Cost

Which tyres will hit your wallet?

Green issues are high on the political agenda, and vehicles are now taxed according to their energy efficiency. However, few drivers give any thought to the difference their choice of tyres makes.

Fit the worst performer in the rolling resistance test, and you’ll use around five per cent more fuel than the best. The trick for manufacturers is to produce a free-rolling tyre without affecting other performance factors such as comfort, wear and grip.

Top spot goes to energy-saving pioneer, Michelin. The French giant claimed a clear six per cent margin over its nearest rival – that represents a one per cent difference in economy. While it’s a fair way off the Primacy, the Hankook was still way ahead of the chasing pack. And given its sub-£90 price, it’s excellent value.

The results were much closer behind the Korean maker. Yokohama finally has something to shout about with a well deserved third place, ahead of Bridgestone, Matador and Kumho. Goodyear’s eighth place is an impressive result, considering the HydraGrip struggled in this section of last year’s test.

Continental and associate brand Uniroyal were further down the table than we had expected, especially given the emphasis on green issues in Germany. Tying with Toyo, Vredestein slipped a little in this area, particularly after decent performances in recent years.

However, possibly the biggest surprise was Pirelli. The P7 came in last, so the Italian company certainly has a lot to learn in this area.

Yet although the Michelin is the cheapest tyre to run, you pay for the privilege. All the premium brands came in at more than £100, but the Primacy is considerably more expensive – a whopping £10 dearer than second-last-placed Continental. Even brands like Yokohama and Uniroyal edged over the £100 mark. For those on a budget, the Matador is easiest on the pocket at £75 – that’s nearly half the price of the Michelin.

The Hankook, Kumho and Maxxis tyres are also well priced, for around £10 more. All the rest were in the £90-£100 range, with wet track expert Vredestein carefully priced just below its premium-brand rivals.

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