New Car Tyres - What You Need to Know
Published Date: 26th Apr 2023
When you are considering buying a new car, one of the critical safety aspects to consider is the tyres. Tyres are crucial for safety and performance, and ensuring you have the right ones for your vehicle and driving conditions is essential.
In this article, we'll delve into the types of tyres available, the importance of correct inflation pressure, the legal requirements for tyre tread depth on UK roads, and highlight the top ten new car tyre brands and the car manufacturers likely to use them.
Types of Tyres
There are various types of tyres available, each with its own unique features and targeted benefits. Some of the most common types of tyres include:
- Summer Tyres: These tyres are designed for use in warm weather conditions and provide excellent grip on dry and wet roads. They have a softer compound that enhances traction and handling. Popular summer tyre brands include Michelin, Bridgestone, and Continental. Many car manufacturers, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, use these brands as original equipment on their vehicles.
- Winter Tyres: These tyres are designed for use in cold weather conditions and offer superior grip on snowy and icy roads. They have a harder compound that enhances traction and braking performance. Popular winter tyre brands include Pirelli, Goodyear, and Dunlop. Many car manufacturers, such as Volvo, Volkswagen, and Subaru, use these brands as original equipment on their vehicles.
- All-Season Tyres: These tyres are designed to be used in all weather conditions and provide a balance between the soft compound of summer tyres and the hard compound of winter tyres. They offer decent performance in various weather conditions but may not provide the same level of grip as dedicated summer or winter tyres in extreme conditions. Popular all-season tyre brands include Michelin CrossClimate, Goodyear Vector 4Seasons, and Continental AllSeasonContact. Many car manufacturers, such as Ford, Toyota, and Honda, use these brands as original equipment on their vehicles.
Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is crucial for safety and performance. Under-inflated tyres can increase the risk of a blowout, while over-inflated tyres can reduce fuel economy and traction on the road.
A tyre pressure gauge is the best way to check your tyre pressure. You can find tyre pressure gauges at Halfords, or they are sometimes provided with your vehicle's toolkit.
The correct tyre pressure for your car will usually be found in the owner's manual (this may be a PDF Document) or on a sticker located on the driver's side door jamb or inside the fuel filler cap. It is important to check your tyre pressure on a regular basis, especially before long trips or extreme weather conditions.
Tyre Tread Depth
Another critical factor to consider is the tread depth of your tyres. The legal requirement for tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm. Tyres with less than 1.6mm of tread depth are considered illegal and can result in fines.
Regularly checking your tyre tread depth is essential, especially in wet weather conditions. Check your tread depth with a gauge or the "20p coin test" to check if your tyres have sufficient tread depth. Insert a 20p coin into the tyre tread grooves, and if the coin's outer band is not visible, your tyres have enough tread depth. If the outer band is visible, it's time to replace your tyres.
Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is crucial for your new car's optimal performance and safety. The manufacturer's recommended tyre pressures are carefully calculated based on the vehicle's specifications, including its weight, size, and intended usage. Therefore, referring to the manufacturer's recommendations is a good starting point to ensure your tyres are inflated to the right pressure.
Your vehicle's owner's manual (this may be a PDF Document) is one of the best places to find the manufacturer's recommended tyre pressures. The owner's manual provides detailed information on various aspects of your vehicle, including the correct tyre pressures for different driving conditions, such as normal driving, heavy loads, or towing. The owner's manual is specific to your vehicle's make, model, and year, ensuring you have accurate information about your car.
Another common place to find the manufacturer's recommended tyre pressures is on a placard located inside the driver's door jamb. This placard provides information on the recommended tyre pressures for the front and rear tyres based on the manufacturer's specifications. It is typically easy to access and provides a quick reference for the correct tyre pressures for your vehicle.
Many car manufacturers also provide information on recommended tyre pressures on their official websites or through customer service channels. These sources can be particularly helpful if you need to find the recommended tyre pressures for a specific trim level or optional equipment on your vehicle. Additionally, some vehicles may have a tyre placard or sticker in the glove compartment, fuel filler door, or boot displaying the recommended tyre pressures.
Following the manufacturer's recommended tyre pressures is important for several reasons:
Firstly, it ensures safety on the road. Incorrect tyre pressures can affect a vehicle's handling, braking, and stability, increasing the risk of accidents, particularly during emergency manoeuvres. Properly inflated tyres provide better traction and stability, which are essential for safe driving.
Secondly, adhering to the recommended tyre pressures helps to optimize your vehicle's performance. Underinflated or overinflated tyres can result in reduced fuel efficiency, decreased traction, and increased and unnecessary wear on the tyres. On the other hand, properly inflated tyres provide better fuel economy, improved handling, and longer tyre lifespan.
Lastly, following the manufacturer's recommended tyre pressures can also have warranty implications. Some vehicle warranties may be voided if the recommended tyre pressures are not followed, as it can affect the performance and durability of the tyres. Therefore, it is important to ensure you maintain the optimum tyre pressure as the manufacturer recommends to avoid any warranty issues.
As the vehicle manufacturer recommends, maintaining the correct tyre pressure is essential for your new car tyres' optimal performance, safety, and longevity. Always refer to the owner's manual, driver's door jamb placard, manufacturer's website, or customer service for accurate and up-to-date information on your vehicle's recommended tyre pressures. Regularly checking and maintaining the correct tyre pressures will ensure a smooth and safe driving experience and help prolong the lifespan of your tyres and optimize your vehicle's performance.
Top Ten New Car Tyre Brands
- Michelin: Known for their high-quality tyres, Michelin offers a wide range of tyres suitable for different driving conditions. Luxury car manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche often use them as original equipment.
- Bridgestone: One of the largest tyre manufacturers in the world, Bridgestone is known for its innovative tyre technology and durability. They are often used as original equipment by car manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, and Ford.
- Continental: With a reputation for performance and safety, Continental offers a wide range of tyres for various driving conditions. Car manufacturers such as Audi, Volkswagen, and BMW often use them as original equipment.
- Pirelli: Renowned for its high-performance tyres, Pirelli is a popular choice for luxury and sports cars. Car manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Aston Martin often use them as original equipment.
- Goodyear: A well-known brand with a long and illustrious history, Goodyear offers a wide range of tyres for different vehicles and driving conditions. Car manufacturers such as Ford, Volvo, and Chevrolet often use them as original factory-fitted tyres.
- Dunlop: A subsidiary of Goodyear, Dunlop is known for their sporty and high-performance tyres. Car manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz often use them as original tyres fitted during production.
- Yokohama: A popular choice for performance-oriented vehicles, Yokohama offers a wide range of tyres known for their grip and handling. Car manufacturers such as Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Nissan often use them as original factory-fitted tyres.
- Hankook: Known for its affordable and reliable tyres, Hankook offers a wide range of options for different vehicles and driving conditions. Car manufacturers such as Hyundai, Kia, and Ford often use them as original equipment.
- Kumho: Another affordable tyre brand, Kumho offers a range of tyres known for their durability and performance. Car manufacturers such as Kia, Hyundai, and Ford often use them as original equipment.
- Falken: A popular choice for performance and sports cars, Falken offers a range of high-performance tyres known for their grip and handling. Car manufacturers such as Porsche, Subaru, and Nissan often use them as original equipment.
When it comes to buying new car tyres, it's important to consider factors such as the type of tyre, correct inflation pressure, and tyre tread depth to ensure safety and performance. Various reputable tyre brands are available, each with unique features and highlighted benefits. Many car manufacturers use these tyre brands as original equipment on their vehicles, ensuring optimal performance and safety. It's essential to choose the right tyres for your vehicle and driving conditions, and regular maintenance and checks are crucial to ensure the longevity and performance of your tyres.
**Please note vehicle specifications, trim levels, options, and engines are subject to change anytime. Therefore, confirming the vehicle specifications you are interested in when you purchase is important. Vehicle manufacturers also reserve the right to change specifications without notice and do so frequently.