres there. Of course, expect the prices to be a bit higher but you are saving time!

Prices and UK brands

Whether Pirelli, Dunlop and or Michelin, it is possible to find the proper tyres at affordable prices. Note that tyres with transverse flat areas are unsafe and illegal. When the thread is less than 1.6 mm. replace them immediately. Prices range from £30 up to £130 depending on width, type, model, etc.

Latest Feedback
What is the difference between the all-season and winter tyres? Am I not ok with my all-season tyres in the winter?

Shanon R, Hereford
I've heard that if you have to change one tyre, you will have to change all four? Is this true? If so, why?

Pauline, King's Lynn
Is fitting and balancing tyres yourself difficult?

Jim T, Bradford
Should I look for deals on tyres online or it's best to see them before buying?