Which? reveals shocking braking distances between economy, mid-range and premium tyres

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By Denna Bowman

Shocking differences in braking distances between tyres from 17 brands have been revealed by Which? magazine.

Also, buying cheap tyres instead of mid-range or premium tyres, like the ones awarded a Which? Best Buy status, could work out more expensive in the long run, the consumer champion claims.

Which? put tyres from 17 different through their paces in the popular 185/60 R15H tyre size. This is a typical tyre size for small cars such as the Mini, Nissan Micra, Peugeot 208 and Volkswagen Polo.

One of our most important tests assesses wet braking ability, with a car braking from 50mph down to 12mph in wet conditions.

In the most extreme case, the best-performing tyre for braking distance took only 34.0 metres to brake.

In identical, controlled conditions, exactly the same test car wearing the worst-performing tyre took 49.6 metres to brake from and to the same speeds.

That is a massive distance of 15.6m, in other words, 3.7 car lengths – the sort of distance that could represent the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

Which? also tests tyres for wear. We measure tyre wear over 3,100 miles and predict tyre life based on what we see.

While it may be tempting to choose a relatively cheap set of tyres costing £200 for four, in fact you’d be better off spending over £300 for a set of better quality mid-range or premium tyres.

The reason is the rate of wear. According to Which? test measurements, the cheaper tyres would only last two years at 12,000 miles a year, whereas a set of more expensive premium tyres would last 60,000 miles, which could equate to five years’ wear.

According to Which? statistics, over five years and 60,000 miles, all you pay for the initially more expensive tyres is the original purchase cost (in this case £320), whereas the cost of replacing the cheaper tyres would be £500 – a massive £180 difference.

Mid-range and premium tyres do not have to comes with over-inflated prices. etyres supply and fit a wide range of mid-range and premium tyres, including Bridgestone, Michelin and Pirelli at highly competitive prices. Plus etyres customers have their mid-range and premium tyres fitted at their home or work.

For more information go to http://www.which.co.uk/news/2013/03/which-reveals-best-and-worst-car-tyres-314384/

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