Tyre Buying Guide

Thursday 29th February 2024

MOT tyre failure reasons

Tyres are arguably the most important component of a car. They are the main point of contact between the car and the road, so it's important to choose the right tyres. It can be a confusing process, but we make it simple in our tyre buying guide. 

When should you replace your tyres?

It’s important to carry out few tyre checks to see if it’s time to replace them. The legal minimum tread depth in the United Kingdom is 1.6mm, but some manufacturers recommend replacing your tyres earlier. 

Tread Depth 

Tread depth is measured across the central three quarters of the breadth of tread around the entire circumference. Drivers who fail to comply with these regulations risk a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per illegal tyre. Most car tyres have tread wear indicators to help you assess when you've hit the limit. For more information, see our?tyre law and penalties guide. 

What to look for when buying car tyres 

It’s important to check that the tyres you want to buy meet your needs.   

Here at Formula One Autocentres, we offer different options to find the perfect tyre for you. The easiest approach would be to go to our?Tyre Search?page, where you enter your registration or tyre size and choose from the tyres available. 

We would always recommend manually checking the markings on the current tyres on your vehicle. As well as the ratings. We make this as easy as possible with our handy?Tyre Sidewall Markings guide. 

Seasonal Tyres 

Were you aware that a staggering 95% of drivers exclusively use summer tyres throughout the year? Although there may be superior alternatives available for inclement weather conditions 

If it is approaching winter, you may want to consider performance or winter tyres for your car. Whatever tyre you select, the tread pattern should suit driving conditions. Checking that a tyre has a tread life warranty is also advantageous.  

Numerous winter tyre models we stock at F1 Autocentres are intricately engineered to excel in snowy conditions, featuring finer treads that facilitate snow compaction, thereby enhancing overall traction. 

Tyre Load & Speed Rating 

Before making a purchase, it's important to also assess the load rating, wet driving capabilities, and speed rating of the tyres. Additionally, they will come with a fuel efficiency rating. 

Before making a purchase, establish a budget and bear in mind that high-quality tyres represent an investment in both safety and performance. Therefore, it's advisable to avoid significant compromises on quality solely for the sake of cost savings. Additionally, check the available warranty options that come with your tyres. 

Speed index 

The speed index is located after the load index on the tyre, as shown in this example: 205/55/R18 105V. This letter denotes the maximum speed capability of the tyre and can be cross-referenced with the corresponding table for identification: 

Speed Symbol 

Approx MPH 

Q 

99 

R 

106 

S 

112 

T 

118 

H 

131 

V 

149 

VR 

131 

W 

168 

Y 

186 

ZR 

149 

 

Load Index 

The load index is indicated after the string of numbers that specify the tyre size, as seen in this example: 205/55/R18 105V. It's represented by a numerical code, correlating to a specific weight capacity in kilograms. The table provided below illustrates the load capacities corresponding to these codes. 

Load Index 

Kilograms 

Load Index 

Kilograms 

Load Index 

Kilograms 

65 

290 

80 

450 

95 

690 

66 

300 

81 

462 

96 

710 

67 

307 

82 

475 

97 

730 

68 

315 

83 

487 

98 

750 

69 

325 

84 

500 

99 

775 

70 

335 

85 

515 

100 

800 

71 

345 

86 

530 

101 

825 

72 

355 

87 

545 

102 

850 

73 

365 

88 

560 

103 

875 

74 

375 

89 

580 

104 

900 

75 

387 

90 

600 

105 

925 

76 

400 

91 

615 

106 

950 

77 

412 

92 

630 

107 

975 

78 

425 

93 

650 

108 

1000 

 

Tyre Checks – Looking After Your Tyres 

Buying car tyres is one thing, but looking after them is just as important. Always adhere to the recommended tyre pressure outlined in your vehicle's owner's manual. Underinflated tyres can lead to premature wear and higher fuel consumption, while overinflated tyres may cause unpredictable vehicle handling and uneven tread wear. Maintaining your tyres is crucial for safety, performance, and durability, ultimately saving you money over time. Read our tips on how to improve your tyre life. 

Buy Tyres from Formula One Autocentres Online 

Once you've selected the tyre for you: 

  • Choose your nearest centre - we have over 100 
  • Choose a convenient fitting date and time 
  • Complete an online payment, Credit Card, Debit Card or Paypal 

Once you've completed payment, you'll receive a confirmation email containing your order details and the tyres will be ready for fitting when you arrive in Centre. If you need to make an alteration to your order such as changing your tyre choice or re-arranging your appointment, email us at [email protected]. There's no additional charge for changing your appointment. 

Our tyre prices include valves, standard balance and disposal of your old tyres. There's no hidden extras - the fitting is included within the price. To place your order online,?start here. Alternatively, find your nearest Formula One Autocentres branch today.  

 

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What people are saying about us...

  • I always use the Cowley F1 auto centre. The staff are really friendly and helpful and always work quickly to the car back on the road asap. I wouldn't use anyone else

    - Cowley - May 13, 2024
  • Really easy to sort out on line and staff were very helpful to make sure tyres were correct.

    - Jurek, Coalville - Apr 8, 2024
  • I have been using Formula 1 since the closure and new ownership of a nearby garage. I have found the staff very helpful, the online booking system convenient - and once, when the bonnet hinge on my car had seized up, one of the mechanics freed it without charge.

    - Roy, Burgess Hill - May 16, 2024
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