The big question: Which tyres do you need to buy for your car?

The big question: Which tyres do you need to buy for your car?

12 Apr

By Tom Boote

Tyres for your city car and run-around

They’re cute looking, easy to park, cheap to run, nippy, and very agile. As a result, they’re incredibly popular. What’s not to love about a run-around? Perfect for popping into the city or town for shopping trips, ferrying the kids from here to there and back again, running errands or social calls – this type of car is usually used for short journeys in a built up environment, and that means lots of stops and starts.

Sound familiar? If this describes how you use your little run-around, here are two very important considerations you need to factor in when deciding which tyres to purchase:

Fuel economy

If you don’t know already, you’ll be amazed at the difference your tyres can make to fuel economy. Some tyres have a characteristic known as “low rolling resistance”, which means they make your car more fuel efficient. Other tyres don’t. And since we all want to use less fuel, save money, and keep pollution levels in our towns and cities as low as possible, make sure you ask for a tyre that’s been specially designed to do this.


Wet braking

Statistically, if you’re driving a run-around, there’s a very high likelyhood that you’ll have kids in your car, or at the very least you’ll be driving on roads near schools and playgrounds. And that means you may have to stop fast. When the roads are dry, most tyres can help you do this safely and quickly, but it’s a completely different story when it’s been raining, and the roads are wet (something we get all the time in Britain, right?).

In this regard, it makes sense to pay a little extra and invest in premium tyres, like those developed by Continental. These deliver superior braking performance in the wet, dramatically reducing stopping distances. In fact, independent testing shows that this distance can be up to 14 metres shorter with premium tyres, compared to cheaper, budget tyres. And in a built up environment with kids suddenly dashing into the road, that can be the difference between avoiding an accident, or causing a fatality.

Popular cars that fall into the city car / run-around category are: Fiat 500, Volkswagen Polo, Mini One, Toyota Aygo and more. You should consider the ContiPremiumContact 5. This superb premium tyre is multi-award winning, and consistently taking top spot for dry handling, wet handling and wet braking.

Tyres for your mid-sized car

When we say mid-sized, we’re talking about popular cars like the Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane and the Vauxhall Astra. These are superb all-rounders, offering flexibility and comfort for both city driving and the open road, such as motorways.
There are a couple of important points to think about when purchasing tyres for yours:
  • If you do a lot of driving in and around town, look for tyres with low rolling resistance, because they’ll help you save money on fuel. They’ll also lower your car’s emissions.
  • If you also do plenty of driving out of town – such as on motorways and major roads – you’ll also want a tyre with good road handling characteristics to bring the best out of your car.
You should consider the Continental PremiumContact 6. This stunning premium tyre offers safety without compromise, delivering top-class braking performance, particularly on wet roads.

Tyres for your sports car

If you’re lucky enough to drive a high-end sports car, you’ll probably already know how much your tyres contribute to your driving experience. If you’re purchasing new tyres, this is not one to get wrong.
You’ll need a tyre that can withstand the pressures associated with high-speed cornering and the often more demanding way you drive this car (as opposed to the city run-around you take the kids to school in). This means that you’ll want tyres that respond quickly and precisely to steering and speed inputs.

The best thing that you can do is to re-purchase the OE – “Original Equipment” – tyres that came with your car when it was new. Or, at the very least, a very close equivalent, because your OE tyres will have been developed specifically for your model of car.

You should consider the SportContact 6, the highly regarded award winning premium tyre from Continental. In 2017, it took top spot in the evo summer tyre test, leading the way in dry and wet braking performance.

Your large family estate or executive car

Family holidays in winter and summer, long motorway journeys and – of course – general everyday trips characterise how we use large family estates and executive cars.
There are a number of very important factors to consider when it comes to purchasing tyres:
  • Safety. It should goes without saying that you want your vehicle to be as safe as possible for both those in and around it. As such, it’s crucial to ensure your tyres have excellent wet braking performance.
  • How important is ride quality and handling to you? If you enjoy driving and want to get the most out of your car, it’s important to factor this into your tyre purchasing choice. And, just as with sports cars, it makes sense to re-purchase the OE – “Original Equipment” –tyres that your car came fitted with new from the factory.
  • Fuel economy and tyre longevity. If you do a lot of driving, you’ll not only want to keep your fuel bills down and save money, you’ll also want your tyres to last longer. Investing a little more upfront on superior premium tyres can help you achieve both of these goals. Typically, they’ll end up saving you money in the long-run, as well as keeping you and your loved ones safer on the road.
You should really consider the superb Continental PremiumContact 6.


Tyres for you SUV or Crossover

If, like many UK drivers, you own an SUV, you’ll have bought into the fastest growing vehicle segment in Europe. There are seven size classes now, from ‘compact’ to ‘full-size’ SUVs, as well as ‘subcompact’ to ‘full-size’ crossovers. When it comes to tyres, you do need to pay close attention, and it’s not worth scrimping on them.

SUVs are heavier and – usually – taller than ordinary cars, and this means that the tyres fitted need to work extra hard when it comes to cornering or braking. The vast majority of SUV drivers typically drive on-road rather than off-road. If this is you, consider an all-round tyre that has excellent road handling characteristics, but which is also designed to withstand the additional height and weight associated with these vehicles.

You should consider the excellent ContiSportContact 5 SUV, versions of which also come with Continental’s very useful ContiSeal™ self-sealing tyre technology.


Tyres for your 4x4

Many SUVs and Crossovers are also 4x4s, but not all of them. Many people who chose to drive a 4x4 vehicle sometimes think of taking their vehicle on an occasional light off-road adventure. For this you should consider specialist tyres that deliver good grip on mud, and can handle uneven surfaces.

But – unless you’re a farmer, or your job takes you across country on a regular basis – you’ll typically be using your 4x4 on normal, tarmacked roads. For this reason, you need a tyre that offers a combination of good off-road and excellent on-road handling characteristics and performance. You should consider the Continental PremiumContact 6.

Premium tyres deliver premium performance

Premium tyres – from manufacturers like Continental – do cost a bit more, but they will provide you with a superior blend of road safety, fuel economy and handling characteristics that are right for you, your car, and what you use it for. And, over time, they work out cheaper too, because they last longer (when compared to exact like for like usage with budget tyres).

Unsure about which tyres are right for you? Talk to Protyre today

At the end of the day, the best piece of advice the Protyre team can give is this: buy the best tyres you can afford, and get good advice from a trusted expert – like us. We can offer you experienced, impartial tyre advice, based on where and how much you drive.

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Tom Boote

Tom has over 5 years’ digital marketing experience within the automotive industry in both B2B and B2C environments. Through this, Tom has honed his skills in digital communications, marketing, branding and web content management.  At Protyre, Tom is responsible for creating 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, Tom enjoys documenting the Protyre Motorsport team’s involvement in major motorsport events across the UK.

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