There are many different types of car tyres. The one you choose will depend on factors such as the make of car, driving style, where you live, the time of year and how your car is used.
For instance if you spend a lot of your working day driving up and down the motorways, you will need a hard wearing tyre that doesn’t create a lot of noise. If you live in the countryside a tyre that provides better grip on muddy roads would be more suitable.
This article identifies five different types of car tyres and highlights some of the differences between them:
1) Standard/ All Season Tyre
Your car was probably driven out of the factory on all season tyres. It is an average tyre that is suitable for all year round use. It works equally well in the wet and the dry.
The tread block pattern is designed not to be noisy when used on standard roads but enables adequate water dispersion to provide grip in wet conditions.
The rubber used is a harder compound to extend the tyre’s life. This can comprise on handling and cornering but for the majority of drivers it is not noticeable.
2) Performance Tyre
Also known as summer tyres, performance tyres are designed for provide excellent grip in the dry. Often used on fast cars or for a driver whose style requires increased handling performance. They can be used all year round if you live in a region with a warm climate and little rain.
A soft rubber compound is used which decreases the lifespan of the tyre but provides enhanced grip.
It is important that the car tyres are kept in excellent condition. Driving in the wet is hard enough with these tyres but if there is any sign of wear it is virtually impossible to get good grip.
3) Winter Tyre
Winter car tyres are designed to cope with the poor weather and difficult driving conditions that the winter season brings. They can handle snow and ice. Winter tyres can have small metal studs embedded into the tread for extra grip in extreme conditions.
The tread block pattern on winter car tyres is larger and more pronounced than on standard tyres. This improves grip but also increases the tyres’ operating noise.
These tyres cannot be used all year round because in dry conditions they wear out extremely quickly and damage the road surface.
4) All Terrain Tyre
All terrain tyres provide good grip on loose surfaces such as dirt and sand. Often used by off road vehicles, they can be used on standard roads but are very noisy.
Like the winter tyre the tread block pattern is large to improve grip. The tyre’s sidewalls are stiffer to cope with uneven surfaces and unexpected potholes.
Mud tyres are an extreme type of all terrain tyres, designed to be used in mud and dirt. They have very large tread block patterns that are only suitable for driving on that type of terrain.
5) Run Flat Tyres
Run flat tyres are a relatively new concept but are now becoming more common on new cars. They are designed to minimise the loss of handling that occurs after a puncture.
The car tyre can operate without air to enable the vehicle to continue to be driven. However this is only suitable for a short distance and at a reduced speed, until the tyre can be safely changed.
For further advice consult a car tyre specialist who will provide you with impartial advice on the best tyres for your vehicle.