How Do I Choose the Best Tyre for My Car?

By David Sholicar

You probably don’t give much thought to your vehicle’s tyres until there’s a problem and one or more of them needs replacing. But how do you decide which tyres to choose when there’s such a huge choice available?

range of car tyres

Here at Protyre, we’re able to offer our customers a huge choice of tyres, whether you drive a small city car, an SUV, a sports car or anything in between, so whether you prefer two wheels or four, here’s our handy guide to tyre buying. And if it all seems too complicated, or you’re simply not sure which tyre is best suited to your needs, our friendly and helpful team will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

What Size of Tyre?

On the sidewall of your tyres you’ll find a series of numbers and letters that tell you the size of the tyre, along with other important information. This information can also be found in your vehicle’s handbook, but it’s helpful to know what the numbers mean.
For example, if the numbers on your current tyre are 205/55 R16 91W, this can be broken down as follows:
The first number - 205 - gives the width of the tyre in mm. The next number - 55 - is the aspect ratio, giving the width of the sidewall as a percentage. R denotes that it is a radial, whilst the number that follows - 16 - is the diameter of the wheel in inches. The final numbers provide the load index, and the letter relates to the top speed that the tyre can be exposed to.
So now you know the size of tyre that you need, but there are other factors to be taken into consideration too, such as the time of year, the types of road that you drive on and your driving style, as well as your average annual mileage. All of these factors have an impact on the overall life of your tyres, so getting it right could save you money in the long run.

Winter, Summer or All-Season Tyres?

The majority of cars in the UK are fitted with summer tyres as standard, which makes them suitable for mild climates with a fair amount of rain. However, if you do a lot of driving in wintry conditions, it’s well worth investing in winter tyres too and swapping them over with the seasons.

Winter tyres

Alternatively, you could choose all-season tyres, which aim to give you the best of both worlds - do bear in mind, though, that these will not give the same performance and road holding as dedicated seasonal tyres. 

Budget or Premium?

With tyres, as with so many things in life, you get what you pay for. Budget tyres are fit for purpose but won’t last as long as premium tyres, which are made from stronger and more long-lasting compounds, but if you drive a little city runabout on short journeys, budget tyres may fit the bill perfectly.

Run-Flat Tyres

Run-flat tyres can be invaluable if you have a puncture, allowing you to continue your journey at reduced speeds until you can get to a garage, but if you choose this option it must be used on all your vehicle’s wheels.

Run-flat tyres

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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