Expert tips for buying tyres

When buying new tyres, you should first consider not only the suitable price level but also their need for use, that is, where and when the tyres will be used and with what kind of speeds. Before going to the tyre dealer, you should also consider your requirements and the properties that you primarily expect from the tyre.

When selecting tyres, you should consider if they should perform well in high speeds or if it is sufficient that they are silent and work well on both wet and dry surface. A common rule is that you should follow the car manufacturer’s recommendations when selecting the tyre size. Car manufacturers usually provide four or five tyre size recommendations for different car models, and, among these, you should choose the tyre size suitable for your driving habits and requirements. And when buying winter tyres, you must decide if you want friction or studded tyres.

Read carefully the tests in car magazines

The buyer’s guides in newspapers, magazines, and internet provide good assistance for purchasing tyres and they often contain expert interviews. It is worth reading the tests by car magazines, because they are quite reliable today. However, the test winner may not be a self-evident choice, as the emphasis in the overall estimation may be on properties that do not match your requirements. Instead of the overall test result, you should pay attention to the ratings in the sections that are important to you. This way you can more precisely assess different emphases on tyre properties and choose a tyre that suits your specific requirements. For example, if you value safety on icy surface higher than low-noise properties, you may choose studded tyres instead of Nordic non-studded tyres.

When reading test results in car magazines, it is worth remembering that the testing period is rather short and the sample is quite small. For example, in winter tyre tests, the testing period is usually one week and the tests are performed using the same car in all weather conditions. In this sense, tyre manufacturers’ own tyre tests are more reliable, as the testing period may cover the whole winter and the tyre is tested with many kinds of cars in various winter conditions. This way, the sample is larger as it consists of different cars and various weather conditions which provide more accurate test results.

Tyres according to your own needs

Information that you should give to the tyre dealer include the car make and model as well as the manufacturer’s size recommendations and the type of use and driving that you intend to use the tyres for. Then the dealer can assess if you need tyres for high speeds or, for example, family use where convenient driving and safety are the most important properties of the tyre. When purchasing summer tyres, for instance, it is important to know whether you are going to drive in your own home country or perhaps on motorways in Germany with a speed of 250 km/h.

With this information, the dealer can offer various alternatives for you to choose the tyres suitable for your requirements. However, the consumer should be careful when purchasing tyres, particularly over the internet. For example, when buying friction tyres for winter from an online shop, a common mistake is that after finding tyres with suitable price, the buyer forgets to check if the tyres are designed for demanding Nordic conditions or rather easy conditions that prevail in Central Europe. The safest option is to choose tyres that are suitable for one’s own driving habits and requirements and that were designed for the conditions in the country where they will be used.


  1. SeanC says:

    Thank you for the great tips Matti, I was in a pinch when selecting my new summer tyres and your post really heped me out (I also read some tyre test articles). Now I’m happy to be a an owner of new Nokian hakka eline tyres! Can’t wait to get driving this weekend :D

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