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Buying new tyres can often be a panic purchase and many of us buy our new tyres quickly, based on price. To get the most out of your new tyres, however, you should take some time to research which ones are best suited for your needs and ensure that you allow a suitable running in period. Choosing the right tyres and maintaining them will prolong tyre life and improve your safety on the road.
Choosing the Right Tyres
When you need to replace your tyres there are a few things to consider:
Are Seasonal Tyres Worth It?
When you choose tyres you will see that they are usually marked as summer (or standard), all season or winter. Many drivers in the UK tend to use summer tyres all year round, however, if you have storage to keep two sets of tyres we would recommend alternating between summer and winter tyres seasonally for the highest levels of performance all year round.
Premium or Budget?
Cost is one of the main factors in the tyre buying process for most motorists and there is no way around the fact that you do get what you pay for. Whilst it may be annoying to spend as much as four times the cost on one set of tyres than you would on another set, it is a proven fact that premium tyres provide higher levels of safety, better performance in wet conditions and shorter braking distances. Premium tyres also tend to last longer than budget tyres, so although they are initially more expensive, you will not need to replace them as soon.
If cost is a serious consideration, we would always recommend fitting budget or mid-range tyres over a set of part worn premium tyres. Part worn tyres are extremely dangerous and cannot be considered as safe, no matter how they look from the outside.
Where Do I Drive?
Tyres are optimised for different environments, so it may be worth thinking about where you predominantly drive. If you live in a city and predominantly make short journeys, tyres that are optimised to lower fuel consumption would suit you, whereas rural dwellers may prefer a tyre that provides off road capabilities.
The EU Tyre Label
The EU Tyre Label provides a helpful comparison point if you are struggling to decide which tyre would best suit you. This provides all tyres with a grade – going from ‘A’ to ‘G’ – and rates tyres on their fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise emission.
This can help you to select a tyre which is best suited to your needs and it can give you an objective view if you can’t choose between tyres. Take a look at our guide on EU tyre labelling.
Driving in New Tyres
When you have chosen your new tyres and had them fitted for your vehicle you should allow a period of time to run them in. During the tyre manufacture process, tyres are formed in heat moulds and the best way for manufacturers to remove them from the moulds without damaging the tyre tread is using a lubricant, which forms a slippery film on the tyre.
Whilst the film will wear off in time, when you first drive on your tyres it will still be present and your tyres will not yet have the gripping capabilities that they have been designed to offer. For this reason, you should drive safely and at moderate speed, ensuring that all manoeuvres, accelerating and braking are done gently.
Effective Tyre Maintenance
To ensure that you get the most out of your new tyres it is recommended that you check and clean them every three weeks. Cleaning your tyres is a simple task which can be undertaken easily at home and this will give you the opportunity to inspect them for damage.
In addition, driving on the correct tyre pressures will make your tyres less susceptible to damage and will ensure that they wear more evenly to provide optimal tyre life.