Commonly asked questions when buying new tyres

By Adam White

Buying new tyres can seem a little intimidating, especially if it is the first time you have had to replace them since buying your car.

Tyre on road

We encounter a number of frequently asked questions, the most important of which we cover below:

What tyres are compatible with my vehicle?

This information is provided both in the owner's manual and via the markings on your existing tyres.

Working out what tyres you have currently

On the sidewall of your tyres, you will find a code made up of numbers and letters. This gives some basic information about the tyre. For this example, we will use the code 193/60 R15 94W.

  • The first number gives the width of the tyre in millimetres (in this case 193mm).

  • The second number is the height of the tyre sidewall expressed as a percentage of its width (in this case 60%).

  • The first letter displayed gives the type of tyre (in this case R for Radial construction which is by far the most common type).

  • The next number is the diameter of the wheel’s rim expressed in inches (in this case 15).

  • The following number is the load rating of the tyre (in this case 94 represents a load capacity in kilograms of 670).

  • The final letter indicates the maximum speed that a tyre can handle (in this case W represents a speed of 168mph).

Should I replace like for like?

For many drivers, simply replacing the tyres with a set from the same manufacturer and with the same specifications is an uncomplicated way of dealing with things. However, do bear in mind that some tyres will have been replaced by more modern versions and some may no longer be manufactured.

Should I replace all tyres in one go?

This depends on your vehicle. If your car is front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive only, it will be okay to replace two at a time (for example, both front tyres together). However, if your car is an all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle, then it is usually necessary to replace all four tyres at the same time.

Should all four tyres be the same?

It is essential that you use the same tyres on each axle; i.e. front tyres must be identical to each other, as must the rears. Some vehicles will have different specifications for the front and rear axles and you must adhere to the manufacturer's specifications. This is vital in maintaining performance and control.

What is the deal with different prices and brands?

Broadly speaking, there are three varieties of tyre:

  • Premium - the most expensive tyres that last a long time, utilise modern technology and give great performance. Premium brands include Goodyear, Pirelli, and Bridgestone.

  • Mid-range - as the name suggests, these are mid-priced options that tend to last considerably longer than budget tyres but are not as durable or high-tech as premium options. Manufacturers include Falken and Sumitomo.

  • Budget - easier on the wallet, these tyres will tend to be less durable and less high-tech than premium tyres. Brands that offer budget tyres include Runway and Auto Grip.

To arrange an appointment or to speak to one of our tyre professionals, why not use our search facility to find your nearest garage and arrange an appointment? Our garages also offer MOTs, servicing and a number of free vehicle checks.

Need new tyres? Buy online at Protyre and save £££s!

All Protyre garages stock a comprehensive range of premium, Mid-range and Budget tyres to suit any requirement. Click the button below to browse our stock.

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About the author

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By Adam White
Adam looks to create engaging and informative content across the website that provides consumers with expert advice on MOTs, servicing, vehicle maintenance and tyre care. As a motorsport enthusiast, Adam enjoys documenting the Protyre Motorsport team’s involvement in major motorsport events across the UK.
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