Premium or Budget? Which tyres keep you safer?
Which tyres are best? When it comes to buying new tyres – with so much choice and so many variables – it pays to be well-informed. This article deals with a question our customers ask us time and again at ASDA Tyres – “why should I pay more for premium tyres when there’s a budget alternative?” We hope it will help you make an informed decision next time you’re buying tyres.
So, are premium tyres worth the extra money?
The price difference may be significant, but before reaching what might seem an obvious conclusion and choosing cheaper tyres, it’s important to understand just why premium tyres – made by brands like Continental – are more expensive, and how that benefits you.
The answer is in the vast sums manufacturers like Continental invest in research and development, formulating and testing new rubber compounds, tread patterns and structures. Test drivers like Continental’s Scott Armstrong put prototypes through their paces in real and simulated conditions, and if they don’t come up to scratch, the process starts again.
It’s a view shared by the world‘s automotive sector too. Global car manufacturers put such a high value on the quality of Continental’s tyres that many of them – from the ‘everyday‘ car makers to the glamorous ’supercar‘ marques – include them with the vehicles that leave the showroom.
The result of all this testing and investment? Put simply, ASDA Tyres know that premium tyres are safer and – in the long run – less expensive. Here’s a 1-2-3 of why.
1. Premium tyres are safer
Leading insurance company, Direct Line, asked various tyre industry experts to make the case for buying budget tyres. None would. This is primarily because the experts believe premium tyres are critical for road safety.
Due to the low-grade rubber compositions typically used, budget tyres just aren’t as effective at gripping the road in wet conditions, which affects stopping distances. An ‘A rating’ for wet braking distance on the EU Tyre Label means the tyre is highly effective at gripping wet roads. Conversely – unless you live somewhere very dry – a tyre with an ‘F rating’ is best avoided.
The poor rating – typically found on budget tyres – indicates they could add as much as 18 metres when stopping in the wet at a speed of 50mph – when compared to an A-rated tyre. We all know that a lot can happen in 18 metres… and it’s often a matter of life and death. Premium tyres – like the ContiPremiumContact 5 – typically receive the high A ratings, while budget tyres usually receive the lowly F rating.
2. Premium tyres wear more slowly
It’s true, a set of premium tyres will initially cost you more. For a city car, expect to pay around £70-£100 more, or £200-£250 more for a larger family estate1. And yes, while that is a higher outlay, it’s important to also consider the rate of wear, which – thanks to the design and use of higher quality materials – is typically much, much slower for premium tyres (like-by-like usage comparison).
1 Price comparisons for both a 2007 Fiat Panda and 2015 VW Passat estate, via https://www.asdatyres.co.uk/
(H2) 3. Premium tyres are more fuel efficient – and quieter too
Tyre quality and construction also affect fuel efficiency and – consequently – how much CO2 your car emits. The EU Tyre Label helps here, too. Typically, over the course of a year, quality tyre with an ‘A rating’ will save a massive 80 litres of fuel – or around £110 per year at current forecourt prices. Budget tyres may not be the bargain choice after all.
Premium tyres are also quieter which – on our busy streets where traffic noise is an issue – really matters. Premium tyres are designed to reduce external noise and keep you within current and future legal limits. A quieter tyre also makes for a more pleasant driving experience, right?
(H2) Next steps to making an informed tyre choice
If you’re still unsure of which tyres – premium or budget – are right for you and your car, the expert tyre professionals at ASDA Tyres will offer you completely impartial advice, and can take you through all your options. Click here to live chat to one of our experts, or find you nearest fitting station.