What are the Best Tires for Your Car? 5 Factors to Consider
Buying new tires can be a hectic process. As a driver, you have a wide variety of tire options at your disposal, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re not sure what you’re looking for or even where to start your search.
There are a few key factors you should consider (other than price) when deciding what tires are best for your car.
5 Factors to Consider When Buying New Tires
1. Tire Size
One important factor to consider when deciding which tires to buy is tire size, a factor determined by load rating.
Load rating refers to the amount of weight a tire is equipped to carry at its industry-set and fully-optimized pressure. Depending on the type of tire, load rating may be expressed either as a number or a letter, with each rating corresponding to a maximum load pressure that’s measured in pounds per square inch (psi).
Load ratings differ not only across vehicle types (think sedans versus SUVs) but also across vehicle makes and models. Take a second to figure out the size and pressure you need before you set out shopping for new tires.
2. Tire Capability
Aside from tire size, you’ll want to consider which tire capabilities will bring you the most benefit. Benefits you may be searching for include longevity, high performance, smooth handling, or all-season capability.
Depending on the type of car you drive, you may also need to consider specialty tires that are engineered to fit the type of vehicle you have and the climate you drive in:
- All-Season Tires: These tires are designed for smooth handling and fuel efficiency, however, they’re not great for drivers who live in areas with extreme weather, especially when it comes to snow and sleet.
- Snow Tires: Snow tires, also called winter tires, are made using a special rubber that doesn’t stiffen up in low temperatures, so they can handle more extreme winter driving conditions.
- Performance Tires: If you drive a sports car, you’ll likely want to buy high-performance tires. While these tires can handle high speed and grip the road like racing tires, they typically wear out much faster than other types of tires.
Different types of tires are carried in a range of sizes to fit any vehicle, from SUVs to sedans.
3. Tire Longevity
When considering which tires to buy, make sure you take your commute into consideration.
The number of miles you drive will have a significant impact on your tire shopping experience. If you’re constantly on the road, you’ll need tires designed for longevity with a high treadwear rating.
Distance isn’t the only driving habit that influences the lifespan of your tires. Stop-and-go traffic can also take a toll on your tires, as the consistent breaking accelerates the rate of tread wear. If you live in an area like Northern Virginia with heavy commuter traffic, you’ll likely want to invest in tires designed to last.
4. Tire Quantity
The reasoning behind your decision to replace your tires also has an impact on which tires you’ll buy.
Treadwear across all tires usually means your tires are worn out and need to be replaced entirely. Since you’ll be replacing all four tires, you’ll likely want to consider other factors like tire size, capabilities, and longevity before committing to new tires. However, some situations don’t require all four tires to be replaced, so tire quantity will also play a role in the purchase process.
We’ve all dealt with a flat tire at one time or another. It can be frustrating but, ultimately, it’s an easy and relatively fast fix at your repair shop. In this case, you’ll likely buy a new tire that’s the same model as the other tires on your car.
5. Tire Brand
Lastly, a deciding factor when shopping for new tires could be the brand you choose to buy. Are you satisfied with the brand of your current tires? If so, you’ll likely continue using that tire brand in the future.
However, if your old tires haven’t been performing as well as you hoped or have worn out much faster than you originally anticipated, you’ll probably consider purchasing an alternative tire brand. Based on the tire size you need and the capabilities you’re looking for, do some research into the best tire brands that meet your specific needs.
While online reviews and personal recommendations can provide great insights that will help inform your decision, you should also speak to an expert if you’re unsure which tire brand offers the best option for your vehicle.
Shop tires at your local Virginia Tire & Auto.
Find the best tires for your vehicle at Virginia Tire & Auto. With over four decades of experience and more than 2 million tires sold, we’re committed to taking the hassle out of tire shopping.