From time to time every car will require its tyres changing, regardless of its make or model. For new drivers the process can be daunting and a confusing. How often should I change my tyres? What type of tyres does my car require? How can I prolong the life of my tyres? These are just some of the questions you might find yourself asking. Fortunately this guide provides a comprehensive overview for new drivers on buying new tyres, having them fitted and looking after them once you are on the road.
When do I need new tyres?
The law in the UK states that your tyres must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread for them to be road legal and so it is important to check your tyres regularly to ensure you remain compliant with the law. Letting your tread wear down below this level is not only illegal but hazardous to yourself and other drivers on the road. When you find your tyres are approaching the limit, it is time to consider investing in a new set.
Moreover, for your tyres to be road legal they must be free of abrasions, damage or cuts and bulges. These are all signs that the integrity of your tyre may have been compromised, which greatly increase the chances of you having a blow-out whilst driving. If you spot any of these tell-tale signs it is time to have your tyres changed.
How often you have to change your tyres will depend on a number of factors, including how you drive, the tyres you fit and the make and model of your car. We’ll come to how you can preserve your tyres for longer a little later on in this guide.
How do I get new tyres?
When it is time to get new tyres there are a number of choices at your disposal. The traditional method is to take your car to your local garage or dealership and have them fit a new set. Many garages will change the tyres while you wait although some will require you to leave the car for half a day or more.
One alternative is to use a local mobile tyre fitting company (make a search online for something like ‘mobile tyre fitters Oxford’ to find one close to you). These companies allow you to book an appointment online or over the phone and will then send out a team to change your tyres at your convenience at home or at your place of work. This means there is no need to take time off work or take your car in for an appointment; a convenience many people prefer.
The professionals who fit your tyres will be able to advice on which are best to purchase for your vehicle. If you are on a budget in can be tempting to purchase part worn tyres, although this is at best false economy and at worst, potentially very dangerous. Listen to the professionals either at your garage or mobile tyre fitting company; they will be able to offer you quality tyres and secure you the best value for money.
How can I look after my new tyres?
Now, once you have your shiny new tyres fitted you are going to want to run with them for as long as possible. By following these simple tips you’ll be able to preserve your tyres for longer and put off that next trip to the garage.
The way you drive will have a big impact on how long your tyres last. By accelerating calmly and breaking slowly you will be able to maximise your tyres’ lifespan and minimise the amount of wear and tear they undergo. Breaking hard, cornering quickly and accelerating aggressively will all have the opposite effect and wear down the tread on your tyres at a rapid rate of knots.
Looking after your tyres also involves regularly checks to ensure they are free of damage and are inflated to the correct pressure. The manufacturer recommended pressure will be stated in the car’s handbook and should be adhered to at all times. A car will lose roughly 1PSI of pressure every month and so it is important to regularly check and re-inflate your tyres.