tyresSummer tyres for summer and winter tyres for winter. Easy right? Well, it’s not quite as simple as that. There is a huge array of different types of tyres to choose from.

We all know that tyre safety is important. Tyres are the only part of your car that is in contact with the road. So their maintenance and care will keep you and other road users safer. It’s Tyre Safety Month in October every year. You can read more about it in our article here. And the AA website is a great resource too.

Here is a brief explanation of the different types and categories of tyre:

ORIGINAL FIT CAR TYRES

These are the tyres the car manufacturers have chosen. Both the car and tyre manufacturers work closely together to select make, tread, size, style and handling to best suit the car.

When buying new tyres for your car you should stick to the same size and type.

NON STANDARD SPARE WHEELS

It is the law that tyres on the same axle are of the same size and aspect ratio. Your car will fail its MOT if the incorrect tyres are fitted. However, there is an exception – non-standard spare wheels. The temporary wheels often supplied by car manufacturers. They are usually skinnier and narrower than a standard tyre, in order to save space inside the car. Generally, these can be used in an emergency to allow you to drive to your place of repair. But check your operating manual before fitting because restrictions (such as use on the front or back only) can often apply.

WINTER TYRES

Winter tyres use a tread pattern and rubber that is designed for low temperatures. They allow for better traction and safer braking in icy and wet roads in cold conditions. But they aren’t suitable for year round driving.

In some countries they are a requirement but in the UK they are only recommended for people living and driving in remote areas that do experience extreme weather conditions.

RUN-FLAT TYRES

Run-flat tyres have an additional internal structure or reinforced sidewall to help protect the tyre in situations where tyres become deflated – such as punctures. They are being offered by more manufacturers on new vehicles.

RE-INFORCED TYRES

For heavy use vehicles or MPVs (Multi-Purpose Vehicles) re-inforced tyres are used because provide greater stability and increased carrying capacity.

REMOULDED TYRES

Bonding a new tyre tread onto the casing of a worn tyre.

PART WORN TYRES

These are as they sound. They may be considered a cheap alternative, especially if your vehicle has seen better days. But, as your tyres are the only part of the car in contact with the road it is important to buy tyres in top condition.

In the UK it is not illegal to sell part-worn tyres but they must meet strict criteria, defined by Trading Standards. However, unfortunately many that do not meet the criteria are still sold and they pose a serious safety risk. Each year in the UK more than 1,200 motorists are injured in an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres are fitted to vehicles. (source, tyresafe)

So as you can see, there are many different types of tyres. Tyres are such an important part of vehicle and road safety so make sure you choose the right ones. And safe driving!

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