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P Leatham, Telford – 26/1/13

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Buying Cheap Budget Tyres? Information & Opinions on Safety Risks
September 1, 2013


The problem consumers face when buying tyres can be the cost of the better brands of car tyres. There is a huge wide range to choose from and this includes another option, cheap budget tyres. If you pop in to your local tyre branch the savings can be very appealing to customers.

Does half the cost mean half the quality?
If you are looking for car tyres you will notice some very high prices for the big brand tyres. Then you will notice the cheapest option and you may be inclined to think – are these tyres really that bad? Can the performance really be that much of a difference? After all, rubber is rubber right and they must be to the level of quality required to sell in the UK?

The major tyre companies undertake heavy research and development, looking into techniques surrounding the tread pattern, rubber compound, and the internal structure.
What did the car tyre test say?

Recently, the car buying magazine “What Car?” conducted this very test1. What was used in the test?
■Premium tyres: Michelin (£70), Goodyear (£60), and Continental (£58).
■Budget tyres: Arrowspeed (£44), Ovation (£37), and Sunew (£37).
■The car: Vauxhall Meriva
■Equipment: GPS-based timing equipment

Test 1 – stopping distances in dry conditions travelling at 70mph:
1.Michelin Pilot Sport 3 – 48.5 metres
2.Continental ContiPremium Contact 2 – 51.1 metres
3.Sunew YS112 – 52.2 metres
4.Goodyear Optigrip – 53.4 metres
5.Ovation VI-182 – 53.4 metres
6.ArrowSpeed CP661 – 53.9 metres

So comparing the best premium brand tyre against the worst budget tyre, the stopping difference was 5 metres longer for the budget tyre. Goodyear didn’t fair too well in this test did they?

Test 2 – stopping distances in wet conditions travelling at 70mph:
1.Michelin Pilot Sport 3 – 59.5 metres
2.Goodyear Optigrip – 62.1 metres
3.Continental ContiPremium Contact 2 – 64.3 metres
4.ArrowSpeed CP661 – 68.2 metres
5.Ovation VI-182 – 76.0 metres
6.Sunew YS112 – 82.4 metres

Looking at that there are some shocking differences. The budget tyres took an average of 14 metres longer than the premium tyres.

Two other tests were undertaken measuring the lateral grip (with the premium tyres showing better grip) and the cabin noise generated (which was roughly the same overall). You can watch a short video of the tyre test conducted by What Car?.

Tyre Blog opinion on cheap budget tyres?

Looking back at the overall results it is clear that there isn’t actually a direct correlation between the price of tyres and the quality of them. The stopping distances in the wet were alarming, but the rest of the tests show that there is only a small difference in quality – in some cases the budget beating the premium!


April 30, 2013

Phil from etyres Telford says,

If you notice that you need new tyres for your car, van, caravan or motor home, give etyres Telford a call on 0800 0289000 or the local branch a call on 0121 270 2594. We supply and fit many types of tyres including runflats, caravan tyres and brands including Continental, Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Firestone, Avon, Goodyear, Hankook, Yokohama, Falken, Kumho and many more. We also fit car battery and Tyron bands. If you wish to pay cash for your tyres rather than credit card call the local branch on 0121 270 2594 and we can offer this service, we can also fit tyres on the same day if stock is available.

Tyres are the vehicle’s only point of contact with the road. The actual area of contact between the car and the road through the tyres is small, roughly equivalent to four size eight men’s shoes. Bald tyres – ’slicks’ – may be fine for a race car on a dry track, but no good at all for road vehicles on a wet road surface. Tyres treads are designed to pump water from the road surface and provide maximum grip. By the time the tread is worn down to the legal limit they will be unable to perform this task efficiently and MUST be replaced.

RoSPA recommends that worn tyres are replaced with an equivalent new unit well before the legal minimum tread limit of 1.6mm is reached – ideally as soon as they reach 3mm.

There is a fact sheet on the RoSPA website discussing Tread Depth and Wet Weather Stopping Distances.

The Right Tyres for the Vehicle
Motor vehicle manufacturers choose the type, make, size, profile, load carrying capacities and speed ratings to match their vehicles, adjusting the tyre pressures to give the optimum grip, ride and handling characteristics. Only change the type of tyres on your vehicle on expert advice from the vehicle manufacturer, or tyre manufacturer.