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What Are The Costs Of Tyres? Budget/Premium, Seasonal/Heavy

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The cost of tyres will depend on your vehicle, the driving conditions, and the level of quality needed from your wheels. Here's a breakdown of price ranges you can expect.

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  • What Are The Costs Of Tyres? Budget/Premium, Seasonal/Heavy

No matter their age, model, or usage, all vehicles need their tyres changed at some point. However, the cost of tyres often catches people off guard. Manufacturers recommend that all tyres be replaced every 6-10 years, but this timeline can shorten drastically based on the vehicle itself, how you drive it, where you drive it, and how often.

Failing to replace tyres soon enough may lead to greater wear and tear on the vehicle overall. In serious cases, this may result in costly damage to the suspension and undercarriage. At the least, it could result in blowouts that can endanger your safety or call for emergency replacements, which are harder to budget for.

The good news is, there are budget and premium options for tyres - with extra choices based on if they're used seasonally or for heavy-duty work. On the average low end, this could be as little as £50 for a Vauxhall Corsa, with the high-end option being a Michelin tyre at £85.

For a whole set, the difference here could mean the difference between spending £200 or £340. That makes it important to know what factors will impact the kind of tyre you need.

What Impacts The Cost Of A Tyre?

In general, the cost of tyres will depend on:

  • How many tyres you'll need: Replacing each tyre as needed is a budget option that spreads out the expense over time, so long as your repair centre approves of this as safe in your situation.
  • The size, maker, and model of your vehicle: Even the cost of budget tyres will vary from vehicle to vehicle, depending on the size of the wheels.
  • How you drive : Likewise, the way you use a tyre will impact its lifespan and the quality-grade it needs to be. Off-roading or driving on bad roads will demand a more robust tyre.
  • How you intend to use the vehicle : Trucks or cars that carry heavy loads will need bigger tyres, stronger tyres, or even specialty tyres that can accommodate this usage.

So, what kind of expense can you anticipate?

Can I Get Budget Tyres, Or Do I Need Premium Tyres?

You should always pick tyres that are feasible within your budget. Just keep in mind, however, that the cheapest option now is not always the cheapest option long-term. You should balance the long-term quality of the tyre – and the savings this can mean – against the upfront cost. That includes:

Fuel Efficiency

Tyres account for between 20-30% of the overall fuel consumption of a vehicle. There are, indeed, fuel-efficient tyres.

All tyres require energy to roll, forcing the car to burn a certain amount of fuel in order to propel itself. If a specific tyre is fuel efficient, then it's designed to be more streamlined and roll without demanding as much force (which translates into less fuel being used).

To be classed as fuel efficient, the tyre need only use 0.1 litre less per 100km driven. Such tyres come in categories A to D, with A being the most fuel efficient. By choosing category A, you can expect a fuel saving of 5-10%, which easily saves you about £100-200 in fuel over the course of a year – depending on how often and how you drive. Having four fuel-efficient tyres will also provide better results than just one or two.

In light of this, the initial £160 saved on the cheaper tyres is made up in the long run in fuel savings. You will then benefit from the other advantages of premium tyres, such as a greater lifespan, better performance, and overall durability.


In that vein, lower-cost tyres often use cheaper materials to reduce their overall price tag. This may go hand in hand with less research and development into tread patterns, rubber compounds, and other innovations that improve the lifespan of a tyre.

One of the easiest comparisons to make is with the tyre's "rolling resistance." This is categorised between A and E. As before, A is considered the best quality. Such premium tyres will be more resistant to wear and tear, handle a variety of terrains without a performance drop, and create less road noise. With durable tyres, you can expect an average lifespan of 20,000 miles, saving money on replacement costs in the long run.

Do I Need Specialty Tyres?

Premium tyres save money in the long run, while budget options can serve their purpose right away at a lower cost. But what if your car needs more specialized tyres? What can you expect the cost to be then?

Seasonal Tyres

When buying new tyres, you will need to choose between seasonal and all-weather kinds. The cost will vary based on the brand of tyre and your model of car, but all-weather tyres are generally cheaper.

You can find all-weather tyres at £55 each for budget options, and they suit mild weather from any season. This is the choice for most people, especially those living in urban areas where the roads are well-maintained.

In contrast, winter tyres all by themselves can cost £70 each on the low end, then requiring you to buy summer tyres separately at £60 each. There is also the cost or time needed to swap them out, unless you use winter tyres all year round (which isn't recommended for safety, performance, or cost reasons).

The differences between winter and summer tyres are the tread patterns and depths. Winter tyres generally have deep tread grooves to better grip the road in wet or snowy conditions. If you will be driving in heavy winter conditions, then opting for winter tyres is not only recommended, but a matter of safety. If your weather is mild, however, or you won't often be dealing with tricky roads, all-weather should be fine.

Heavy-Duty Tyres

If you need XL or heavy-duty, 4x4 tyres for off-roading or load-bearing, then you will need the more expensive heavy-duty tyres. These are made for pickup trucks, work vans, motorhomes, and the like. As such, they're designed to withstand much heavier loads than normal passenger cars - often as much as 3.5 tonnes!

These often cost upward of £100 or more, even for low-end options, as they're generally constructed with reinforced cores to be able to withstand the weight they carry, or the wear and tear they face. Considering what's demanded of these tyres, it can often be dangerous to choose options that are too low-cost.

Which One Should You Choose?

If you've noticed your wheels getting thin, your mechanic has warned you that new tyres will be needed soon, or you've recently experienced a blowout, it's important to have an idea of how this will impact your budget.

It's always recommended that you go with the highest quality tyre that you can afford – because, short of an untimely puncture, the tyre will almost always pay for itself in longer term savings. However, if you cannot go for premium options, be sure to pick tyres that are suited for:

  • Your average carrying capacity
  • The road conditions you typically drive in (including weather and terrain)
  • The average mileage you put on your vehicle

Consulting with professionals at shops like Autofusion can help you pick the tyres that suit your needs, your budget, and the requirements of your car. To see what options are available for your vehicle online, put its registration number into our tyre search tool. This can help you plan in advance.