A guide to buying and maintaining car tyres

For many motorists who love the road, it’s the driving that’s the best part. For others, it’s where their car tyres can get them which holds the most allure.

One thing is sure for every road user, however – if you don’t know what you’re buying, not only will you pay more than you have to but what you do buy may not be as good as you expect.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to go about buying car tyres in-depth, and then take a look at maintaining them for prolonged life.

Replacement issues

If you’re in the market for new car tyres, it’d pay to know when the old ones have had it. To understand this, you don’t have to be an expert or have access to advanced traction control and other systems.

Just keep a close eye on the tread to see how much of it has been worn away. If you’re still not sure, calling in to have a word with a garage is always a wise idea. And remember, at any one time a car tyre’s contact patch is about the size of a piece of A4 paper. That’s a lot of rubber that’s constantly under pressure from the wear and tear of the road.

What to know about buying car tyres

Like everything, the world of tyres is one of politics, opinion and so many deals that it’s not always easy to see why one set are preferable to another.

Car tyres may appear similar, but you can be sure that they very rarely are. One thing which has helped ease some of the confusion is the new set of EU labelling rules that came into being back at the end of 2012.

For anyone who’s buying, a trip to see a tyre fitter is essential. And notice we said the word “fitter.” While your friend down the garage may know a thing or two about car tyres, a fitter deals with every kind out there and will be in the best position to advise you on what will work the best on your kind of car.

One thing which many people also don’t realise is that buying individual car tyres can get expensive fast. To get the best price possible, we’d always insist on buying a full set at a time. Don’t forget to dedicate some time to shopping around for quotes, either.

Last but by no means least, always ask the tyre fitter for a full price which takes VAT and balancing into account, as well as the new valve you should always be having. This fully-inclusive price may differ substantially from the previous one.

Another thing to remember is that if you’re driving in multiple conditions, such as heavy rain and dry, cracked road temperatures, then buying a set of car tyres that can handle it all is advisable. Winter tyres do just that, can be used all round and perform to the max.

Before we move onto maintenance, think about your budget. In some walks of life, the cheaper model can be just as good as the expensive. Not so in this case. With car tyres, you usually get what you pay for, which explains the impressive cost of some premium types.

Maintenance matters

Car tyres have to deal with a lot, and it’s not the garage’s responsibility to ensure they’re in good shape, it’s the vehicle’s owner….

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