Buying Premium vs Budget Tyres
We’re often asked “what’s the difference between premium and budget tyres?”
There are typically three main reasons for the differences between premium and budget tyres; enhanced technology, improved all round performance, and greater safety characteristics.
Premium tyres will use the latest technology and research, not only in materials but also in test methods, industrial procedures and research and development (R&D). Premium tyres are developed to give the best performance in safety, grip, rolling resistance and endurance that's available on the market at any time.
Premium manufacturers, like Michelin, use computer modelling, fluid dynamics and simulation tools that budget manufacturer don't necessarily use. As a guide, many experts suggest that the technology behind a budget tyre can be as much as 10 – 15 years old.
Budget manufacturers tend to make products to a price point, whereas premium manufacturers strive to make the best tyres they can, using their best technology, developed and tested throughout the markets where the tyre is going to be used.
Many people may think they are saving money by buying budget tyres, and maybe they are in the short-term but in some cases any savings made by purchasing a budget tyre can be lost with lower fuel economy over the life of the tyre, or the loss of mileage, and that's before you consider safety.
Premium tyres are expected to offer enhanced safety on the road and premium manufacturers work extensively with original equipment vehicle manufacturers, to give their cars the best possible performance by optimising the relationship between the tyre and the car togive the driver the best safety, grip, comfort, noise, longevity and rolling resistance.
When it comes to tyre performance in the wet, each labelling grade in wet braking is equivalent to one car length in braking at 50mph. So a saving of £X per tyre could easily result in far longer braking distances in the wet. When you need that grip, we suspect you would happily pay that extra money as you’re sliding along the road.
Whilst we know that tyres are often a distress purchase, your car is often your second biggest purchase after your house and your tyres are the only thing between your car and the road and even more significantly ‘your family’ and the dangers of the road. – Is the cost you’ll save by buying a budget tyre really worth the compromise on safety? Would you buy a budget child car seat for instance?
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“Sandhurst Motors have been looking after my succession of VW Golfs for 20 years or so now and I have to say that, without exception, I have been impressed and grateful for the excellent service I have received. Apart from the usual MOTs and services, several times I have been in a situation when my car has seemed to be in a dire state. Each time, a mechanic has diagnosed the problem immediately, without making me wait for an appointment. On the last two such occasions, the problem was fixed straight after the diagnosis and without payment. What I really like is that, although I am entirely ignorant about anything mechanical, including cars, whoever I talk to at this place explains everything to me clearly and patiently without making me feel stupid; Trevor and all the members of staff are unfailingly kind, good humoured and helpful. I think that's brilliant!”
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