Top Car Tyre Sizes
For the cars already on the UK roads, there are particular tyre brands and tyre sizes that are the most popular.
Big Brands Have Many Years of Experience Making Tyres
The largest brands like Pirelli, Bridgestone, Continental, GoodYear, Dunlop, Michelin, Firestone, and Yokohama are some of the most famous ones. These tend to be highly recommended, use better rubber compounds developed in research and development labs that are fully funded, and as is the case with Bridgestone, offer a lifetime guarantee for accidental damage too.
Mid-range Tyres Can Be A Good Option
Other tyres with less well-known brands like Avon, Linglong, and Barum may not have the level of investment into the tyre technology to create tyre treads that will do as well in different climates or have winter tyres that will handle the snow as adroitly as a winter tyre from Dunlop or Pirelli might, but they can offer a good balance of brand to price.
Economy Tyres Good For Fast Replacement
Economy or Budget tyres are at the bottom of the range. Their prices are lower, but they will not typically last as long with the tyre tread running down alarmingly fast compared to a quality brand. This leads to the most frequent replacement of all four tyres on the vehicle that can end up being more expensive and inconvenient at the end of the day.
The simple way to tell which tyre is a budget one is to look at the prices of different tyres in a tyre search at Tyre Shopper and the one that pops out at you as being a bargain, but without a brand name you recognise right away, that is the economy tyre.
The speed rating
Each tyre receives a speed rating, which indicates the maximum allowable speed for that tyre. Tyres with higher speed ratings are much better able to dissipate the heat generated during use while lower speed rated tyres cannot do so well with this.
Driving faster than the tyres are speed rated for is dangerous.
The driver puts the vehicle and the passengers at risk when doing so. Therefore, one needs to think carefully about the speed one needs to travel at to buy a tyre with a sufficient speed rating for all the roads ahead.
Size of the Tyre Matters
The size of tyre needs to be about the size of the wheel it will fit onto. It is not usually possible to fit a larger tyre on a smaller size wheel. It can sometimes be possible to move up to a larger wheel and a correspondingly larger tyre on the same vehicle, but it will need to fit still under the wheel arch and not obstruct the suspension of the vehicle.
EU Tyre Labelling
Since 2012, most tyres now receive three tyre labels that provide valuable information for buyers. The labels relate to the efficiency with fuel, road grip and braking distances, and external noise levels during regular tyre use.
Fuel efficiency is affected by some factors, including tyres designed in a way to not provide a drag factor that improves fuel efficiency, and air pressure being properly maintained in the tyre. Fuel efficiency is rated from A to G (D-rating is unused) with A-rated being the most efficient.
The ability to grip the road successfully in wet road conditions and the braking distance needed is assessed for each tyre and rated A to G (D and F ratings are unused). The A-rated tyre typically will have a reduced braking distance of 18 metres when compared to a G-rated tyre.
Noise emissions outside of the vehicle from tyre use is measured with 1, 2 or three bars with the decibel level stated separately on the label. Noise emission standards are changing and lower levels mean some tyres will not meet the noise standard fairly soon, so this is a relevant one to review before purchasing a new tyre.
More accurate information can be found out about EU tyre labelling in our detailed article on this subject.
All weather tyres are the ones that have a variety of features to make them suitable for all four seasons of driving. These tyres are what comes fitted to the majority of vehicles when sold as new and represent the largest segment of the tyres in use in the UK presently. Seasonal tyres for summer driving and winter driving have specific treads and other design features that deliver an improved driving experience over the all-weather tyre.
More Popular Tyre Sizes
Our most popular tyres can be seen below with their size and tyre reference: