Types of Tyre

Why are there different types of tyres?

Tyres are designed for many different types of vehicles and purposes, so they are optimised to provide the best possible performance for their intended circumstance.

The original tyres fitted to your vehicle are chosen during a joint consultation between vehicle and tyre manufacturers, where they will consider all aspects of the vehicles’ performance before choosing tyres.

If you wish to change the tyre size or type of tyre fitted to your vehicle, you must first seek expert advice as the effect this will have on car handling and safety must be considered.

Vehicle Tyres

Tyres are constructed differently depending upon the type of vehicle that they are intended to be fitted on.

Car Tyres have been designed to provide a safe performance on the road. As there is a large range of different vehicle makes and models, each designed to provide different specifications, there are many different types of car tyres.

4x4 Tyres suit a variety of purposes. Some 4x4 tyres will cater for off-road driving and will be large with rugged tread patterns and multiple sipes to grip the surface of the terrain and resist damage from stones and dirt. Alternatively, sportier 4x4s demand tyres that can provide a car-like performance on-road.

Van Tyres need to be durable and often able to carry heavy loads so they tend to be constructed with reinforced sidewalls and have the ability to distribute weight and pressure evenly. Van tyres, like car tyres, are manufactured to provide different levels of performance based upon the type of van that you drive.

Motorcycle Tyres are designed for a range of different purposes including off-road, touring, racing or street and for a variety of motorbikes such as scooters, sport bikes and touring bikes amongst others. For this reason, there are a wide range of motorcycle tyres available on the market.

Seasonal Tyres

Vehicles tend to be fitted with summer, or standard tyres, by the manufacturer, however, some motorists choose to change their tyres to dedicated seasonal tyres to enhance their performance.

Summer Tyres tend to be the widest in comparison to other seasonal tyres, and this enables them to retain greater levels of contact with the road to enhance grip, braking and cornering. This is also aided by the specialist compound used in summer tyres which keeps the rubber supple.

Winter Tyres are made with a different compound to that of summer tyres, which stiffen and become less effective when temperatures drop below 7oc. They also have a greater number of grooves and sipes and this helps them to retain traction on icy, snowy and wet surfaces.

All Season Tyres provide a compromise between winter and summer tyres and can be used all year round. Designed with aspects of both summer and winter tyres, all season tyres provide an adequate performance and are especially beneficial for those who cannot store two sets of tyres.

Tyre Variations

Run Flat Tyres enable motorists to continue driving for 50 miles following a puncture. Constructed with a reinforced tyre sidewall, run flat tyres can hold the weight of the vehicle when tyre pressure decreases. This enables drivers who suffer a puncture to drive home or to a garage.

Energy Efficient Tyres have been optimised to provide reduced rolling resistance and use less fuel than high performance tyres. Most tyre manufacturers provide at least one energy efficient tyre choice, for example the Bridgestone Ecopia EP150 or the Michelin Energy Saver.

High Performance Tyres have been constructed to deliver agile steering properties and exceptional handling capabilities at high speeds. High performance tyres, like the Dunlop Sportmaxx TT or Pirelli P Zero, are constructed with specialist compounds and technology derived from motorsports that will enhance performance.

Tyre Patterns

Directional Tyres are designed with an arrow-like tread pattern and can only be fitted to rotate in one direction (usually indicated by an arrow). Directional tyres tend to offer enhanced stability and traction, however, they wear more quickly than asymmetric tyres as they cannot be rotated to different sides of the vehicle.

Asymmetric Tyres have been constructed with two different tread patterns featuring different block arrangements for enhanced wet weather performance and superior gripping abilities. They can be fitted to either side of the vehicle but they must be fitted the right way around, as indicated by markings on the tyre sidewall.

For further information on different types of tyres, contact your local PTA Garage Services branch.