What type of tyres to choose?
The tyre you need depends greatly on the kind of car you drive and the type of driving you do. If you drive short distances in and around town on the school run or to the local shops then economy and safety will be a primary concern when choosing a tyre. If you do a lot of motorway driving then low noise, comfort and fuel saving might be factors in helping you find the right tyre. Drivers with luxury cars and sports cars will be interested in high performance tyres, which offer precision handling, excellent traction and manoeuvrability at speed.
Tyres are one of the most important components of a vehicle. The tyre tread area making contact with the road is relatively small– only about the size of the palm of your hand - so if your tyres are worn or damaged it can seriously affect your car's safety and handling. Not only that, if your tyres don't meet legal requirements, you could face a fine of £2,500 per tyre and 3 penalty points on your licence.
That's why it's important to check tyre tread depth, general tyre condition and tyre pressure to ensure your tyres are safe for the roads. Tread depth must be above the legal minimum of 1.6mm throughout a continuous strip in the centre three quarters of the tread and around the entire tyre circumference. At National, we support the 3mm campaign which recommends motorists replace their tyres when the tread reaches 3mm for utmost safety when driving especially in the wet at high speeds.
Tyres must be correctly inflated according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations in the vehicle handbook. Over-inflated tyres cause excess wear, shortening tyre life and can result in an uncomfortable ride; under-inflated tyres result in increased fuel consumption and faster wear of the tread shoulders plus increased chance of impact damage. You should also inspect the general condition of your tyre for any sign of bumps, bulges or cuts which could cause a blow out when driving. National recommends that motorists check tyre tread depth, condition and pressure on a monthly basis and before any long journeys – and if in doubt, come into your local National branch for a free tyre safety inspection. For more information, visit our tyre information pages.