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Tyre Illustration

What’s The Difference Between Budget & Premium Tyres?

If you own a car, sooner or later, you’ll need to buy new tyres, whether that’s because of a puncture or everyday worn. Either way, as a proud owner, you’ll only want the very best and most cost-effective solution, tailored to your needs. 

So what’s the difference between budget and premium tyres? Price difference aside, the straight answer is budget tyres are more suitable for occasional drivers, whilst premium tyres would best fit someone who drives several miles on a daily basis. 

Tyre Illustration

Premium Tyres

Premium Tyre brands, such as Pirelli, Good Year and Bridgestone invest heavily on tyre technology development, safety testing and highly qualified engineers. The result is hard-wearing tyres, with improved safety, grip and fuel efficiency, ideal to cover many miles per year and driving on motorways. Does this justify the high price tag? That is entirely dependant on you, your budget and your driving style. Can premium tyres still be considered a cost-effective solution? As they last longer, they can help you avoid unnecessary costs in the long term but in the short term, they will potentially deflate your bank account. 

Top Differences

Rib: Quality tyres have specific patterns that reduce rolling & ensure stability. A quality rib provides a better drive and maximises the performance of the tyre.

Grooves: Fundamental part of deciding a tyres quality as it improves braking performance.

Cap Plies: Extra layer or two of polyester fabric often found on quality tyres designed for being driven at top speeds.

Steel Belts: Steel cords sandwiched between 2x layers of rubber to strengthen the tyre as well as being dent resistant and flexible. Steel is known to provide better performance in terms of handling, and response.

Body Plies: Layers of different fabric often polyester cord. As they strengthen the tyre the, the more plies are included depending on the use for the tyre e.g truck / plane.

Bead: Often seen as one of crucial parts of the tyre, the bead is a high strength cable made of steel with a rubber coating that has contact with the wheel rim.

Sipes: Sipes offer the benefit of added traction and because of this are often found in winter tyres. Due to their added performance, the top brands manufacture tyres with sipes included, however they are seen on a range of different tyres.

Budget Tyres 

Budget tyres always raise the question, “is going low cost worth it in the long run?” Well, as we previously mentioned, it can be, depending on your driving frequency. Although you can’t expect budget tyres to live up to the same performance levels of premium brands it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have low quality. That being said, a budget tyre is still brand new tyre and will always be better than a part worn one. To put it into perspective, UK law requires a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm, a budget tyre has around 8mm whereas, a part worn tyre will have 3mm. Thus, they still ensure road safety, even if providing slightly less grip when the road is wet.

Top Differences

Rib: Poor tread or rib can result in slower breaking and even higher fuel costs. Cheaper tyres are Prone to excessive tread wear, which could end up costing more in the long run.

Grooves: Cheaper manufactured tyres can mean grooves cause issues with tread wear and noise that can affect performance.

Tread block: Vital to the drive and performance, could be more susceptible to splitting due to lower quality materials used to reduce the cost of manufacturing.

Cap Plies: Budget tyres may not have these as they are optional, however, they do help support tyres driven at higher speeds.

Shoulder: The shoulder is the thickest part of the tyre and offers protections to the sidewall as well as tyre tread. Cheaper tyres can be more susceptible to wear and tear but this is due to general driving conditions and care for the tyres.

Which Tyres Should I Choose?

Now that you have all the facts, you can decide which tyre type best suits your needs and budget. Should you want to speak to an expert before making a decision, at MQ Tyres, we are always happy to help you with your choice. We supply and fit both budget and premium tyre brands, so you can visit us at our depot or hire our mobile fitting services if you are in close proximity and are in need of a tyre replacement.