Premium Vs. Budget Tyres

When the time comes that you need new tyres for your car, you will find that you are faced with a rather overwhelming selection of choice. From high-end premium tyres, to middle range and budget tyres, the price can differ rather considerably. However, this appears to be the main problem with prospective tyre buyers: the cost.

Many motorists shop according to the price of the tyres rather than the quality and safety it can offer them and their passengers. However, new legislation now grades tyres from A (best) to G (worst) as well as showing information on external noise, wet braking and fuel efficiency, in a hope to educate motorists to help them make the right decision for them, knowing all the facts.

When put to the test…

The same model cars were fitted, one with grade E tyres, the other grade A.

  • Car with grade E budget tyres had hardly any grip, even when travelling at low speeds
  • Car with grade A premium tyres drove like a new car, even at high speeds it handled corners easy and remained composed


The same model car, mixing premium tyres with budget tyres

  • Test one: budget tyres at the front, premium at rear

More stable with speeds up to 50km, anything above this it began to lose stability.

  • Test two: premium tyres at the front, budget at rear

Fine when at low speeds but struggled to grip when travelling any faster than 45km.

So if you’re considering only buying two new tyres, these should be fitted at for the rear of your vehicle.


Tread depth

Three cars all of the same model, one fitted with tyres of 8mm tread depth, one 3mm and the other 1.6mm and then driven on a surface with 5mm on standing water.

8mm – Showed no change at all and remained safe and in control

3mm – By the time the car had reached a speed of 80km it was aquaplaning.

1.6mm  (minimum legal requirement) – At a speed of 80km, the car slid into the other lane before the driver had chance to regain control.


Making your mind up: the low down


When it comes to premium brands such as Michelin, Continental and Pirelli, you may automatically think it’s simply ‘designer tyres’ which people associate with F1 drivers and are paying just for the name, but that isn’t the case. The money you pay is buying you years of tyre technology, expert engineering and safety testing that these brands have been carrying out for decades.

Middle range

Often manufactured by the same brands as premium tyres but under a different name, middle range tyres are a good compromise if you’re watching the pennies but you understand the importance of premium tyres and want what they can offer. With these, they will still show good wear and tear, fuel efficiency and come with the heritage of a leading manufacturer.


From the test results above, it’s clear these tyres are only suitable for driving at slower speeds and lower mileage – fine for a run-around car or a short-term solution. For those of you incurring high mileage and travelling on motorways regularly, the budget tyres should not be considered as the safest or most economical option.  


Auto Exhausts and Tyres

If you’re looking for new tyres and want to discuss the differences, please feel free to contact the tyre specialists at Auto Exhausts and Tyres. Our team can offer you the best tyre for your vehicle based on your requirements and budget. Simply give us a call today.