Tyres can be a significant part of your annual running costs if you cover big mileages, but even if you only change tyres every few years your new rubber will always be an unwelcome expense. With prices starting at around £70 per corner if you want to fit a recognised brand, and a full set after discounts starting from £250, it’s definitely worth searching for the best deals and money-saving tyre discount offers.
Many people shop for the cheapest tyres they can fit, and more and more budget tyre brands are entering the UK market to satisfy that need. Some of them are decent performers too. But with the safety of their families and other road users resting on the ability of those four black circles to maintain a good grip of the tarmac, many drivers still prefer to rely on the reputation of established products and brands when forking out for replacement tyres.
So before you head off to the local tyre fitter, or start your search for tyre deals online, read on for our verdicts on some of the most popular new tyres on sale in the UK.
To help you make the best and most informed tyre choice, for this test our expert review team has returned to the popular 225/45 R17 size found on many family cars.
We last tested these in 2013, when many had just been launched to secure top ratings in the three categories of tyre labels – wet grip, fuel economy and pass-by noise. But with a couple of years of development under their belt, we headed to Continental’s Uvalde proving ground in an unseasonably wet and cool Texas to see how this generation of tyres stacks up now.
While labelling has made picking a tyre easier, the three label categories only show part of the picture – so our expert reviewers assess nine separate criteria before giving our verdict. We also include cabin noise, as this is a more relevant test for drivers than pass-by noise, which tyre labels cover for environmental reasons. Plus, our test results are given as a precise rating rather than the labels’ wide bands.