Why are car tyres so expensive?

By Julia Freeman

It’s a question we hear at Protyre all the time. Why are tyres so expensive? No one enjoys having to buy car tyres but it’s a necessary evil. Without the correct tread depth, you’re driving illegally and putting lives at risk. But do you really need to pay out for premium brands such as Pirelli? And what makes them so expensive?

So, why are tyres so expensive?

Premium brands invest time and effort into creating the latest tyres. They hire the best chemists, technicians, engineers, and designers to produce tyres that are then tested to destruction by F1 class drivers in every type of condition. That expertise doesn’t come cheap, with the biggest companies investing millions a year in their research and development processes. But those costs have to be offset somewhere, which is why the price tag is that much higher than mid-range or budget brands.

Are premium tyres worth it?

In a word, yes. Although the extensive research into compounds and tread patterns and the thorough testing in highly advanced research centres pushes up the price, the difference in performance can save money and lives.
 
Premium tyres can be a shrewd purchase when you factor in their longer lifespan and better fuel economy. The money poured into research and development results in tyres that offer significantly better performance in all weather conditions. And that adds up to extra mileage and safety standards that budget tyres can’t match.

It’s about more than price

When you’re comparing tyres there are three key indicators to look for:
 

  • Fuel efficiency

  • Braking performance in the wet

  • Noise levels

 
You’d expect better performance and a smooth and silent ride from a premium tyre, but where they really shine is in their superior fuel efficiency.
 
An A-rated tyre has lower rolling resistance and delivers more miles for your money. The savings over its lifespan can be significant, working out cheaper than all-life costs of a set of budget tyres. For example, the Bridgestone Ecopia range claims to provide up to 7.2% fuel saving over standard tyres.
 
Of course, cost doesn’t necessarily mean that something is better. But extensive research supports the idea that premium tyre brands offer better value for money over the lifespan of the tyre.

The right tyres for you

You might be convinced that premium tyres are worth the expense, but if your budget can’t stretch that far then mid-range tyres can be a very good alternative. These tyres use technologies that have filtered down from premium ranges and even develop some innovations of their own. Falken has developed Silent Core technology to produce one of the quietest tyres on the road.
 
If you're a driver with moderate mileage and a tight budget, mid-range tyres could be a smart choice.
 
When it comes to budget tyres, experts agree that these should only be used for low mileage vehicles or in an emergency when better quality tyres can be fitted soon after.

Book your free Protyre tyre check

Peace of mind motoring costs nothing when you book a free Protyre tyre check. Our tyre professionals will check for a range of issues and advise you as to the best tyre brands for your vehicle, your budget, and the way you drive.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
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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