car Tyres

An Ultimate Guide to Buying Tires – What You Should Know Before Buying

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Tyres are a very integral part of your car hence, they should never be neglected. Also, know that it is beyond strolling into a tyre store and purchasing tyres, there are some important things you need to know before giving your money in exchange for car tyres.

What type of tires does my car need?

Have you ever seen small cars with big tyres on the road? It looks funny and foolish. That is what happens when you go to a tyre store without considering the size of your car tyres. Don’t step into a tyre store assuming the size of tyres you want to buy. You must be sure. To be sure means to know the correct size of your tyres. This information is usually inside your car’s door jamb, in your owner’s manual and on the tire.

Questions You Must Answer

Better still, take your car along to the tyre store and get them to fix it for you if they offer that service. 

How many miles will the tires I’m considering last?

The truth is; that there are different kinds of tyres for different purposes. The calibre of tyres a person who does a lot of travelling will buy will be quite different from the one of a person who drives within the city. 

The one who drives longer miles will need durable tyres while the one who drives shorter miles may not necessarily need a tyre that will last for a lot of miles. 

The types of tyres available in the market include Snow tires, Off-road tires, 4×4 Tyres, Radial tires, Run-flat tires, Racing slicks and Tubeless tyres. 

If you don’t live in a snow prone area, there’s no need to buy snow tyres.

How much do I want to pay?

Price is another question you must answer. How much are you willing to let go in order to purchase good tyres? You cannot get quality tyres at a low price. It is almost impossible. Also, the fact that tyres are expensive doesn’t equate to good/durable tyres. You might just be getting scammed.

Tyre Sizes

The markings on a tyre indicate its size, load index and speed rating. A typical tyre marking looks like this – 205/55 R16 W 91. The first three digits – 205 – refer to the tyre’s width in millimetres. 

The second two digits – 55 – refer to the tyre’s aspect ratio, which is the height of the sidewall expressed as a percentage of the tyre’s width. Therefore, an aspect ratio of 55 means the sidewall is 55% as tall as the tyre is wide. 

R stands for radial, which indicates the tyre is constructed with its cord plies positioned at 90deg to the direction of travel, which adds strength. Almost all new tyres are radial. 

The two-digit number that follows, in this case, 16, indicates the diameter in inches of the wheel that a particular tyre can be fitted to. 

The last letter is the speed rating, which is the maximum speed the tyre is legally approved for. A speed rating of W indicates a maximum speed of 168mph. 

Finally, the last two-digit number is the load rating. In this case, a load rating of 91 means that one tyre is legally approved to carry a load of 615kg.

Know Your Tyre Pressure

You will find the correct tyre pressures for your car on a sticker attached to the door frame, inside the fuel filler flap or in the handbook. Be aware that the car manufacturer might recommend different tyre pressures for the front compared to the rear. You will also see different recommended pressures for different load levels.


I hope you found something that’ll help you when next you want to purchase a tyre.

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