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Safe or speculative: should I buy budget tyres?

By John SwiftTyre Advice8th August 2019

When you’re suffering from worn-out wheels, you could be forgiven for choosing cheap tyres as a way to cut the cost of replacing them. But are budget tyres safe to drive on? And could you end up paying the price further down the line?

As with many things in motoring, the answer is nearly always the same: cheaper options might do the job but are more likely to produce poorer performance and less longevity than premium products.

Here are few factors that affect whether budget tyres are safe to drive on.


1. Budget tyre brands

Even at the cheap end of the market, there are budget tyre brands that you might want to look out for, as it’s easier to do some background research when buying tyres from a well-known brand name. One of our most popular manufacturers of budget tyres is Landsail.

Any commercially available vehicle tyre should meet the minimum standards in terms of safety and construction, but by opting for a recognisable brand, you might have slightly more peace of mind when it comes to driving away. Here at Tyres On The Drive, we have our own Economy Plus range, which brings together a selection of sizes and brands at the cheaper end of the market. You will also find our Value Tyre range, which allows you to buy a value tyre at most competitive price possible. Both ranges are sourced from a number of well-respected manufacturers.


2. Tyre labelling regulation

The EU tyre labelling regulation – officially called the Labelling of Tyres with respect to Fuel Efficiency and other Essential Parameters Regulation No. 1222/2009 – means commercially sold new tyres should include a label telling you certain characteristics of the tyre.

These include:

  • A performance rating from A to G for fuel-efficiency.
  • A performance rating from A to G for wet weather grip.
  • A measure of the tyre’s external noise level during driving.


You can expect cheap tyres to be louder, less fuel efficient and provide less grip in wet weather. It’s therefore prudent to compare cheap tyres with mid-range and premium tyres to decide if the lower price sacrifices too much in terms of safety and fuel economy.


3. Mid-range tyre brands

Mid-range tyre brands include quality names like Falken, Firestone, and Nexen. Even if you don’t opt for premium tyres, it’s still worth giving some serious thought to the middle of the market for a compromise between price and performance.

This will give you better fuel economy and superior stopping performance in wet weather – saving you a small amount for every mile you drive and potentially a large amount if your tyres ultimately prevent you from aquaplaning.

Remember, no matter how good your car is, its tyres are the only point of contact with the road. Great suspension and handling will not prevent an accident if your tyres don’t grip the road, if they aquaplane, or if they skid on ice, so take this into account when considering what type of tyre you should buy.


4. Should I buy premium tyres?

It’s fair to say A-rated premium tyres are safer to drive on, offer more grip in the wet, create less noise pollution and save on running costs per mile too. They should give you better peace of mind, but they can also give you a more comfortable driving experience as they offer better contact between your car and the road.

While the noise rating on the label is for outside the car, naturally some of that road noise gets transmitted inside too, so driving on premium tyres can make the interior cabin much quieter on rough roads or at high speeds. The list of benefits goes on and on, and because the tyres market is such a spectrum, there’s a mid-range or premium tyres brand at almost every price point. This means you’re always likely to find tyres that fit your budget.


5. Premium tyre brands

We’ve all heard of some of the premium tyre brands – Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Michelin and Pirelli are among them. If you can afford to fit premium tyres, you will get better performance, it’s that simple. They’ll grip better, run quieter and save on fuel – and you can easily verify this by reading the EU Tyre Label.

For an even better driving experience, replace your tyres in pairs or ideally, all four at the same time. You’ll have brand new tread on all four wheels, with a full set of premium tyres all by the same brand offering reliable, equally distributed grip and fuel efficiency.

And finally, make sure to get your new tyres fitted by professionals. Whenever a new tyre is fitted, it’s important to make sure the wheel is fully balanced. By doing so, you can trust that you will get the full rated performance out of your premium tyres, giving you the best fuel economy, safety and reliability from your brand name wheels for the longest possible time to come.


Contact our friendly advisors today on 0333 016 6550 to book our mobile tyre fitting service.

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