Buying Premium vs Budget Tyres
We're often asked "what's the difference between premium and budget tyres?"
There are typically three main reasons for the differences between premium and budget tyres; enhanced technology, improved all round performance, and greater safety characteristics.
Premium tyres will use the latest technology and research, not only in materials but also in test methods, industrial procedures and research and development (R&D). Premium tyres are developed to give the best performance in safety, grip, rolling resistance and endurance that's available on the market at any time.
Premium manufacturers, like Michelin, use computer modelling, fluid dynamics and simulation tools that budget manufacturer don't necessarily use. As a guide, many experts suggest that the technology behind a budget tyre can be as much as 10 to 15 years old.
In this video Ben Collins, the original Stig from BBC's TopGear, explains the differences between a budget tyre and a Michelin premium tyre.
Video courtesy of Michelin
Budget manufacturers tend to make products to a price point, whereas premium manufacturers strive to make the best tyres they can, using their best technology, developed and tested throughout the markets where the tyre is going to be used.
Many people may think they are saving money by buying budget tyres, and maybe they are in the short-term but in some cases any savings made by purchasing a budget tyre can be lost with lower fuel economy over the life of the tyre, or the loss of mileage, and that's before you consider safety.
Premium tyres are expected to offer enhanced safety on the road and premium manufacturers work extensively with original equipment vehicle manufacturers, to give their cars the best possible performance by optimising the relationship between the tyre and the car togive the driver the best safety, grip, comfort, noise, longevity and rolling resistance.
When it comes to tyre performance in the wet, each labelling grade in wet braking is equivalent to one car length in braking at 50mph. So a saving of £X per tyre could easily result in far longer braking distances in the wet. When you need that grip, we suspect you would happily pay that extra money as you're sliding along the road.
Whilst we know that tyres are often a distress purchase, your car is often your second biggest purchase after your house and your tyres are the only thing between your car and the road and even more significantly 'your family' and the dangers of the road. - Is the cost you'll save by buying a budget tyre really worth the compromise on safety? Would you buy a budget child car seat for instance?
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