Do my car tyres need to match?

At Protyre, we recommend fitting the same type of tyre on all four wheels of your car. Having tyres of the same size, tread pattern, speed rating and load index will help to optimise the safety and performance of your vehicle. Drive with four mismatching tyres and you’re a danger to yourself and other road users.


Car tyres and the MOT

It’s not illegal to have tyres from different manufacturers fitted to your car. However, you will fail the MOT if you have tyres of two different sizes fitted across the same axle. That’s because this affects the stability and handling of the car as badly as if you were driving on one new tyre and one bald one.
Other ways your tyres can fail the MOT include:
  • Bulges, tears and lumps in the sidewall indicating weakened structural integrity Exposed ply and cords indicating a cut tyre Tread depth less than the minimum 1.6mm
  • If your car fails the MOT because of tyre issues, our tyre professionals can recommend new tyres from recommended manufacturers including Pirelli and Bridgestone that will get you back on the road.

Mixing brands and tread patterns

It’s always best to drive with four identical tyres but it’s not always possible. Budget constraints and stock availability sometimes means that you have to mix and match. If that’s the case, we recommend that you have a pair of tyres fitted across the front or rear axle from the same brand and with the same tread pattern.

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New tyres with a deeper tread should always be fitted to the rear axle. There are two reasons for doing this: to mitigate any oversteering issues and to provide greater grip and stability in slippery conditions. One exception is if your car is a front-wheel drive vehicle, but our qualified fitters will be able to advise you.
If you have to fit tyres with a higher speed rating or load index, our tyre professionals will also mount them on the rear axle.

To rotate, or, not to rotate?

If you do end up with two different pairs of tyres or you simply want to extend the lifespan of the existing rubber, tyre rotation can help.
This involves swapping the rear tyres with the front tyres on a regular basis, often between 3,000-6,000 miles. If you swap between summer and winter tyres, that’s another good time to rotate your tyres.
If your car is fitted with TPMS this can be affected by tyre rotation. Our tyre professionals will be able to advise you as to the best way forward.

When do I need to replace my tyres?

If your tyre shows obvious signs of damage or the tread is worn, then you’ll need to replace it as quickly as possible. But there are other reasons you may need a new set of tyres sooner rather than later:
Signs of ageing including warped tread and crazed sidewalls Poor wet braking performance
We recommend booking into your local Protyre garage as soon as possible and having our qualified fitters take care of it.

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About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The ...

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