The decision about whether to buy summer tyres, winter tyres or all-season tyres comes down to the average temperatures where you live and drive. If, for example, temperatures near you tend to drop below 7ºC in winter, you’ll need winter or all-season tyres. Remember, however, that winter tyres aren’t suitable for year-round use, so you’ll also need a set of summer tyres. Different countries have different laws so make sure you find out where in Europe winter tyres are mandatory. Also, if you live somewhere where you’ll be frequently driving in the rain, you may want to consider rain tyres.
Do you use your car occasionally to make short journeys or do you enjoy long, sporty drives where you can put your foot down? How far, and how fast, you drive will determine your tyre choice. For example, RainSport 3 is a summer tyre suitable for fast, sporty cars whereas the AllSeasonExpert is ideal for infrequent drivers.
Some tyres are at their best when fitted to specific vehicles. Rain Max 2 and Snow Max 2 are ideal for vans and light trucks whereas the rallye 4x4 street is designed for SUVs and off-road cars. You can find out the make and model of your vehicle’s original tyres from its manual, along with other recommendations, but nothing beats doing your own research.
There are many things to consider when choosing tyres and sometimes you have to weigh up what really matters to you. For example, is fuel efficiency a priority? Are you looking for tyres that will last a long time? What about aquaplaning safety, cornering stability and driving comfort?
Tyre prices do vary but, as is often the case, you get what you pay for. As well as asking your dealer for advice, it’s worth comparing EU Tyre labels as these will give you information about each tyre’s fuel efficiency, noise emission and wet grip performance.