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Tyres: Premium v Budget

October 21, 2019

Face it, car tyres are not something most people budget for in the day to day activities, but are of course necessary and important. So do you need to pay for the premium brands or are budget tyres adequate?

When considering car tyres it is important to know what you want from your car before you consider the type of tyre. Are you a long distance, heavy usage motorway driver? Are you a ‘round the town’ lower speed user? A huge range of tyres are available for virtually any car.

When thinking premium tyres brand names such as Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli and Bridgestone come to mind the prices of which deflate your bank account faster than your last blowout.  Budget brands, on the other hand, are the cheapest tyres in the market and can be very friendly on the wallet.

All tyres sold in New Zealand are required to meet particular standards and this of course dictates a certain level of certainty and safety. In fact often many of the budget tyre companies are owned by the ‘big boys’ in tyre research who still want their share of the budget market.

In the real world, nobody can actually state that a budget tyre will fail or a premium tyre won’t. This depends on both the type of driving you do and the care you take of your tyres.

Buying a budget tyre doesn’t necessarily mean you are settling for a low quality product and in fact many budget tyres are developed using the same techniques as the premium tyre ranges.

There is the argument that budget tyres don’t last as long as premium, however, there’s no such thing as an average lifecycle for a tyre as, once again, a tyre’s life is always related to how you drive and the care you take of them. If you check the air pressure once a month, the recommended tyre pressure is usually recorded on the pillar of the driver’s door, this can drastically increase the life of your tyres as well as saving you money as under inflated tyres result in increased road friction, meaning the tyres will wear faster and require move fuel to run the car. All four tyres should also be of the same tread pattern. 

It is also wise to use the skills and experience of your tyre professional. They understand all about the factors that cover the range of things such as good wet and dry handling and grip, noisy and quiet tread patterns, off road traction required, etc and can help in deciding the best option for your driving use.

At the end of the day, budget tyres are not unsafe and, as long as you aren’t planning on completing a high speed tour around New Zealand, budget tyres can offer really good sense and good value.

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