Different Types of Car Tyres Explained

February 14, 2022 By Mike
Last updated on February 14, 2022

Your car’s tyres are among its most important components. They’re the part that actually comes into contact with the road, and, since they’re designed to be replaced regularly, they’re the part that’s worth paying special attention.

The right tyres will improve your fuel economy, reduce your stopping distance, and improve the driving experience overall. If you’re considering a new set of tyres, then you might be bewildered by the breadth of options available. It’s worth spending a few moments breaking down what’s available. Let’s do that now!

All Season Tyres

Tyres of this kind are the jack of all trades when it comes to tyres. They perform well in moderate climates where driving conditions aren’t regularly extreme, but they are designed to deal with just about everything that the elements might throw at them. This lack of specialisation means that they might not perform quite as well as a winter or summer tyre, but that they provide a safe driving experience all year round. You might find that the words ‘All Season’ emblazoned on the tyre’s sidewall, or you might seem little ‘M and S’ markings, signifying that the tyre is suitable for mud and snow.

Winter/Summer Tyres

Other kinds of tyre are more seasonal, and designed to get the best from a relatively narrow set of conditions.

In Britain, we tend to experience heavy snowfall only very rarely. The same goes for prolonged rainfall. Most cars therefore come equipped with summer tyres as standard. And when it’s time to replace our tyres, we tend to go like-for-like. Hence, most tyres in the UK are summer tyres.

Winter tyres, on the other hand, are designed to cope with wintry weather. They’re made of materials that are designed to remain pliant and strong even at very low temperatures, and the tread pattern is designed to provide superior grip even when it’s snowy. You can spot a winter tyre easily when you know what you’re looking for: they tend to come covered with little grooves as well as the main treads.

Run Flat Tyres

Run flat tyres are designed, as you might expect, to run even when the tyre has suffered a puncture. They’re able to do this thanks to a reinforced sidewall, which will help you to drive safely at lower speeds, and prevent you from getting stranded. In fact, you might not even realised you’ve suffered a puncture (which is why a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is necessary if you’re going down this route).

You’ll find tyres of this kind supplied as standard by certain high-end manufacturers. Typically, the cars which come with these tyres have their suspension tuned specifically to cope with them. Tyres of this kind tend to be more expensive, but they provide features which many motorists might find appealing.