Beginners Guide to Buying New Car Tyres!

Buying tyres for the first seems to be an easy thing to do – but then you begin to read the owner’s manual and see all the specifications available: which do you choose? And asking your friends who have been car owners for longer than you is no help: they have many horror stories in which the wrong tyres were put onto their car or a friend’s car or someone’s cousin’s car (you get the idea) and something terrible happened! In truth when it comes to car tyres, Birmingham roads are pretty forgiving, so you can take a little time to check out exactly the right tyres you need for a good, safe replacement to the current set.

The best advice you can be given is to set aside an hour or two to look at your current tyres – presumably the originals put on by the manufacturer and therefore sure to be the correct ones! You will see a lengthy series of numbers and letters running around the outermost top of the sidewall. Jot this down, and sit down with it: let us break it down. Let us assume you see the following:


The first few digits and letters give the size of the tyres:

255mm from sidewall to sidewall, the sidewall height has an aspect ratio of 55%, meaning it is 55% of the tyre’s width, or around 140.2mm. The R refers to the type of tyre, in this case, radials (the other alternatives are B for bias belt and D for diagonal) which the 16 indicates the radius of the wheel rim to which the tyre should be fitted.

The 105 refers to the load that the tyres can carry – in this case 925kg – or a normal domestic vehicle, while the V is the speed rating – in this case around 149 miles per hour.

Once you understand the tyres on your vehicle, you can revisit your manual and see the range of tyres that your model can take – and this time it should all make more sense, allowing you to choose the perfect tyre from the narrow range to make your daily drive even smoother! When it comes to choosing tyres, Birmingham has plenty of outlets, both physical and online. You can get car tyres professionally fitted from local experts at Plume Tyres based in Birmingham, so that you drive safely on your new tyres before you know it!