Is It Worth Paying More For Tyres?

By David Sholicar

Most tyres are black and round. There the similarities end. They differ in size, width, tread pattern, chemical ingredients, internal bracing, and wall thicknesses. “How it’s made” videos on YouTube are worth a watch, as making a tyre is as much an art as it is a science.


Tyres are meticulously designed with a range of different characteristics because not all drivers and vehicles are the same. Choosing tyres is an opportunity to adjust your vehicle’s safety, comfort, and performance for the better.

New tyres versus second hand ones

This is a no-brainer. Many terrible accidents have been traced to faulty tyres bought from second hand traders. Some have been prosecuted and stricter rules are potentially on the way. The problem is that you cannot check for internal damage. Neither you nor the dealer knows how that tyre has been treated and you cannot easily match one second hand tyre with another three on the vehicle.
Naturally, second hand tyres have less tread left. When you divide the remaining lifespan by their cost, second-hand tyres are usually more expensive to run than equivalent new tyres, so you are paying extra to not be as safe.

Premium tyres versus budget ones

The meaning of “premium tyre” isn’t clear to many people. It doesn’t just mean “more expensive,” and quite often they aren’t. The price depends on many factors but you will usually find that tyres made by leading brands such as Pirelli, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Continental or Michelin are no more expensive than alternatives from lesser-known makers.
Tyre designs are optimised for many different purposes. For example, race tyres are optimised for grip on dry roads but have poor grip if it rains. Conversely, tyres designed to grip in mud will never win Formula One. Others are optimised for quiet running, low fuel consumption, high mileage, cold weather, heavy loads and so forth. Usually, there is a trade-off: the features best for one purpose are not ideal for others.
In developing premium tyres, manufacturers pull out the stops to find ways to improve performance across the board. Top tyres are focused on particular types of vehicle; executive cars, sports cars, SUVs, 4x4s - but still try to deliver all-round value.
How much that matters depends on your vehicle and how you use it. Why pay for tyres that brake superbly at 160mph if your vehicle tops out at 80? Similarly, you don’t need an off-road tyre if you never drive off-road, or extra-load tyres for a mini.
That doesn’t mean premium tyres are only for premium vehicles. The Pirelli Cinturato P7, for example, is recommended by BMW and Mercedes but also for Minis and Skodas.
If the roads where you live often flood, choose a premium tyre that won’t aquaplane (the Pirelli P Zero excels in wet weather). If you get lots of snow, you will be safer on Bridgestone Blizzak. If you aren’t confident at speed on the motorway, the superior handling of Bridgestone Turanzas may be exactly what you need. Our tyre professionals are always happy to share their knowledge, but the customer knows their requirements better than anyone.

Share with your friends...

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.
View authorArrow right
What 4x4 Tyres Do I Need?
Customers are sometimes confused regarding the difference between 4-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD).
Find out moreChevron
Tyre replacement tips
You probably don’t give your vehicle tyres a great deal of thought, at least until you experience a flat tyre or a puncture. But have you ever stopped to consider the punishment that your tyres take each and every day?
Find out moreChevron
What are Reinforced Car Tyres?
Reinforced tyres are usually marked “XL” or “Extra Load”. They are often similar in price to standard versions of the same tyre, so some people wonder what the differences are.
Find out moreChevron