Car tyres come in all different shapes and sizes, but the type is also a major factor in how they suit the conditions and your driving style. Here we take a look at the five main types, and what their differences are.
Summer tyres, also known as performance tyres, are designed for driving performance and speed rather than having a long life. Made of a softer rubber which wears away quicker, they are not made for wet weather, and can be dangerous if used in those conditions.
The opposite to summer tyres, winter tyres are also known as snow tyres and are designed for use in snow and icy conditions. Their tread is much larger than with normal, they should only be used in these conditions as they wear very quickly on dry roads and can also cause damage to the dry road surface. They also tend to be rather noisy on everyday roads, and will usually have M&S stamped on the side, with possibly a snowflake symbol.
Built for driving in wet conditions, wet-weather car tyres have a tread pattern which is deeper to keep more water away from the tyre. Made with a rubber compound which is even softer than those of summer tyres, wet-weather tyres heat up faster to provide more grip on the road.
Used primarily on four wheel drive vehicles, such as SUV’s, all-terrain tyres are designed for handling a wide range of on-road and off-road conditions. They’re middle of the road (excuse the pun) when it comes to the rubber- neither too hard nor too soft. With stiffer sidewalls and large tread patterns they’re quite noisy on normal dry roads, but work well when on sand or dirt tracks.
All-round car tyres
Found on most cars as they’re rolled out of the factory, these all-rounders are designed to handle most weather and road conditions that motorists will encounter. They’re a good compromise between grip, life, wet/dry weather and performance.