Not sure what kind of tyres you need? From cross climate and budget tyres to finding the right size and fit, buying tyres can be confusing.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – we make it easy for you to get on the road with this simple guide to buying tyres.
The type of tyre you choose depends on several factors – the kind of car you drive, the seasons, the type of roads you regularly drive on, your driving style and your budget.
For a comprehensive overview of the different kinds of tyres available, have a look at our guide to the different types of tyres and see what might suit you best.
You can find your tyre size by looking on the sidewall of your existing tyres. It will be in raised lettering.
This is an example of what the number will look like: 195/55 R16 87V
That letter at the end of your tyre size number is important.
It refers to the maximum speed for which your tyre is legally approved. Buy the wrong tyre and your insurance could be invalid.
The speed rating should be matched to the official top speed your car can do. The table below can help you choose the right tyre at a glance.
|Speed symbol||Max speed mph||Max speed km/h||Speed symbol||Max speed mph||Max speed km/h|
|S||112||180||ZR||Over 150||Over 240|
It’s very important that any new tyres are compatible with existing tyres, and that they are all the same size, load and speed rating as each other.
When you buy a new tyre, you’ll see a label on it, a bit similar to the energy-saving advice labels you find on cookers and fridges. Since 2012, EU legislation has stated that all tyres must be labelled on an A-G scale to indicate their fuel economy, braking and external noise levels.
It might seem a bit baffling at first, but an A-rated tyre can save you £80 on fuel for the lifespan of the tyre, so it could be worth paying a bit more. For more info, visit our tyre information page.
Not all tyres are created equal. Premium brands like Hankook and Michelin are pricier but will last you longer, while mid-range brands like Uniroyal will offer good durability, depending on your driving style.
There are also quality budget options that will do the job just as well. Arnold Clark exclusively stocks Orium tyres, which offer safe and effective all-round performance from just £28.
It’s not expensive to have tyres professionally fitted and it’s a lot more convenient than doing it yourself. Here’s a sample price guide so you can see what you might pay for your car’s tyres to be replaced.
Tyres are usually guaranteed for around five or six years, but that can vary depending on your driving style. So it’s a good idea to check the tread depth regularly. It’s vital that your tyres have a legal tread depth above 1.6mm, as anything below that is illegal.
A simple way to check them is by inserting a 20p coin into the groove in the tyre – if you can see the outer edge of the coin, it’s time to change. However, you can also book a free tyre safety check to make sure.