Tyres: Budget or Premium?
When it comes to driving, one component matters far more than any other: your tyres.
Tyres are your contact with the outside world, literally. The four parts of your tyre that touch the road - the contact patches - are responsible for every part of how your car behaves.
As winter approaches, you'll already have heard how much of a difference a worn tyre makes compared to a new one and the importance of proper inflation, but how much difference does picking a premium brand make over picking a budget one?
Since 2012, tyres have come with information labels that give you ratings from A (best) to G (worst) for fuel efficiency and wet grip. The difference between each grade for wet grip is around 3 metres in a 50mph stopping test - so a car with A-rated tyres will stop from 50mph in the wet 18 metres shorter than a car with G-rated tyres. That's around 5 car lengths for a typical hatchback and can make the difference between stopping before an obstruction and hitting it at 30mph...
When it comes to fuel efficiency, the spread from A to G is around 7.5% of your fuel economy. This could make a difference of 80 litres on the average 10,000 mile annual mileage, or around £110 a year.
Budget tyres can, depending on the size of tyre your car takes, save you up to £200 on a set of four, but surveying the EU tyre labels reveals that premium brands like Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Toyo, Continental and Avon typically rate no worse than C for fuel efficiency and B for wet grip, while budget brands often rate at E or F for both. The savings you make on fuel efficiency by opting for an established brand outweigh the one-time saving you make purchasing a budget tyre - and will help you avoid an expensive crash, particularly at this time of year.
For help choosing the right tyre for your Volkswagen, visit your local Inchcape Volkswagen centre, or you can use our 4-step Online Tyre Booking service to select your tyres and arrange for them to be fitted at no extra cost.