Tyres should be replaced every few years and are one of the most important purchasing decisions we make since they keep us safe on the roads. We break down all the complicated jargon and tell you how to get the best wheels for your ride.
Passenger TyresMichelin Primacy 3 ST
Michelin Primacy 3 ST tyres offer silent, comfortable and safe driving as well as excellent handling in wet conditions.
Suitable for all weather conditions
- Build Quality4.1 (8)
- Value for Money4.0 (8)
- Noise Level4.2 (9)
- Wet Weather Handling4.5 (8)
- Durability4.0 (8)
- Dry Weather Handling4.8 (8)
Passenger TyresBridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE003
Get precision dry handling and superior cornering performance with these high-performing sports performance tyres by Bridgestone.
Improved fuel efficiency
May not be durable
- Build Quality4.4 (26)
- Value for Money4.4 (25)
- Noise Level4.0 (26)
- Wet Weather Handling4.7 (24)
- Durability3.9 (24)
- Dry Weather Handling4.7 (25)
- Award Winner 2021
Passenger TyresMichelin Pilot Sport 4
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 offers excellent steering control and a high level of reactivity so drivers can experience exhilarating moments while feeling confident and safe.
Excellent wet grip & breaking
- Build Quality4.6 (29)
- Value for Money4.4 (30)
- Noise Level4.3 (29)
- Wet Weather Handling4.7 (27)
- Durability4.0 (20)
- Dry Weather Handling4.8 (28)
Passenger TyresMichelin Pilot Sport 3
Tyres made for sport-oriented vehicles and high-powered saloons, the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 gives you driving pleasure and security in both wet and dry conditions.
Fast breaking response
Not very durable
- Build Quality3.5 (4)
- Value for Money3.3 (4)
- Noise Level4.0 (4)
- Wet Weather Handling4.3 (4)
- Durability2.3 (3)
- Dry Weather Handling4.5 (4)
Passenger TyresMichelin Energy XM2
Michelin Energy XM2 tyres last 20% longer, offer more fuel savings and maximise safety. They provide improved grip during cornering and better water evacuation.
Low tyre wear
Lower risk of hydroplaning
Can be noisy
- Build Quality4.3 (6)
- Value for Money4.2 (6)
- Noise Level4.2 (6)
- Wet Weather Handling4.7 (6)
- Durability5.0 (5)
- Dry Weather Handling4.5 (6)
How do I know when to change my tyres?
Generally, a tyre needs to be replaced every 5 years or so. This is because the rubber will naturally deteriorate over time by losing moisture and oils. This tends to happen faster in hotter climates and applies to all tyres, even tyres that aren’t being used such as your spare.
You can know when it’s time to change your tyres by checking for uneven wear when inspecting the surface of your tyres.
The lifespan of your tyres mainly depends on the tread depth. The tread depth of a tyre is particularly important as it’s how your vehicle bonds with the road. Having a shallow tread depth can mean that your car loses traction with the road and takes longer to break - this is even more dangerous in wet conditions.
As tyres wear down, the tread wear indicators (small bars in the tread grooves) get shorter and eventually become smooth. When only 1.6mm of tread is left, the tyres have officially become unroadworthy. Instead of waiting that long, it is recommended that you get them replaced once they go down to 2mm.
When replacing your tyres, it’s best to do all four at once. This is because mismatched tyres can influence the overall balance and road grip of the vehicle.
What tyres should I get for my car?
The first thing you should do is check your manufacturer’s guide in order to choose tyres that are suitable for your particular vehicle. The manufacturer can help identify the right size, speed rating and load rating for your vehicle.
You should look for tyres that have an optimum blend of handling, braking, efficiency, wear rate, ride comfort and road noise. You can get a better sense of how a tyre performs by reading reviews on our website.
There are many well-reputed brands to choose from such as , and . The brand of tyre you choose depends on personal preference, but it is best to ensure your two front tyres are of the same brand and the two rear tyres are the same. Having different brands on each row may result in poor handling.
How much should I spend on a tyre?
Tyres can range in price from $100 to $1,000 or more. Why is there such a big range? Well, tyres in the upper range can give a better grip and may have additional qualities such as lower noise levels at higher speeds. Smaller cars can suit more affordable tyres, whereas a luxury car will demand a higher quality tyre with a high speed rating.
Codes on the tyres decoded
The code on the side of the tyre may seem complex when it's placed all together, but each segment provides valuable information that can help you decide on the right tyre for your car.
Using the Kumho P 215/65 R15 90H as an example, here’s what it means:
Brand and name - The first part will simply be the maker of the tyre, in this case, Kumho and sometimes, the particular model range.
Type - The first letter will indicate the style of vehicle the tyre is designed for:
P: Passenger car and most 4WD
LT: Light truck and some utes
Width - The first set of numbers in the code will indicate the tyre width measured in millimetres. In this instance, the width is 215mm.
Profile - The second number (in this case, 65) refers to the ratio of the tyre width to height. This number is expressed as a percentage. Generally, tyres with a lower profile are used on performance cars and have a firmer sidewall.
Construction - How the tyre is constructed is indicated by a letter:
B: Bias belt
Radial tyres were first developed in 1946 and are flexible and absorb shock well. Diagonal tyres consist of casing layers made from nylon cord. They give high vehicle stability and a high resistance against side wall damage. Bias-belted tyres provide a smoother ride and lower rolling resistance.
Diameter - The diameter is given in inches (in this case, 65) and will tell you which size rim the tyre is designed to fit. Typically, the larger the diameter, the more expensive the tyre will be. As car wheels are increasing in size, the smaller tyre sizes tend to be less popular.
Load index - Load ratings can be expressed in kilograms or as an index number. An index number of 90 carries up to 600kg. This is essentially how much load a correctly inflated tyre can handle. Index numbers range from 70-126. Examples include 84 (500kg), 86 (530kg), 89 (580kg), 92 (630kg), and 94 (670kg).
Speed rating - The last letter of the code indicates the speed rating, which tells you the absolute maximum speed the tyre can handle. This is very important to note as you are legally obliged to fit tyres with the correct speed rating on your car.
The ratings range from A-Z with A1 topping at 5 km/h and Y at 300 km/h. They follow a chronological pattern, except H appears after U and before V at 210km/h and there is no O or X. Spare tyres and winter tyres generally have lower speed ratings in the range of M to Q, while high-performance tyres are in the V-Z range. Some examples include:
- M: 130 km/h
- S: 180km/h
- T: 190km/h
- H: 210km/h
- V: 240 km/h
- W: 270km/h
Types of tyres
There are a wide range of specialised tyres available for 4WDs, vans and cars. Different tyres also have different tread patterns for optimal seasonal performance.
Before selecting new tyres for your vehicle, take a look at the different tyres available and make your decision based on your driving style and requirements.
Otherwise known as snow tyres, winter tyres have phenomenal tread depth which is meant to keep you safe in snowy, icy and wet conditions. They have deep grooves and unique patterns to reduce snow accumulation, providing better traction on the snow.
Shallow and straight grooves enable summer tyres to provide enhanced aquaplaning resistance and excellent performance when temperatures are above 7°c.
Also known as standard tyres, they have a softer rubber compound to enhance stability and grip, and they sport a sticky tread compound and design that provides resistance against aquaplaning.
Designed with both summer and winter tyre technology, all-season tyres deliver a compromised performance in all conditions.
They are not optimised for different weather conditions in the same way seasonal tyres are, however they are ideal for drivers who want a practical pair of wheels that don’t need changing every summer or winter.
Run flat tyres
Run flat tyres enable you to continue driving for a short distance following a puncture due to their thick, reinforced sidewalls. Run flat tyres have been designed to protect you on the road if you suffer a puncture whilst driving as it still allows you to maintain control of the car until you can stop in a safe place.
What makes a tyre fuel efficient? A tyre with low rolling resistance can reduce fuel consumption and save on CO2 emissions. Energy-saving tyres are designed to lower emissions and fuel consumption. This saves you on fuel and money while also being better for the environment.
Most major tyre manufacturers create energy-saving tyres which have been designed to lower fuel consumption. Michelin has the Green X range, Bridgestone has the Ecopia range and Pirelli has the Cinturato range.
High performance tyres
High-performance tyres have excellent characteristics for high-speed driving. They are made from a softer rubber and feature more rigid side walls. This means your vehicle can hug tight curves and provide a smoother driving experience. The wide surface and stick rubber mean the braking is highly responsive.
Types of tyre patterns
Tyres are designed with different tread patterns meant to suit various driver requirements. The potential arrangement of channels, grooves, sipes and blocks can mean you have thousands of different patterns to choose from.
Some tyre patterns are optimised for high-speed agility and cornering whereas others are designed to deliver superior safety in wet conditions. Whilst all tyre patterns are slightly different, they can be separated into three main categories.
Asymmetric tyres are designed with two alternate tread patterns to provide high performance on both dry and wet road conditions.
The outer edge of the tyre will usually contain large stiff tread blocks which help with cornering whilst the inside contains smaller tread blocks that provide resistance against aquaplaning and enable grip.
Asymmetric tyres usually provide high levels of performance thanks to their superior gripping abilities and are mainly found on SUVs and luxury vehicles.
Directional tyres have an arrow-shaped tread pattern that distributes water away from the tyre thread and can only rotate in one direction to effectively combat aquaplaning. These tyres also deliver high levels of directional stability and reduce noise levels.
Tyres with a directional tread pattern tend to provide the best performance in wet conditions and this is why most winter tyres are designed with this tread pattern.
Symmetrical tyres, otherwise known as multi-directional tyres, feature a symmetrical tyre pattern and can be fitted in any position of the vehicle and can travel in any direction. This is useful if you needed to rotate the tyres on your vehicle.
This tread pattern is ideal for urban drivers as they offer enhanced road holding and excellent gripping capabilities. They are not optimised for wet conditions, however, making them unsuitable for more rural areas.
You can read reviews on the best tyres on the market today to help you make up your mind.