While all tyres look similar, there's more to them than meets the eye, with a vast range of tyre brands, car manufacturers, tyre treads and contrasting prices. Did you know, for instance, that a rib-shaped tyre tread (where the grooves run into the centre of the tyre in a rib-like pattern) is designed to drain water faster for better traction on wet roads? There's a tyre for every different driving condition, including terrains, driving styles and, as highlighted, weather conditions, all designed to fit your lifestyle and budget.
Most cars are fitted with all-season tyres as standard, but buying the right tyre to suit your driving needs and style can save you money and keep you safe, so it’s worth considering your driving requirements before you choose your tyre.
Read on to help you decipher the difference between some of the most popular tyre types we sell.
Run flat tyres
If you've ever suffered a puncture, you know how devastating its effects can be. With a run flat tyre (or run on flat tyre), however, these effects are reduced, and you can continue to drive for a further 50 miles without having to get the puncture seen to.
Run flat tyres work because of their reinforced sidewall, which means they're capable of supporting the weight of your car on a temporary basis, regardless of whether or not they have air in them.
This means that you can travel up to 50 miles further than on normal tyres in the event of a puncture, giving you enough time to get home or pull over in a safe location – such as service station, car park or garage – before dropping us a line.
Run flats are now fitted as standard by an increasing number of manufacturers (such as BMW and Mini), but should only be used on vehicles that have a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which monitors the air pressure inside your tyres and lets your car know if the pressure drops below a certain level. Your car’s onboard display will then alert you.
There are some great options available here at TyresOnTheDrive, so if you're thinking of making the jump from regular tyres to run flats, just filter by run flat in your tyre search.
The most common tyre purchase is an all-season tyre (also known as an all-weather tyre), which combines certain elements of summer tyres with those of winter tyres, creating a hybrid that works all year round – perfect for the UK’s unpredictable weather!
The secret ingredient in all-season tyres is the intermediate compound, which provides good grip on both cool and dry road surfaces, making them suitable for both winter and summer driving.
Most manufacturers sell their vehicles with an all-season tyre (unless otherwise stated) as they are great for keeping on your vehicle all year round. However, although all-season tyres perform well on all kinds of roads, they are not specially designed for any particular weather condition (like a winter tyre's performance in icy conditions). As such, you might want to invest in a set of winter tyres if the weather takes a turn for the worse and we're hit with long spells of icy, wet or snowy conditions.
Winter tyres, also known as snow tyres or cold weather tyres, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Following a run of recent bad winters, from inches of snow to flooded roads, there has been a rise in people purchasing tyres to help manage those harsh winter driving conditions.
Using winter tyres can dramatically increase your vehicle’s grip and reduce stopping distance in wet, icy and snowy road conditions. Recent studies have found that stopping distances for cars fitted with winter tyres were reduced by up to 4.8m on wet roads and 11m on icy roads when travelling at 20mph, a significant and lifesaving distance.
Fuel efficient tyres
Tyre manufacturers are always looking for ways to reduce rolling resistance (the friction that your tyres create as they move along the road's surface) to reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions. Good news all round.
If you want fuel efficient tyres, look out for the ratings labels: A signifies the really good ones, while F means the tyre's fuel efficiency is not so good.
Original equipment tyres
High performance tyres
Providing superior grip, superior traction and superior responsiveness in all conditions and at higher speeds, high performance tyres usually come hand in hand with high performance vehicles to complement both power and performance.
They improve handling, cornering and braking, and appeal to track users as they allow you to drive at higher speeds in all conditions. Performance tyres provide a much smoother and quieter ride, and contain a special compound that improves the braking distance and prevents the tyre from overheating.
All-terrain tyres offer good performance both on and off-road. They are a great option if you travel a lot and live in a rural location or use your car to travel across bumpy and off-road terrains.