Car Tyre Buyers Guide

Thanks to constant contact with the road, your car’s tyres sadly have a limited lifespan.

Eventually, all four will have to be replaced, but just getting a like-for-like replacement may not necessarily be the best move. Car tyres come in a variety of sizes, styles and with certain features, so more understanding of car tyres can help to improve your car’s handling and performance, or at least save you some money.

Understanding the numbers on your tyres

Understanding the numbers on your tyres

The first thing to look out for when it comes to car tyres are the numbers stamped on the side of each tyre. These numbers show vital information about the tyres, but it isn’t always clear what they mean. For instance, you may see something like this printed on the tyre: 235/60 R 18 V XL The first number, in this case 235, is the tyre’s diameter in millimetres.

The second number is the tyre’s height, as a percentage of the width (in this case, 60). If the second number is 50 or less, then the tyre can be considered ‘low profile’. Low profile tyres offer a firmer ride with better handling, but you may end up paying a premium for this type of tyre.

The next number has an R in front of it, which refers to the rim diameter. In this example, this tyre’s rim is 18 inches in diameter.

The last two sets of letters refer to the maximum load and maximum speed that the tyre is rated for. Here, the tyre can take extra load (XL) and can travel up to 240 km/h (V rating)

Choosing the correct tyres

The key thing when it comes to choosing a tyre is having the right ratings and the right size. If the tyre is too small or too big, it won’t fit onto your wheel correctly. If the ratings don't match your other tyres or are insufficient for your car (i.e., you car is too heavy for the load rating), then you could end up negating your insurance cover.

If you get your tyres fitted at Halfords, we'll ensure the tyre(s) offered are fully compatible with your vehicle. When it comes to tyre quality, you generally get what you pay for. Premium tyres will not only last longer, but may also perform better in adverse conditions. Budget tyres may even last up to half as long as a premium tyre, so it may be worth weighing up whether it's worth paying the extra money for a tyre that lasts twice as long.

All tyre bookings also come fully fitted, which means the prices of our tyres includes the fitting cost, valves* as well as balancing and disposal of your old tyres. *Specialist valves will incur an additional charge

Remember that if you have a van, campervan, 4x4 or other specialist vehicle, then you’ll need specialist tyres to match – check the ones already in place or ask a Halfords colleague which tyres can be used.

Shop car tyres

Seasonal car tyres

Did you know that 95% of road users only stick to summer tyres all year round, despite there being potentially better options for when the weather takes a turn?

At Halfords, we also stock winter tyres, designed for driving in icy or snowy conditions, as well as on wet roads, alongside all-season tyres that offer many of the benefits from both winter and summer tyres. The benefits to changing tyres in winter or going for all-season are mainly about handling in poor conditions or when the temperature drops below 7ºC, so they’re a good option if you want some extra grip in tough conditions.

Many winter tyres are designed specifically for performing in the snow, with finer treads that allow snow to compact, improving overall grip.

Shop winter tyres

How do I change a car tyre?

Changing tyres at home can be difficult, as you’ll need machinery powerful enough to remove the tyre from wheel itself. This is why we offer tyre fitting when purchasing new tyres as part of the purchase. We may even be able to save a punctured or slightly damaged tyre, so it makes sense to pay us a visit even if you’ve already decided it’s time for a new car tyre.

If you need help and advice on changing a wheel at the side of the road, then check this handy guide.

Don’t forget that you can always bring your car to Halfords for a free safety check, which includes a tyre tread depth check. Driving on tyres which don’t have enough tread can be dangerous, plus you could be fined if you are stopped by the police.

Same day tyre fitting

Did you know that we now offer same day tyre fitting service across our garages nationwide? Simply book online before 1pm and we can replace your tyres the same day to help you get you back on the road safely and swiftly. Please note that availability varies by location. For more information, please head on over to our dedicated same day tyre fitting page where you can find answers to frequently asked questions, choose the right tyres for your vehicle and book your appointment.

Book same day tyre fitting

Introducing the Halfords Motoring Club

Don’t miss out! Join the Halfords Motoring Club today to access a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.

It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.

Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.

With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!

Join the Halfords Motoring Club today at

Join the Halfords Motoring Club