Budget Tyres vs Premium Tyres

Choosing the right tyres can be a challenge, especially if you have a particular price limit in mind. With so many options available, finding a set of affordable tyres from a trusted brand can seem like a task. Or perhaps you’re looking for high performance tyres and want to know you’re getting the best possible price. Whatever you’re looking for in a tyre, the Halfords experts are here to help.

If you’re unsure about the difference between budget tyres and premium tyres, this is the guide for you. Here we’ll discuss what you can expect at different ends of the price bracket, including the advantages of opting for mid-range tyres.


What’s the difference between budget and premium tyres?

Tyres are the only part of a vehicle that make sole contact with the road, so it should come as little surprise that the spec and design you choose will define your driving experience.

Budget tyres

Budget tyres offers to the basics - they get you from A to B safely and comfortably, without the bells and whistles of a high-performance model. Of course, that means you won’t get racetrack-style grip and cornering, but are more than sufficient for trips to the school gates or the office.

Premium tyres

Premium tyres sit at the other end of the price spectrum. They are more expensive, but they’re designed to give you something extra. Better cornering, superior traction, high-performance handling—premium tyres make starting your engine an occasion. They’re engineered with the latest racetrack technology, made from high-quality materials that last longer and can handle testing conditions. So, if you want a set of wheels that take your high-performance car or SUV to the next level, premium tyres are the one.


Why buy budget tyres?

They’re safe, comfortable, and meet regulations

‘Are budget tyres safe?’ is something we hear a lot. The short answer to that is yes. It’s never a case of compromising safety or reliability when you opt for affordable tyres; you’re merely forgoing design quirks that elevate handling and performance. All low-cost tyres we stock are rigorously tested and comply with the most stringent UK regulations.

There are fewer upfront costs

The clue is in the name. You’ll make a handy saving when it’s time to replace your treads because budget tyres are cheaper than other models. But it’s important to bear in mind that budget tyres generally won’t last as long as premium tyres. However, the lifespan of a tyre often depends on what and where you drive.

Who should buy budget tyres?

Budget tyres are ideal if you use a car for zipping about town. If your journeys are short, urban, and at moderate speeds, you won’t have much use for all those high-end flourishes found on premium tyres. So, why pay more than necessary?

Looking for budget tyre brands to get your search going? Autogreen and Landsail are among the best.


Why buy premium tyres?

They offer a superior driving experience

‘Are premium tyres worth the money?’ is another common question we hear. The answer all depends on your personal driving preferences. If driving is your passion, then the supreme grip, traction, braking, and cornering offered by premium tyres are worth every penny. From off-roading to cruising down the motorway with confidence, premium treads produce better overall driving experiences.

They’re more advanced and offer better fuel economy

Choosing fuel efficient tyres has become a higher priority for many of us. Premium tyres are more expensive for a reason. Countless hours of research and fine-tuning goes into each wheel, so you can rightly expect the tech to be a few years ahead of cheaper alternative. For instance, many premium tyres nowadays improve fuel efficiency, utilising technology that reduces rolling resistance. The result? Fewer pounds at the pumps.

Premium tyres last longer

That heftier price tag also hides another cost-saving secret. Premium tyres comprise premium materials, which ensure your treads last longer than cheaper alternatives. Therefore, in the long run, paying extra for your rubber could prove more cost-effective.

Who should buy premium tyres?

So, are premium tyres worth it? Well, that depends on what and how you drive. If you own a high spec vehicle like an executive car, crossover, or SUV, expect an exhilarating jump in performance when you opt for premium treads. They’re engineered for drivers who cover long distances, use motorways often, and navigate rural areas both and off the asphalt.

Trusted brand names operating at this end of the market include Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Michelin, and Pirelli.


What about mid-range tyres?

Like many things in life, there’s always a happy medium. Mid-range tyres aim to find that balance between quality and economy, offering a handful of top-level attributes without the top-end price tag. As a result, grip and handling impress, braking and acceleration feel punchy, and the upfront cost won’t break the bank. Brands to look out for include Yokohama, Falken, and Firestone.


Commonly asked questions

Yes. If you’re looking to get more life out of your tyres, you should avoid aggressive braking, cornering, and acceleration where you can. It’ll also help if you check your tyre pressure regularly and keep an eye out for wheel misalignment. Unsure of the signs? Head to your nearest Halfords Autocentre, and we’ll take a look or you can book our wheel alignment service online.

That’s your call. There’s no legal requirement to equip tyres for wintery conditions in the UK, but we recommend it nonetheless. That’s because standard summer tyres don’t perform as well once temperatures drop below 7c – a common occurrence on British shores. Opt for either all-season or winter tyres, and you’ll have the grip to take on all weather conditions. However, in some European countries such as France and Germany, winter tyres are a legal requirement during the colder months.

Once you’ve filtered your search by size, brand, and price, we’re always happy to help you narrow things down further. For further advice on how to choose the best tyres for your vehicle, speak to the Halfords team today or check out our car tyre buyers guide.