Choosing the best car tyres and how to get them most from them

In this guide we give you the facts and advice to answer the question: Which tyres should I buy? We give you lowdown on tyres from Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear and Continental, as well as details on what to look for when buying and how to make your tyres last longer.

Which companies make the best tyres?

The biggest tyre brands are all household names and these manufacturers are the ones that have a 'premium' offering. They're very rarely the cheapest, but they offer good quality and can last longer than those that are initially cheaper. 

The premium brands also offer specialist tyres for performance models and for use in snow/all-weather conditions.

Our advice for tyres is to buy the best you can afford. Don't skimp on quality - tyres are so vital when it comes to safety. When it comes to fitting the right tyres, make sure you choose versions of those that are recommended in your service book; fitting incorrect tyres can have an adverse effect on your car's handling.

Tyre labels were brought in a few years ago (see an example below). These can give you a better steer when it comes to budget tyres and how they perform against premium rivals. Some will give good grip in the dry, for example, but this will be at the expense of other criteria, such as road noise.

Every tyre sold now comes with one of these labels, allowing you to compare.

Michelin Tyres Michelin

Michelin is one of the world's oldest tyre companies and remains one of the largest, alongside Goodyear and Continental. As well as cars, it makes tyres for all kinds of vehicles - this was the firm that made the tyres for Concorde. As well as selling tyres under its own Michelin brand, it also owns BFGoodrich, Kleber, Tigar, Riken and Kormoran.

Its mascot - Bibendum - has been the company's logo since the very start. You may know him better as "The Michelin Man". Today, collectables of the Michelin Man are highly sought-after, especially those from before the 1970s, with advertising signs and promotional items becoming particularly collectible.

What will you pay for Michelin tyres?

175/65/14 185/65/15 195/60/15 195/65/15 205/55/16 225/45/17
£61.82 (Energy Saver+)* £65.10
(Energy Saver+)*
£75.89 (Energy Saver+)* £64.74 (Energy Saver+)* £73.98 (Energy Saver)*

*Prices sourced from*, include VAT, but not fitting.

Prices may vary from the above, so make sure that you check a number of retailers for current pricing and to shop around, including*, and

Pirelli Tyres Pirelli -logo

Pirelli is another tyre company that's been around just as long as cars themselves. Along with Michelin. Continental, Bridgestone and Goodyear.

The firm is well known for producing the "Pirelli Calendar", which it has done every year since 1967.

It sells tyres under the P Zero, Cinturato, Winte Sottozero and Scorpion names.

What will you pay for Pirelli tyres?

175/65/14 185/65/15 195/60/15 195/65/15 205/55/16 225/45/17


(Cinturato P1 Verde)*


(Cinturato P1 Verde)*


(Cinturato P1 Verde)*


(Cinturato P1 Verde)*


(Cinturato P7)*


(Cinturato P7)*

*Prices sourced from* and include VAT, but not fitting.

Prices may vary from the above, so make sure that you check a number of retailers for current pricing and to shop around, including* and

Bridgestone Tyres Download (3)


In spite of the English/Amercian-sounding name, Bridgestone is in fact a Japanese company founded in the early 1930s. It also owns the Firestone brand and is the largest tyre manufacturer in the world.

The firm as a wide range of summer and winter tyres, including the Potenza and Turanza brands.

What will you pay for Bridgestone tyres?

175/65/14 185/65/15 195/60/15 195/65/15 205/55/16 225/45/17


(Blizzak LM30)*




(Turanza T001 Evo)*


(Turanza T005)*


(Turanza T005)*


(Turanza T001)*

*Prices sourced from*, include VAT, but not fitting.

Prices may vary from the above, so make sure that you check a number of retailers for current pricing and to shop around, including* and

Continental Winter Tyres Continental Logo (1)

Continental is a tyre company with a long history - in this case it can trace its origins back to the 1870s. These days it supplies many major car manufacturers and produces summer, winter and all-season tyres. 

Among others, they sell tyres under the EcoContact, PremiumContact and WinterContact brands.

Continental was winner of the Honest John Kit Tyre of the Year Award 2019

What will you pay for Continental tyres?

175/65/14 185/65/15 195/60/15 195/65/15 205/55/16 225/45/17


(EcoContact 3)*


(EcoContact 5)*


(EcoContact 5)*


(EcoContact 5)*


(Premium Contact 2)*


(Sport Contact 5)*

*Prices sourced from*, include VAT, but not fitting.

Prices may vary from the above, so make sure that you check a number of retailers for current pricing and to shop around, including* and

Goodyear Tyres Download (2)

Goodyear is one of the biggest and best known tyre manufacturers. It began as a company before 1900 and, as well as manufacturing tyres, is well known for the "Goodyear Blimp".

It sells tyres under a wide range of names, including Eage, EfficientGrip and Ultragrip brands. 

How much do Goodyear Tyres cost?

175/65/14 185/65/15 195/60/15 195/65/15 205/55/16 225/45/17

















(Eagle F1



*Prices sourced from*, include VAT, but not fitting.

Prices may vary from the above, so make sure that you check a number of retailers for current pricing and to shop around, including* and

As well as those above, Vredstein, Cooper, Hankook and Dunlop are usually found in the price categories as the big five.

What is a tyre label and how does it work?

Under current EU rules, tyres are measured for noise, rolling resistance and wet weather performance when they're new and typically have 7mm of tread depth. The ratings, which span A - F, indicate a wet braking distance of three meters between each category. This means a car with a set of A-rated tyres will 18 metres shorter than one on F-rated tyres. 

However, Michelin says that the EU system is unreliable as wet braking distances can vary dramatically as a tyres becomes worn. 

“We want a minimum performance standard for all tyres. This means testing tyres when they're new (7mm) and when they're worn to the 1.6mm tread limit.” said Cyrille Roget, technical communication manager of Michelin. 

“Tyre compounds and performance levels change over time and it can be very difficult for drivers to understand how much wet grip they will get from a tyre as it becomes worn. Likewise fuel economy also changes and a worn labelling system would make it easier for everyone to understand whole life tyre performance. We already have plans to implement such a system for all of our products."

What Is My Tyre Size?

The size of the tyres on your car contributes significantly to the way it behaves on the road, which is why it is so important to choose the correct size for your car when replacing them - or to make careful consideration should you wish to change the size of the wheels on your car.

The width of a tyre dictates how much grip is available for cornering, braking and acceleration. The wider a tyre is, the bigger the contact patch - the bit of the tyre in contact with the road - and the bigger the contact patch, the more grip is available. Although a lot of other factors are involved, a wider tyre will in general have a higher rolling resistance, which is a trade-off for the increased grip. This is why cars with modest performance and high economy have narrower tyres for efficiency, whereas high-performance cars have wider tyres and prioritise grip over efficiency.


The aspect ratio of a tyre also has an effect on the way your car behaves on the road. The higher the aspect ratio the taller the tyre is in relation to its width, or how tall the sidewall is. A tall sidewall contributes to ride comfort by helping to absorb bumps in the road, but the trade-off here is that a tall sidewall deflects more during cornering, giving less accurate response through the steering wheel. A high-performance car will usually wear a low aspect-ratio tyre for this reason, while economy or comfort-biased cars will have higher aspect ratios.

As a comparison, prices for the Michelin Energy Saver + were checked at in a variety of sizes:

Tyre size

Michelin Energy Saver +

165/70 R14 B


175/65 R14 T


175/65 R15 H


195/65 R15 H


195/55 R16 T


195/55 R16 V


What are the most common tyre sizes in the UK?

Below are the most popular tyre sizes in the UK. These are the most popular tyre sizes as they tend to be the tyre sizes that are fitted to the UK's best-selling cars.

We've put together the table below, which shows roughly what you should expect to pay from each of the main tyre brands for these sizes. This is, naturally, a rough guide and you should shop around and compare prices before buying your new tyres.

  Michelin Continental Bridgestone Goodyear Pirelli 

£53.98 (CrossClimate)


(Premium Contact 5)



£42.40 (EfficientGrip Compact)

£44.10 (Cinturato)

175/65/14 £49.20 (Energy Saver+)


(EcoContact 3)


(Blizzak LM30)

£35.30 (EfficientGrip Compact)


(Cinturato P1 Verde)



(Energy Saver+)


(EcoContact 5)






(Cinturato P1 Verde)

195/60/15 £63.96 (Energy Saver+)


(EcoContact 5)


(Turanza T001 Evo)

£55 (EfficientGrip)


(Cinturato P1 Verde)

195/65/15 £57.42 (Energy Saver+)


(EcoContact 5)


(Turanza T005)

£44.60 (EfficientGrip Performance)


(Cinturato P1 Verde)

205/55/16 £65.67 (Energy Saver)


(Premium Contact 2)


(Turanza T005)

£53.50 (EfficientGrip Performance)

£57.80 (Cinturato P7)

215/55/16 £102.23 (Primacy 4)


(EcoContact 6)


(Blizzak LM001)

£81.10 (EfficientGrip Performance) £90.20 (Cinturato P7)
225/45/17 £78.04 (Primacy 4)


(Sport Contact 5)


(Turanza T001)

£65.10 (Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3) £63.30 (Cinturato P7)
225/40/18 £88.47 (Primacy 4)


(Sport Contact 5)


(Turanza T001)


(Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3)

£80.09 (Cinturato P7)
275/40/20 £176.58 (Latitude Sport 3) £167.80 (Premium Contact6) £204.50 (Turanza T005 RFT) £170.83 (F1 Asymmetric 3) £125.74 (P Zero)

*Prices include VAT, but not fitting.

Prices may vary from the above, so make sure that you check a number of retailers for current pricing and to shop around, including*,

What should I know about Winter Tyres?Mc -75_Winter _Medium _CMYK (1)

Confused about winter tyres and whether it's worth fitting them? While the tyre manufacturers are obviously keen for you to invest in another set of nice shiny new tyres (and possibly wheels) we bring you the answers to the most common questions we get asked about winter tyres so you can decided whether they're a worthwhile investment.

Click here to read the full guide to winter tyres

Which manufacturers offer a spare wheel as standard?

Full-size spare wheels and spacesavers are becoming a thing of the past, with an increasing amount of manufacturers opting for either tyre repair kits or run-flat tyres. The table below shows which manufacturers offer a spare wheel and which offer an alternative.

Manufacturer Has a full size spare Has a space saver spare Has a repair kit Has run-flat tyres
Alfa Romeo - Mito Super, Speciale and Veloce, £100 on other trims; Stelvio: £275 4C, Giulia, Mito, Stelvio Giulia Speciale and Veloce, £250 other trims
Audi - A £199 option A1, A3 e-tron, Q2, Q5, Q7, R8, TT -
BMW - On 2 Series for £75 1 Series, i3
£180 on 1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6
Citroen On Space Tourer Berlingo Multispace, C1, C3, C3 Aircross (£75 on Touch), C4 Cactus, C4 / Grand C4 Picasso Berlingo Multispace Touch, C1 Touch, C3 Touch, C3 Aircross Touch, C4 Cactus Touch, C4 / Grand C4 Picasso with Blue HDI 150 engine, Space Tourer Touch -
Dacia - Duster £150, Logan and Sandero £100 Duster, Logan, Sandero -
Fiat 500X £175, Doblo £170, Qubo £100 Tipo, 500 £100, 500L £125, 500X £100, Panda £60 124 Spider, 500, 500L, 500X, Doblo, Panda, Punto, Qubo -
Ford Fiesta £100 (not Style), Focus £100 (Zetec and Titanium), Ka+ £100, Mondeo £100 Edge, Focus, Galaxy, Kuga, Mondeo, S-Max, Ecosport, Fiesta, Ka+, Mustang -
Honda - CR-V Civic, HR-V, Jazz, NSX -
Hyundai i800, Santa Fe, Tucson i10, i20, i30, ix20, i40, Ioniq Hybrid, Kona i10 (S/SE Blue), i20 S, S Air, SE and Prem Nav 1.0 TDGi, i30 S, Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid and electric, Kona S, Tucson S -
Infiniti - Q70, QX70 Q30, QX30 Q30 Sport, QX30 with 19-inch alloys, Q50, Q60
Jaguar F-Pace £370 XE £160, XF £190, XJ £140 Luxury/Premium, sandard on Portfolio, Autobiography and R-Sport, E-Pace £272, F-Pace £160, F-Type £377 XE, XF, XJ Luxury and Premium, E-Pace, F-Pace, F-Type -
Jeep Wrangler, Renegade £200 Grand Cherokee, Cherokee Trailhawk £120, Compass £120, Renegade £150 Cherokee, Compass, Renegade -
Kia Niro, Sorento Std on Carens, Ceed, Optima, Soul, Sportage, Venga, Picanto £30, Rio £42, Stinger £41, Stonic £38 Ceed GT, Optima 3, GT Line S, SW and PHEV, Picanto, Rio, Soul Sport and EV, Stinger, Stonic, -
Land Rover - Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Velar, Evoque £165 Discovery Sport (seven-seater), Evoque, Range Rover Hybrid, Range Rover Sport Hybrid Discovery, Discovery Sport (five-seater)
Mazda - - 2, 3, 6, CX3, CX5, MX5 -
Mercedes-Benz - - A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, GLA, GLC, GLE 500e S-Class, E-Class, GLE, GLS, GLA AMG Line, C-Class £595 with AMG alloys
MG - - GS, MG3, ZS -
MINI - £100 on Clubman, £100 on Countryman Three-door, five-door, Convertible, Clubman, Countryman -
Mitsubishi Shogun Outlander (diesel) ASX, Eclipse Cross, Mirage, Outlander PHEV -
Nissan - Juke Y N-Connecta and Tekna DIG-T 4WD CVT and X-Trail, Leaf £170, Qashqai £215 Juke, Leaf, Micra, Qashqai -
Peugeot 208 GTI Prestige, 2008 petrols, Traveller, 308 £98, 3008 £98 108, 208, 308, 2008 diesel, 3008, 5008, 508 108 Access/Active, 5008 2.0 HDI -
Porsche - £270 on Cayenne 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman, 911, Panamera, Macan, Cayenne -
Renault - Captur £110, Clio £110, Kadjar £110, Koleos £110, Megane £110, Scenic / Grand Scenic £110, Twingo £110 Captur, Clio, Kadjar, Koleos, Megane, Scenic / Grand Scenic, Twingo, Twizy, Zoe -
SEAT - Arona, Ateca, Ibiza, Leon, Toledo Mii -
Skoda Karoq (£250) Citigo £55, Fabia £90, Karoq £150, Kodiaq £105, Octavia £105, Rapid £85, Superb £105 Citigo, Fabia, Karoq, Kodiaq, Octavia, Rapid, Superb -
Subaru Forester, Levorg, Outback, WRX STI - BRZ, Impreza, XV -
Suzuki Jimny Baleno £219, Celerio £219, Ignis £219 (4WD £249), S-Cross £219, Swift £219 (4WD £249), Vitara £219 Baleno, Celerio, Ignis, S-Cross, Swift, Vitara -
Toyota Land Cruiser Auris, Avensis, Prius Active and Bus Ed, Prius+, Rav-4 Aygo, Avensis Touring Sports, C-HR, GT86, Prius Excel and Bus Ed+, Verso, Prius plug-in -
Vauxhall - Adam £110, Astra £110, Cascada £110, Corsa £110, Crossland X £110, Grandland X £110, GTC £110, Insignia £110, Mokka X £110, Viva £110, Zafira Tourer £110 Adam, Astra, Cascada, Corsa, Crossland X, Grandland X, GTX, Insignia, Mokka X, Viva, Zafira Tourer -
Volkswagen Arteon, Passat GT & Alltrack, other Passat models £165 Beetle, Golf, Golf SV, Passat, Polo, Tiguan, T-Roc, Touareg, Up £50 take Up, Up beats and Up GTI Golf GTE and e-Golf, Passat GTE and GTE Advance, Polo beats, Sharan, Tiguan 2.0 BiTDI DSG, Tiguan Allspace, Touran, Up. -
Volvo - S60 £150, S90 £150 (not Twin Engine), V40 petrols £150, V60 £150, V90 £150 (not Twin Engine), XC60 £150 (not Twin Engine), XC90 £150 (not Twin Engine) S60, S90, V40, V60, V90, XC60, XC90 -

More on spare tyres

What is the legal tread depth in the UK and how can I check my tyres?

If you want to stay the right side of the law, your tyres need to have a tread septh of at least 1.6mm. Anything lower than this and it's not only an MoT failure, but also illegal.

There's a couple of way to check the tread on your tyres. Tread guages cost just a few pounds on Amazon and will give you a precise reading. Or you can use one the older-style 20p pieces. Insert the outer rim of the coin into the tread and if the outer rim is exposed, the tread is below the legal minimum.



See also: Tyre date codes explained / Tyre pressures explained

Checking your tyre pressures and picking a tyre inflator

How do I check my tyre pressures?

1. Make sure you know the correct tyre pressures for your car before starting (details of how to find this data are below).

2. To accurately measure the current pressure in your tyres you can use a handheld pressure gauge, a portable tyre inflator or an inflator at a fuel station or garage. 

3. As tyre pressures rise slightly when the tyres are warm it is best to check them before a journey if possible.

4. Remove the dust cap from the tyre valve and push the connector firmly on - this should then give you a reading on the measuring device.

5. If you’re using an automatic device you simply set the tyre to the desired pressure and it will inflate until the correct reading has been achieved - and don’t forget to replace the dustcaps afterwards.

Converting Tyre Pressure In BAR to PSI

Tyre pressures are almost always expressed as PSI (then BAR). However, some compressors and inflators are in BAR. The chart below converts pressure in BAR to PSI.

1.30 bar 17 psi 1.90 bar 27 psi 2.60 bar 37 psi 3.25 bar 47 psi 3.95 bar 57 psi
1.35 bar 18 psi 1.95 bar 28 psi 2.65 bar 38 psi 3.30 bar 48 psi 4.00 bar 58 psi
1.40 bar 19 psi 2.00 bar 29 psi 2.70 bar 39 psi 3.40 bar 49 psi 4.10 bar 59 psi
1.45 bar 20 psi 2.10 bar 30 psi 2.75 bar 40 psi 3.50 bar 50 psi 4.15 bar 60 psi
1.50 bar 21 psi 2.15 bar 31 psi 2.80 bar 41 psi 3.55 bar 51 psi 4.50 bar 65 psi
1.55 bar 22 psi 2.20 bar 32 psi 2.90 bar 42 psi 3.60 bar 52 psi 4.80 bar 70 psi
1.60 bar 23 psi 2.25 bar 33 psi 3.00 bar 43 psi 3.70 bar 53 psi 5.20 bar 75 psi
1.70 bar 24 psi 2.30 bar 34 psi 3.05 bar 44 psi 3.75 bar 54 psi 5.50 bar 80 psi
1.75 bar 25 psi 2.40 bar 35 psi 3.10 bar 45 psi 3.80 bar 55 psi 5.85 bar 85 psi
1.80 bar 26 psi 2.50 bar 36 psi 3.20 bar 46 psi 3.90 bar 56 psi 6.20 bar 90 psi

More on the right tyre pressures for your car

Ask HJ

My car came with mixed tyre tread patterns but the dealer refuses to change them?

I bought an approved used BMW X5 that came with directional tyre treads at the front but asymmetric at the rear, all Dunlops. The BMW owner's handbook states 'incorrect tyre combinations will interfere with proper functioning of safety systems such as ABS and DSC. To maintain good vehicle handling always fit tyres of same brand and tread pattern to all wheels.' The BMW dealer replaced the rears as I found they had cuts down to the cords, but the tread patterns still don't match as the wider rear tyre size is only available as asymmetric, so I've still got a mix of tread pattern as well depths of 8mm at the rear but 3mm at the front. I think they should replace the fronts too but the dealer says as long they meet minimum required tread depth they conform to BMW standards. What do you think? Is this arrangement safe? Could it damage the AWD differential?
You have every right to demand that the fronts are replaced and can quote from the BMW "incorrect tyre combinations will interfere with proper functioning of safety systems such as ABS and DSC. To maintain good vehicle handling always fit tyres of same brand and tread pattern to all wheels" to the dealer. If he refuses, tell him you will be having the correct asymmetric tyres fitted to the front and will see him in Small Claims for the cost. Your rights are here: It could actually be even worse than the manual stated. The disparity could be detected by the system as slippage and it could lead to excessive wear in the AWD clutch.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions
Ask HJ

Are self-sealing tyres any good?

I recently purchased a Skoda Kodiaq that has Pirelli Scorpion Verde Seal Inside tyres fitted. Skoda also kindly supplied a bottle of sealant and a small electric pump. I can find no reviews about these tyres, only what Pirelli claims for them. Do you have any views on them?
These are Pirelli's take on all-weather runflats that are not runflats supported by the sidewalls but instead by an internal seal, like Conti Seal tyres. It is wrong to supply a repair kit with them because the seal inside the tyre is supposed to seal them. As far as I know, no one else makes all-weather runflats because the technology of self-supporting sidewalls is not compatible with the flexibility needed in an all weather tyre.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

* Sometimes we show a link with a * next to it. It means that it is an affiliate link and as a result helps stay free to use. It's tracked to us and if you go through it, it can sometimes result in a payment or benefit to the site.