Frequently asked questions

 

If you’re unsure about the different options available when it comes to buying new tyres, or you need some help understanding how to order from Autocar Tyres, take a look at our frequently asked questions.

Below you’ll find a list of common questions about our products and services. If you have a question that’s not answered below, please give us a call on 0800 6523 136 or get in touch via our contact form and we’ll be happy to help.

Choosing new tyres

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about tyre types, and how to choose the right tyres for you.

 

The tyres you need will depend on the vehicle you drive, as well as additional factors like the time of year and your budget.

The first thing you need to know is your tyre size, which can be found on the sidewall of your existing tyres. You can then narrow your search by looking for the relevant size.

If you change your tyres with the seasons, you’ll need to search by type – choose between summer or winter tyres. If you run the same tyres all year round, all season tyres will do the trick.

In terms of budget, you can choose to shop by budget, mid-range or premium tyres, giving you an option whatever you want to spend.

Be aware that if you drive a 4x4, you’ll need specialist 4x4 tyres.

 

Every tyre is clearly marked with its size, which can be found on the tyre’s sidewall. This is in the form of a series of numbers and letters, denoting the width, profile, rim and speed of the tyre.

The tyre size is indicated by a combination of letters and numbers. It’ll look something like this: 155/80R13.

The marking will also include a final two numbers and an extra letter; this indicates the load rating of the tyre, along with the tyre’s speed rating.

For more information, visit our guide to understanding your tyres.

 

The European Union (EU) introduced mandatory tyre labelling in 2012, to ensure all tyres are evaluated and labelled to disclose their performance. Each tyre label contains three pieces of information:

  • Fuel efficiency – denoted by a letter from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient)
  • Wet performance – denoted by a letter from A (best wet braking performance or stopping distance) to G (worst)
  • Noise rating – denoted by a scale of three sound waves to illustrate the tyre’s performance against maximum car noise limits (one sound wave being best, three being worst)

For more information, read our guide to tyre labelling.

 

Winter tyres are designed especially for use in wintry conditions. They are made manufactured from a rubber compound with a high silica content to help them remain flexible at low temperatures (below 7°C).

Winter tyres incorporate a specific pattern to improve braking performance in winter when surfaces are typically more slippery, and to help disperse water or snow on the roads and ensure maximum contact with the road surface.

You can identify winter tyres by the markings on the sidewall; they’ll include a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. A tyre marked with “M+S” denotes that it is suitable for use in mud and snow.

If you regularly drive in low temperatures or live in a remote area where access can be difficult during the winter months, it’s advisable to use winter tyres. 

 

Summer tyres are designed for use in temperatures above 7°C, to improve performance on the roads.

Made from a fine rubber compound, summer tyres are suitable in warmer temperatures and climates as they provide great traction on wet and dry surfaces. This is because their shallow tread patterns offer precise grip.

If you live in a humid or warm climate, or do lots of driving in high temperatures, summer tyres are a worthy investment.

If you run summer tyres, remember to change to winter tyres when the temperature drops and the weather turns. Using summer tyres in winter can be dangerous, as the tyres harden at sub-7°C temperatures, meaning a loss of grip on the roads and a vast increase in braking distance.

 

All season tyres are designed for use in moderate or less extreme weather climates.

Developed using a moderate rubber compound, all season tyres don’t harden at cold temperatures in the same way summer tyres do. All season tyres have moderate treads, meaning they’re suitable both in cold and warm conditions.

In the UK, where the weather is rarely extreme, all season tyres are a solid and reliable choice for use all year round.

 

Run flat tyres are specially designed with strengthened sidewalls to help keep your vehicle under control if you get a puncture while driving.

If you get a puncture on a busy road such as a motorway, run flat tyres mean you can continue driving at a limited speed of 50mph for up to 50 miles, without having to get out and change a wheel in dangerous circumstances.

 

As the name suggests, 4x4 tyres are tyres which are developed specifically for use on 4x4 vehicles.

If you drive an SUV, 4x4 or all-terrain vehicle, particularly in off-road situations, you’ll need to use specialist 4x4 tyres.

Although the difference from standard tyres may be difficult to see to the untrained eye, the secret lies in the tread. 4x4 tyres are made with a much deeper and spaced apart tread pattern, which enables them to maintain contact with off-road surfaces.

 

Using the Autocar Tyres website

If you’re a first-time customer or haven’t used Autocar Tyres for a while, read the FAQs about our website, products and services here.

 

Autocar Tyres stocks a wide range of brands to suit any budget or requirement. You’ll find tyres from premium, iconic brands such as Michelin, Goodyear, Pirelli, Continental, Bridgestone and more.

We also offer mid-range tyres from brands like BFGoodrich, Nankang and Marshal, to more budget-friendly options from newer, cheaper tyre brands. Browse our tyre brands page to view the full range available at Autocar Tyres.

 

Ordering tyres from us couldn’t be easier. Simply enter either your registration or tyre size into our tyre finder and confirm your vehicle make and model. You can then select from a whole range of tyres that are suited to your vehicle, our filtering system will allow you to find just the right ones you’re looking for. Once you have selected the tyres you want, simply go to the checkout and there you will be able to select a local fitter and a time and date to have your new tyres fitted. Once you have filled out a little bit of contact information, just press confirm and your order will be placed. All that’s left to do after that is turn up to your appointment and pay, it’s as easy as that! You can also search via brand or tyre type.

 

The fitting service is free of charge, and you’ll just pay the cost of the tyres to your fitter on the day. As well as tyres and fitting, the fixed cost also includes valves (excluding TPMS valves), wheel balancing and disposal of your old tyres. You may be required to pay for additional services or parts at the fitting centre’s discretion.

 

Autocar Tyres is partnered with fitters across the UK. When you select your tyres, you can enter your postcode to find fitters near you. If you need a tyre whilst away from home or at work, just use a postcode in your current location, and you can book an appointment with a nearby fitter.

 

If you need to reschedule your tyre fitting appointment, contact the fitting centre directly to discuss.

 

Some of our fitters offer mobile fitting. You will be able to filter to view mobile fitters when you enter your postcode on the site.

This service is only currently available in selected locations, so we apologise if mobile fitting is not yet offered in your area.

Please be aware that there is an additional fee for mobile fitting. You will need to provide a contact number, as your chosen mobile fitter may need to contact you to confirm the appointment and location.

 

All payment for new tyres and fitting services is taken at the fitting centre. Available payment methods may vary between fitters, so check with your chosen fitting centre if you’re unsure.

 

Yes, some of our fitters also offer additional services such as MOTs and wheel alignment. If these services are available at your chosen fitter, you’ll be given the option to add them to your order at the booking confirmation page.

MOT and wheel alignment services will incur an additional cost, set by the chosen fitter. The fitting centre may contact you to confirm a further appointment for these additional services, as the hour booking slot is just for the tyre fitting. Be advised that you may need to leave your car with the fitting garage if you’ve chosen to have an MOT.

 

Once your new tyres have been fitted, you will receive an invoice and receipt from your chosen fitter. There are no forms to be signed.

 

Our service comes with a 12-month guarantee for all Autocar Tyres customers, which covers manufacturer defects.

However, please be advised that the guarantee does not cover accidental damage or reasonable wear and tear.

 

You can cancel your order by calling our customer service team on 0800 6523 136.

No additional restocking or administration charges will be added in accordance with Distance Selling Regulations

 

Tyre maintenance

Tyre maintenance is essential for keeping you and other road users safe. Looking after your tyres properly can also help to save you money. Here are some of the frequently asked questions relating to tyre maintenance.

Tyre maintenance may seem like a mundane task, but it could save you money and keep you safe on the roads. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions regarding car tyre maintenance.

 

By law, all vehicles should be fitted with tyres of the correct size and type. Tyres must be inflated to the correct pressure, and have a minimum tread of 1.6mm.

To check if your tyre tread depth is legal, use a tyre tread gauge, or place a 20p piece in the tread grooves, using the outer border of the coin as a reference. If you find your tyre has a tread depth of less than 1.6mm, it must be replaced.

As well as tread depth, you should also regularly check your tyres for slits, cuts and bulges. Any misshapen or cut tyres should be replaced. If one area of a tyre wears down quickly, it may signal the need for the wheels to be rebalanced.

Read more in our guide to the legal requirements of tyres.

 

The correct tyre pressure depends on your vehicle, and on the weight being carried by it. The recommended tyre pressure is usually found in your vehicle handbook. It is often also marked somewhere in the car, usually on the inside of the driver’s door or inside the petrol cap.

You can find more information in our tyre pressure guide.

 

Before checking your tyre pressure, look at the tyre label or your vehicle handbook for instructions.

To check the pressure you can use a tyre pressure gauge. Unscrew the dust cap from the valve, and press the gauge onto the valve stem. The gauge will display the tyre pressure reading.

If the tyres require inflation, use a suitable inflation pump to inflate them to the correct pressure.

 

 

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