With such a wide range of tyre brands, makes, and models to choose from for anyone specific car, it’s understandable if you feel a little overwhelmed. The first question in most peoples’ minds usually has to do with price. “How much does it cost?” The second question then should be: “What type of quality is it?”
To most people, tyres, whatever quality they are, all look the same. They’re round and they’re black. But it’s what goes into the research, design, development, and manufacturing processes that sets them apart.
Tyre quality differences
While there are a plethora of different tyre brands and models to choose from, in terms of quality, there are essentially three categories which influence the cost of a tyre. Each type of tyre quality has its place, it’s up to you to decide on which one is the most suitable for your pocket and unique requirements.
There’s a reason why budget tyres are cheaper. As it is with almost everything one can buy, price is related to quality. It’s not to say budget tyres are a bad buy or less safe necessarily – they must still undergo safety checks and tests – just to a lesser extent than a premium quality tyre.
As the tyres with the lowest price tag, they’re the least durable. The most important consideration though is one of safety. They provide less traction in the wet and their stopping distances are longer than premium tyres, which leaves you with less control of the car in these situations.
Ask yourself: Do budget tyres offer value for money? How long will they last in comparison to a higher priced tyre and how often will they end up being replaced? Are they worth the safety risk?
As mentioned, each type of tyre has its place, it all depends on the situation, driving style, and unique individual needs.
Budget tyres are best for:
- A vehicle that is not used very often, mainly travels short distances, or is a back-up to another primary vehicle.
- If you’re strapped for cash but you need to replace a worn or punctured tyre urgently.
- Slower speed driving in high-traffic areas.
- Dry weather conditions.
More durable than budget tyres and more affordable than premium tyres, mid-range tyres are a decent option for many car owners.
The main difference between mid-range and premium tyres are the materials used. So, while the manufacturing methods are the same as premium tyres, you can still expect a quality tyre at a more affordable price. However, they won’t offer the same performance and durability as premium tyres.
Mid-range tyres are good for:
- Vehicles that are driven fairly frequently.
- Vehicles that don’t travel too frequently in bad road or weather conditions.
- Drivers who don’t drive aggressively, putting too much stress on the vehicle.
The highest quality tyres are designed to meet certain high standards and will naturally carry the highest price tag. Brands like Bridgestone, Pirelli, and Cooper are subjected to rigorous testing to produce premium tyres that will endure the harshest conditions and the most demanding driving.
But testing is just a small fraction of what goes into the making of a premium tyre brand. Premium manufacturers strive to exceed standards, and spend a lot of time and money invested in other areas, such as:
- Research and development – To keep on top of the industry for constant improvement in various aspects such as rubber compounds, fuel-efficiency, environmental impact, etc.
- Design – Encompasses tread pattern, tyre contour, construction, and compounds for optimal traction and performance in all weather and surface conditions as well as demanding driving styles.
- Materials and construction – Premium tyres are more durable, have shorter braking distances, offer better ride comfort, and lower noise levels.
- History – Well-known brands have established themselves in the industry for decades, bringing with them credibility, trust, and experience.
- Technology – Innovating new technological concepts, such as the run-flat
- Safety – Meticulous testing ensures they meet the highest industry standards to resist aquaplaning, braking performance, steering precision and more.
- Sustainability – For example, Bridgestone’s environmentally friendly ENLITEN Technology with super low rolling resistance uses less raw materials in its creation.
Premium tyres are naturally the best all-round tyre, but are not always the necessary option. It all depends on your unique situation and driving style. They are best for:
- Frequent long distance driving.
- Frequent off-road driving, or on roads in bad condition.
Manufacturers of premium tyres go to great lengths to make tyres of the highest standard. Lesser-known tyre brands have less experience and backing but still need to meet minimum standards before putting a product on the shelves.
Before buying new tyres, first think about which category will suit your needs, your vehicle, your budget, and your driving style best.
Whichever quality you eventually opt for, whether budget, mid-range, or premium, tyres will last longer with good driving habits and proper maintenance like wheel alignment and balancing. Supa Quick are your tyre experts, pop in to your nearest fitment centre and check the condition of your tyre with our free vehicle safety check.
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