Your tyres are among the most important components on your car. They’re the only parts that come into contact with the road, and their quality and condition have a massive bearing on how much grip you can exert. Grip translates to superior handling, superior acceleration, superior braking power, and superior fuel economy. In other words, it matters!
In the present economic climate, with prices at the pump still stubbornly high, motorists are doing everything they can to drive down the cost of motoring. According to research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Kia, around 74% of 1,200 drivers are ‘using their car differently to save money’. Our choice of tyre would seem an obvious place to start looking for new ways of doing things.
Budget vs premium
When it comes to tyres, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest possible option. After all, this cost might have come up suddenly, and you might hesitate before paying for a premium option.
If you’re driving a high-performance vehicle, then the case for spending a little extra on premium tyres becomes difficult to resist. There’s no point in making a huge investment in, say, a Ferrari, if the car can’t grip the road properly. This a false economy we sometimes bump into when trying to save money. The same logic applies at lower price points, too.
Pros & cons
Of course, in the long term, this sort of thinking might turn out to be faulty.
Budget tyres meet the minimum standard required by law. They’re perfectly safe, and rigorously tested – as all new tyres must be. If you’re not putting in many miles, they might make economic sense, too – since they’ll wear just as quickly as premium tyres while your vehicle is sitting dormant on your drive. Similarly, if you aren’t going to be driving at high speed, the case for a premium tyre becomes slightly less compelling.
On the other hand, premium quality tyres offer a premium quality experience. Install a set of Continental tyres, for example, and you’ll probably be able to tell the difference immediately, especially if it’s been a while since your last replacement. Premium tyres are more expensive because manufacturers need to cover the cost of superior materials, and the research and development that underpins the technology.
Value for money
Premium tyres will often deliver superior traction, and so you’ll shave off a little bit of the asking price, thanks to the savings you’ll make at the pump. You’ll also find that they last longer, which is another way you’ll be saving.
There are drawbacks and benefits to be weighed before making any investment of this kind. If you haven’t tried a premium tyre, and your budget allows for it, then it might be a good idea to invest. That way, you’ll learn exactly what it is you’re missing.