Do I need the same brand of tyres?

By Julia Freeman

The short answer is no, but there are important rules about tyre combinations when you buy car tyres – some are even illegal. The important thing is to have two correctly matched tyres on each axle – in design, size, and wear level. If you drive a 4WD vehicle, all four must closely match.

OEM brands

Most manufacturers recommend a tyre and some tyre makers promote themselves for a particular vehicle. This is almost entirely marketing. A handful of high-end vehicles have genuinely been designed to work with a specially designed tyre. The vast majority haven’t and in a few cases, the OEM version is inferior to the normal version of the tyre to cut factory gate car prices. Our tyre professionals advise customers to make a free choice; that’s why Protyre offers a vast range including Pirelli, Bridgestone, and a host of other brands.
 
If you just need one tyre, you might think that sticking with the same brand will ensure a good match. In fact, the difference in wear between the old and new tyre could still create a mismatch. It is better to buy in pairs whenever possible - so there is no need to match them with the ones you are taking off.

Radials and cross-ply

There is nothing wrong with cross-ply tyres, but the industry has standardised on radials. We rarely encounter cross-ply now, but they are still preferred by many classic car enthusiasts. Therefore, you should know that it is unsafe and illegal to combine a radial and a cross-ply on the same axle, or to have radials on the front with cross-ply behind.

Mixing speed or load ratings

Provided that the speed and load ratings of both tyres are adequate for your model, there is no law to prevent you mixing different rated tyres. However, there is obviously a difference in construction otherwise they would not have different ratings. They are likely to wear at a different rate and potentially compromise handling when combined together. It is something to avoid.
 
If it were dangerous to mix Continental and Bridgestone tyres it would be illegal (which it isn't), but mixing XL and non-XL tyres, or winter and summer tyres could be. They have too many differences. At the very least it will get you an MOT failure.
 
It is possible to have different types on each axle. Some people do this deliberately to adjust the handling of the car, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, avoid it. In most cases, any mixing of tyres results in compromised handling, different wear rates and unsafe motoring. Never try it on a 4WD because it will strain your differential and throw off your traction control.

Tread patterns

If you ever have to fit differently branded tyres on the same axle, the tread pattern and specifications should match as closely as possible. For example, the Bridgestone WeatherControl A005 and the Michelin CrossClimate resemble each other and are both all season and XL.

Book with Protyre

When you come to Protyre to buy car tyres we guarantee the best tyre advice and highly competitive pricing on a wide range of brands. You can find the right tyres for your car with our simple and easy-to-use tyre guide – simply click the button below and tyre in your vehicle’s registration. If you aren’t sure if you need a new set yet, why not book your free tyre check online now where one of our experienced tyre technicians can take a look for you.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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