6 great tips for choosing cheap effective tyres

Seeking new tyres for your car? You might not have to entirely deplete your bank balance to get your hands on new tyres that can help your car to run genuinely effectively.

Turn to a company offering a broad choice of tyres

For getting your hands on the right tyres, you need to do better than simply walking to a tyre retailer on your local high street and leaving with the first tyres you see that meet your basic needs. By doing this, you could be completely overlooking other places offering alternative tyres that are not only better-performing than those high street tyres, but cheaper, too. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it. Even just a little online research could help you find a suitable place where you could, metaphorically speaking, scoff away. If, for example, you live in or close to Wiltshire, you could visit the website of Wiltshire Tyres. This company stocks tyres from all leading tyre brands - with Continental, Dunlop, Michelin and many other big names represented. Staff can even travel to homes or workplaces for wheel alignment in Salisbury and nearby places.

Look at labels to assess the criteria of different tyres

Upon perusing the stock of tyres at Wiltshire Tyres or another, similar company, it will be easy for you to compare different tyres on criteria including fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise ratings. This is because legislation requires tyres sold by such companies to be suitably labelled showing how they fare in these areas. 

This information is, thus, readily accessible to both customers and retailers.
A tyre's fuel efficiency and wet grip will each be indicated with a grade from A-G, where A represents the most efficiency or wettest grip. Rolling resistance is used to measure the fuel efficiency, Parkers explains, while wet grip refers to the tyre's ability to help a car to, when in a straight line, brake in wet conditions. 

Meanwhile, there are three categories of exterior noise level, which is measured with a decibel - look out for the abbreviation 'dB'.

Consider whether you should choose summer or winter tyres

While many European countries have enacted laws requiring cars to use winter tyres during that cold season, such legislation has not been put in place here in the UK... at least not yet. In fact, you are left with the ability to choose whether, when temperatures are low, you opt for winter tyres, stick with standard "summer tyres", or choose all-season tyres as described by The Telegraph.

While winter tyres should indeed, befitting their name, perform better in winter conditions than summer tyres, they also tend to be more expensive. Furthermore, in temperatures exceeding 7oC, their softer compounds will lengthen the time it takes a car to stop after braking and the vehicle's tendency to skid in corners. Depending on your driving habits, you may deem them unnecessary.

Avoid used tyres and be careful about run-flats

This article is largely about helping you to find inexpensive tyres; therefore, you may be seriously considering buying used tyres. They do, after all, carry more favourable price tags than new tyres. However, there can be risks of opting for used tyres.

For example, such tyres could have worn to a dangerous extent - meaning that, if you drive using them, your car insurance could be invalidated and fines reaching £10,000 and penalty points of up to 12 could be imposed.

If you have a fleet of cars, you may be attracted to run-flats. A car with run-flats can, following a puncture, continue running for a further 50 miles; therefore, downtime is greatly reduced. However, with run-flats, the maximum speed permitted is 50mph. You should also avoid using them if you will tow something with your car; run-flats are designed for supporting only the car's weight.

Choose tyres that have high tread levels

Auto Express reports that 40% of UK drivers are unaware that tyre tread depths must be at least 1.6mm by law. 

Therefore, can you imagine how few of these drivers know how adversely a car's performance can be affected when tyres of low tread levels are used?

The site tested two different types of Goodyear tyres on a wet braking track. One set was completely new and 6mm in tread depth, while there was a mere 1.6-2mm depth to the other tyres' treads. The test found that, with the newer tyres, the car reached a halt after 39.6 metres, while that figure was 49.9 metres for the car that used the worn tyres.

All of this testing took place on a road intended to replicate the condition of heavy rain. Therefore, by splashing out on tyres with relatively deep tread levels, you could increase the ease with which you will be able to control your car in wet weather.

Remember that costly doesn't necessarily mean poor value

While trimming a few pennies or pounds here and there can feel good, we would urge you to be careful not to take this cost-cutting too far. In fact, before you spend money on any tyres, you should thoroughly educate yourself about the merits and drawbacks of those tyres.

Let's consider the special advantages of winter tyres. Put these tyres on your car and, when in snow or ice, your car can benefit from a significant reduction in stopping distances. Furthermore, your car will be able to turn in situations where, otherwise, it might more easily skid. Therefore, buying a set of summer tyres for use just in summer and a set of winter tyres strictly for winter would be ideal.

The only disadvantage of this would, at first glance, appear to be the more significant financial outlay that has to be made upfront. Why not buy just one set of tyres and use them right throughout the year? One major reason is that, with two sets, each set will last much longer - as neither of them will be regularly used for the whole year. A higher price doesn't necessarily make a tyre poorer value.