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What do we want from a tyre?

Our vehicle’s tyres are the vital final point of contact with the road surface – the last link in the drive train from engine through transmission and gearbox to convert all that energy to doing useful work. As such, they are a vital component, influencing performance, safety and comfort. Isn’t it sensible, then, to take a little time to think about what we want from our car tyres when we search for the best online tyre deals?

Price and value for money will clearly have a large bearing on our choice. As with any item of expenditure, we will have a budget in mind before we start to search for our tyres online and we’ll be looking for the best price tyres within that budget – there’s no point pretending otherwise! While, in an ideal world, we might all like the latest high spec offering from one of the big name tyre manufacturers, it’s important to be honest with ourselves about the available budget and try to live within that – even if it means making a few compromises on the tyres’ specifications. That’s one reason firms like Avatyre, which offer excellent choice and prices in tyres online have such an important role to fill in the marketplace; because we’re able to provide tyres at really competitive prices, we allow your budget to go further, and keep those compromises to a minimum.

Those EU performance symbols

If you visit Avatyre’s website, you’ll notice that for each tyre we sell, there are three little symbols giving a rating for the tyre’s performance in three key areas – economy, wet-weather road-holding and noise. In some ways, there’s a trade-off to be had between these performance criteria; a tyre which provides the best grip and road-holding, for example will probably be faced with a slightly softer rubber compound and is therefore likely to sacrifice some economy in achieving optimum road grip. All modern tyres seek to provide the best blend of performance, economy (in terms of miles per gallon) and comfort. Once again, the extent to which each of these areas is important is very much a personal choice and the ability to compare tyre ratings in these key areas is a great innovation for online tyre buyers.

Big names or not?

Tyres, like almost any other consumer purchase, have recognisable brand leaders. The brand name gives some indication of quality – if it didn’t, the manufacturer’s reputation would take a hit and they wouldn’t stay at the top for long. However, it’s not the whole story; there are some relatively unknown brands out there that can give the big boys a real run for their money. Once again, the tyre rating pictograms can give a clue here, and it pays to compare tyres within your budget. You might be surprised to find that one of the lesser known brands gives you the best performance rating in the areas that matter to you and offer a saving on the better known brands to boot.

For some motorists, however, the comfort of a big brand name – as well as the cachet that goes with it – might be the deciding factor, especially, just as with any other major purchase, if you’ve used a particular manufacturer’s tyres for some time and been pleased with the quality of the product.

Durability

One key area of a tyre’s performance which doesn’t carry a rating symbol is its likely lifespan. In many ways this isn’t surprising. The type of car to which the tyre is fitted, the type of driving it’s used for and, most importantly, the driving style of the user make any definitive statement on the likely life of a tyre pretty meaningless. It may be worth a little online research or a look at some of the popular motoring magazines to get some comparison of the likely lifespan of different brands. Safe to say, though, AA figures suggest that you should expect something like 20,000 miles from the front tyres of a modern front wheel drive car, and close to double that for the rear tyres.