Choose new tyres consciously

Read labels and invest in security!
Choosing the right tyres is an important decision which has a real impact on our road safety. The quality of tyres determines the braking distance, tyre-to-road adhesion and aquaplaning resistance. How to consciously choose good tyres? What do the symbols and labels on the tyres mean? How to save up to 7.5% on fuel costs and reduce braking distance by 18 meters?

When buying tyres, it is worth to remember that good new tyres did not have to be produced a month or even a year ago.

Let's not be afraid to buy new tyres, which were produced even a few years ago – tyres are not a comestible product with a short shelf life. When stored under proper conditions, they retain all their properties. They are brand new for us, drivers. Tyres age during use – it is natural, because they warm up while driving, are subject to tension resulting from pressure and get deformed when for e.g. we hit a pothole at high speed. All these factors which have an impact on the aging of the tyre do not occur in the process of proper storage – states Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA).


Right parameters

Each tyre has its own parameters – some of them can be selected to meet our individual requirements – some are however imposed by the manufacturer of the car on which the tyres will be mounted.

What parameters are described on the tyre?

If there is a designation for e.g. 215/55R16 91T, then:

One of the most important things to remember about when choosing a tyre is its size – it cannot be chosen freely and it is not just for aesthetics. Car manufacturers determine the right size of tyres for each car model, and even for each engine version – which differ in parameters and performance. The information on tyres on which the manufacturer has approved his vehicle in the EU can be found in the user's manual. There one can also find all the data that will allow one to find the right size and type of tyre. Remember that the use of tyres that do not comply with the official homologation of the car can even cause the registration certificate to be retained, and in the event of an accident cause problems with compensation.

Desigantions on tyres

The symbols which can be found on tyres can help you make a conscious decision when purchasing a new set. Some of the most important ones are:


From November 2012, all new tyres sold in the European Union must be labelled accordingly. They will help you compare three basic parameters of a tyre before buying it:


Do not buy used tyres!

Even premium tyres are of no use for us if they are used. When looking at a tyre we are only able to assess the tread depth and determine the tightness, lack of scratches, cracks and bulges on the side of the tyre – but this does not mean that the set of tyres is suitable for further, safe operation. We do not know the history of their use – the predecessor could have driven with too low tyre pressure, which led to excessive overload, overheating of the inner layers of the side walls and their damage. These significant, yet unknown to us defects can lead to a tyre bursting while driving!

We never know under what conditions a used tyre was previously used and stored, and whether the car in which it was installed was not involved in an accident. The savings associated with used tyres are only apparent – they pose a threat on the road and to the health and life of our loved ones as well as ours– adds Piotr Sarnecki.

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association