Which Tyres Are Right For My Car? Economy or Mid-Range

by chris sanders on 6th May 2015

Warehouse 1 (1)

We often read reviews of budget tyres versus premium tyres and how bad they are. We have come to the conclusion that this process of testing, is in fact, utter rubbish!

It’s like testing Moet Champagne against Lambrini, there are no real comparisons. So, we are going to look at economy tyres (not budget, we don’t like that phrase) versus the next level up, mid-range tyres, and this is where it gets interesting as both are very competitive markets. Dependent on size, this cost difference could be £30 to £40 per corner, but does it make good economic sense?

The first question you need to ask yourself is what is the difference between the two tyres, are economy really cheap and nasty Chinese imports? This largely comes down to;

  • What vehicle do you drive?
  • How many miles a year do you do?
  • Do you drive urban (city) miles, mainly motorway miles, or a combination of both?

So here’s our thoughts as to when an economy tyre could be fitted to your vehicle:

  • You drive a light weight compact or city car
  • You drive under 8000 miles a year
  • You use your car to commute to work and rarely venture onto a motorway, i.e. you drive a lower speeds.

So when could you fit a mid-range tyre to your vehicle:

  • You drive any type of car, small, medium, large, SUV or 4WD
  • You drive over 8000 miles a year
  • You use your car to commute to work, use the motorway frequently and drive regularly at the national speed limit

For the purpose of continuity, this is when you could fit a premium brand tyre:

  • You have a large, heavy, performance or SUV/4WD vehicle
  • Amount of yearly mileage not applicable to these vehicles
  • You use the vehicle for all manner of trips and usage

So back to our tests, and which tyre is right for you. The basics:

Economy Tyres

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There are now lots to choose from in this sector. With the mass produced Chinese brands, surely some must be ok? Yes, the Chinese manufacturers have been known in the past to make some very poor tyres, often copies of premium brands and their tread patterns, just nowhere near as good. The make up of the rubber compound can vary from tyre to tyre and brand to brand. Most economy tyres are good enough to give you a comfortable ride with enough grip for town driving in most conditions, but serious winter snow and you may will struggle. Motorways may also produce higher noise levels but still return good fuel economy but will struggle with tread, wearing out more quickly than mid-range tyres.

Economy brands are now starting to produce more and more tyre sizes and are venturing into large SUV and performance tyres. We would stop short of a full recommendation for these types of vehicle as a lot of the the products aren’t fully proved as yet although they have the EU Tyre Label Ratings, you really need to ensure that they match the driving you do.

Mid-Range Tyres

Vredestein Ultrac Vorti

Again, this is a market sector that has lots of choice and lots of great products. You will see them on the TV supporting football in the Champions League and other big games.

Mid-range manufacturers cover pretty much every tyre size. Summer, winter and all season variations so the choice is good. But what is the difference from economy tyres? In basic terms, the differences are:

  • Rubber compound. Technically more advanced, the make up ensures that you get the movement and flexibility to maintain the levels of wet and dry grip you need.
  • Construction methods. With usually more experience in the industry, this comes through in the belt construction making side walls stronger, needed more so with performance and heavy SUV’s or vans.
  • Longevity. As a rule, but not always, you will return more mileage, some times 40% more, compare that against an economy tyre and the price, this may make a great difference.

You also need to be aware that lower profile tyres could wear more quickly than a deeper profile of an economy tyre.

So what is the best way to pick your tyres, after all, the choice is vast?

Apart from the guide above, we would always recommend quality over price first, if you can afford better, then buy better. Tyres are a forced purchase, nobody really wants to buy them, we have to, so buy the best you can for safety, performance and reliability.

If you are just running to work and back around town, do you really need to spend lots on tyres? Probably not, but follow the advice of your local expert retailer. But if you are doing a lot of driving, motorways, off road, towing a caravan or trailer, invest in better tyres. The majority of the mid-range brands are owned by the premium producers so they have the knowledge and ability to make great tyres quite cheaply but still retain excellent quality and ability and are usually produced in the same factory’s.

The economy makers have realised that they can no longer get away with just making a cheap tyre, drivers want better and competition is stiff in this market so the products are improving all the time. When the time comes to replace your tyres, take the time to consider which tyres are right for you, your car and your driving style.

There is a huge selection of economy and mid-range tyres available from our partners, Tyremen and Jungle Tyres

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and if you have any views, please leave them below. We know that not everyone will agree, so lets hear it.

Thanks

The Which Tyres? Team

 

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Valentina Catini May 10, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Congratulations for such an useful blog! I’m learning a lot, and most of the posts are helpful for my case!

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Meg October 1, 2015 at 11:09 am

I would like to see some quotations of how much these tyres cost. Anyways, this blog is helpful in picking best tyres appropriate for a type of vehicle we have.

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Taz January 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm

to be straight I’m confused I average 8,000 miles a year contintentals are on at the moment 15,000 miles on my car contintal tyres from my dealership 248 quid however budget tyres are 40 quid
my 2 front tyres need changing what do I buy ??

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