How To Choose the Best Tyres For Your Vehicle

If you’re looking for a new set of tyres, you’ve got plenty of choice with Halfords. You’ll find thousands of products from the world’s top manufacturers right here in our online store. So, whether you’re searching for great deals on eco-friendly tyres or have always wanted some ultra-high-performance wheels to pair with a prestige car, you know we’ve got the goods.

But how do you go about finding your next set of tyres? The tyres on your car, van or motorcycle do the crucial job of sticking you to the road, so spending time on selecting the right set is crucial to your safety and comfort. At Halfords, we’ve got vast in-house knowledge you can call upon to find tyres that get the most from your vehicle. We understand that choosing the tyres from the thousands of options may seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Use our guide below, to discover all you need to know about tyres.

When should I change my tyres?

In most cases, you’ll want to replace your tyres as soon as there’s visible wear or performance starts to dip. Of course, there’s always the possibility of an irreparable puncture, in which case, head straight to one of our Autocentres. Here are some factors to consider when changing your tyres:

  • Shallow treads. It’s illegal to drive on bald tyres— that is, those with a tread depth less than 1.6mm. Doing so is dangerous to yourself and other drivers. However, performance levels deteriorate long before you reach the 1.6mm line, so why not replace your tyres sooner for greater peace of mind?
  • If you have already changed a tyre, you’ll need to update its opposite, too. Changing tyres in pairs saves several headaches, including uneven rolling resistance and grip caused by different treads on the same axle.
  • Quality has a big part to play, as premium tyres tend to last a while longer than budget varieties.
  • Does something seem or feel unusual whilst driving? There may be internal damage to your tyre. The more you drive, the more likely that’s the case, so we recommend popping into one of our Halfords Autocentres for a free tyre check.

Can I make my tyres last longer?

In short, yes. Careful driving (including gentler braking, cornering, and acceleration) should slow the wear of your treads. Also, make sure your wheels are aligned and that the pressure in your tyres is correct. Unsure how to check? Just swing by your local Halfords garage.

Finding your tyre size

Before you make your mind up about brands, must-have features, and performance specs, you’ll need to ensure the tyre is a match for your vehicle.

Wondering what tyres fit your car? First, you’ll need to measure up the following:

  • Section width – the overall width of the tyre, measured in millimetres.
  • Wall thickness – recorded as a percentage ratio of the tyre’s width to its height. A low profile tyre has shorter sidewalls that aren’t as flexible as regular profile tyres.Shorter sidewalls increase your road holding and grip tight around corners. However, low profile tyres are generally more expensive and are less comfortable than regular varieties.
  • Type – either radial (R) or ply (P). The former have their internal chords at a 90-degree angle to the centre of the wheel, while the latter use interlocking chords at 45-degree angles. Almost all modern tyres are radial.
  • Rim diameter – the length across the inside of the rim, in inches.
  • The load rating index – is the maximum load the tyre can carry, shown as an indexed number representing weight in kilograms.
  • Speed rating index – displayed as a letter, representing a maximum speed in mph.
Code mph Code mph
Q 100 V 149
R 106 Z Over 149
S 112 W 168
T 118 (W) Over 168
U 124 Y 186
H 130 (Y) Over 186

You’ll find all this information recorded as a single code on your tyre’s sidewall. Failing that, the tyre codes for your vehicle are specified in its handbook or as a sticker on the driver’s side door. If you’re still unsure, just pop to your local Halfords Autocentre, and we’ll be happy to find out.

Things to consider when choosing tyres

So, you’ve checked the technical specs and whittled down your search. Now you’ll need to decide what you’re looking for from your new tyres. Ask yourself how often, when, and where do you drive? How important is comfort? What is your budget? Asking questions like these will help you to hone in on your ideal set of wheels. Here are a few more things to consider:

Wet weather

Many of today’s tyres incorporate technology built for wet weather driving. For example, treads quickly evacuate water away from the wheel, thereby reducing the risk of aquaplaning. But not all tyres are created equal, and some are better equipped for treacherous conditions than others.

Fuel economy

It seems obvious to say it, but not everyone realises that tyres directly impact what you spend at the pumps. This is because different treads have different degrees of rolling resistance. The lower the resistance, the less fuel is consumed. Just ask your local Halfords team if you need advice on tyre fuel efficiency.

Noise

Every tyre tread is unique, and as such, some prove louder on the asphalt than others. Today’s more advanced tyres boast technology that cuts sound levels to new lows. So, whether you love digging into a podcast or simply enjoy the quiet of the open road, it’s worth considering how much a peaceful drive matters to you.

Price

As with all things in life, you’ll get what you pay for. Premium tyres offer precise handling and an upgraded driving experience, but they’re more expensive. On the other end, budget tyres come cheap but don’t have as impressive attributes, while mid-range tyres bridge the gap. Either way, all our tyres meet stringent safety and performance standards, so it’s simply a question of quality and comfort.

Specialist tyres

Some vehicles call for a little extra. If you’ve got a high-performance sports car, SUV, 4x4, or campervan, you’ll get the best results from your tyres if you choose models designed specifically for your vehicle.

Seasonal tyres

You’re not alone if you’re a UK driver using summer tyres year-round. But this means your vehicle isn’t reaching its full potential, as performance is compromised whenever temperatures plunge. So, if you’re in search of comfort and fantastic handling year-round, we recommend checking out all-season tyres and winter tyres.

Run flats

Run-flat tyres keep you on the move if you suffer a puncture. However, they’re not designed for driving hundreds of miles, instead, they give you enough time to get to safety.

It’s crucial that you only fit run-flat tyres to vehicles that feature the right technology. If you’d like to check whether your car can accommodate run-flats, simply ask the Halfords team.

Things to consider when choosing tyres

Image for tyre labels EU

Tyre labels are one of the simplest ways to gauge how a given tyre performs. So, what are they?

The EU introduced tyre labels in 2012—and still apply to wheels sold in the UK today. They use a three-part rating system whereby tyres are tested and assigned a grade from A to G. Seem familiar? That’s because they look a lot like the energy efficiency stickers you’re used to seeing on household electronics.

Tyre labels rate for:

  • Fuel efficiency – the higher the grade, the lower the fuel consumption.
  • Wet grip – the higher the grade, the shorter braking distances are in rainy weather.
  • Noise – the fewer bars, the quieter the tyre. Only tyres with two bars or less will meet future legislation.

Why choose Halfords for tyres?

We’re about so much more than helping you find the right set of wheels. You can think of us as your one-stop-shop, from emergency callouts for tyre fitting right through to comprehensive, expert servicing on your doorstep.

Same-day fitting

You can’t afford to wait around on replacement tyres, so buy online today, and we’ll get them fitted at one of our Autocentres within 24 hours. Buying two or more? Then we’ll take care of it for free.

Mobile tyre-fitting service

Can’t get away from the office or have children to entertain? We understand. That’s why we created a mobile tyre-fitting service, featuring speedy callouts at your home, work, or anywhere else you need us.

All bases covered

We’re serious when we say that we’ve got something everyone — there are 10,000+ tyres to choose from! Filter your search by price, brand, season, and size.

Tyre centres UK wide

Get local tyre fitting and maintenance you can trust. With 700 garages nationwide, we’re never more than a short drive away.