Buying Your Next Tyres – A Comprehensive Guide


Lady checking her tyre


So it’s time to purchase a new set of tyres or is it? Although making sure that your car is regularly serviced and kept in good condition – this is still difficult for many motorists. With car technology ever changing and becoming seemingly more complicated, some may feel lost when considering what they need to check, what can be serviced and where they comply where the law is concerned.


Your tyres are arguably one of the most important parts of your vehicle, controlling your stability on the road as well as separating you from the road’s surface. Because of this, it’s really important to keep your tyres in good nick and to replace your tyres when they are worn down or are unsafe for the road. This isn’t just important for the safety of you and your passengers as well as other road users but you are legally required to keep your tyres in good condition.


As choosing your next set of tyres can be a confusing, we have created this handy tyre buying guide to help you know when your tyres may need to be replaced, best practice when making a change of tyres, what to think about when buying your new tyres and buying your new tyres from Autocentres. We have a wide range of tyres in stock should you be looking to purchase your next set of tyres. If you are looking to purchase tyres for your vehicle then enquire with Autocentres using an online contact form on our website or telephone our friendly team. Autocentres are all about friendly and helpful vehicle services. If you need some advice, please call us on:


Newport: 01633 244 474

Cwmbran: 01633 872 001

Pontymister: 01633 614 600

Pontypool: 01495 239 953


When to Know That it’s Time for a New Set of Tyres


There’s two ways in which you can find out whether it’s time to visit the garage and install your new set of tyres. We offer a FREE tyre check service in which we will check your vehicle’s tyres for free. This allows us to carry out the relevant checks for you to help ensure that your tyres are in good shape and if you do need a replacement then we can help you carry out the relevant checks to find the ideal tyres for your vehicle.


If you are confident in checking your tyres yourself then you can carry out the various checks to ensure that your tyres are not damaged. These can be carried out at home but ensure that you have good visibility of your tyres before you carry out the relevant checks.


The Checklist to Carry out When Checking Your Tyres


As mentioned, if you are unsure about checking your tyres yourself then we are more than happy to offer you a FREE tyre check in which we will thoroughly check the condition of your tyres. The general checks that you will need to carry out are as follows:


  • Check for bulges or punctures in the tyre. This can be done visually or by checking tyre pressure at regular intervals to observe loss of pressure.


  • Check for visible damage to the tyre. This could be in the form of foreign objects that are embedded in the tyre or cuts / deep scratches.


  • Check your tyres are at the recommended pressure levels. These are often found in the car manual or as an illustration on the inside of the fuel filler cap.


  • Check the tyre tread is not significantly worn down. You can do this by inserting a 20 pence piece into the lowest tread depth. If the outer rim of your coin is hidden then the tyre is safe.


  • The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre tread however it’s recommended to check tyres at around 3mm.


  • Ensure that your car isn’t wobbling from side to side or leaning to one side with the steering wheel stationary. This could be an indicator of alignment issues.


Why Do We Refer to Sets of Tyres?


You may have noticed that we have been referring to sets of tyres rather than just the replacement of one tyre at a time. If you have noticed this then you were completely correct in identifying that tyres need to be replaced in sets rather than just individually. But why do tyres have to be replaced in sets?


  • You will know that both tyres are even in tread depth so they will wear down at roughly the same amount of time.


  • Having tyres in different conditions could leave with an uneven drive.


  • If one tyre is already worn out it’s likely the other tyre is maybe close to being replaced anyway.


  • Some even replace every single tyre to ensure that there is an even smooth drive for the vehicle.


Tyres will always need to be replaced on the same axle so if the front left tyre needs to be replaced then you will also need to replace the front right tyre. Doing so ensures that you are safe on the road and ensures you have a smooth stable drive.


Knowing Your Tyres Inside and Out


The marking and speed ratings of your tyres will help you choose the next tyres for your vehicle. It’s important to choose the right tyres for your vehicle for insurance compliance and to ensure that you are safe on the road. The sidewall of a tyre will be stamped with markings and codes which let you know more about the tyre. With an example of 160/60 R12W you will know the following:


160/60 R12W


  • 160 – 160mm tyre width
  • 65 – Sidewall height as percentage of width
  • R = Radial
  • 12 – Diameter of rim in inches
  • W = Speed rating. W in this case is 168mph.
  • Each individual speed rating is below:
  • S – 112mph
  • T – 118mph
  • U – 125mph
  • H – 130mph
  • V – 149mph
  • W – 168mph
  • Y – 186mph
  • ZE Above / 149mph

You will need to find a tyre that matches or goes over your car’s top speed. Your vehicle handbook will tell you the minimum load ratings and tyre speed so you can use this as a reference as well as the relevant speed ratings. Other areas of the tyre will indicate who the manufacturer is, tyre model and where and when the tyre was manufactured.


Choose Autocentres for your New Tyres


Mechanic holding car tyre



At Autocentres, we have a huge amount of tyres available from major tyre manufacturers. Our team of tyre experts are available to help you by assessing your tyres free of charge and helping you in deciding on the best tyres for your vehicle. If you are unsure on the type of tyre that is suitable for your vehicle then we can help you choose the ideal tyres for your vehicle. Offering a diverse and comprehensive range of tyres in all of our garages in Newport, Cwmbran, Pontymister and Pontypool, we can help you find the perfect tyres.


Autocentres are all about friendly and helpful vehicle services. If you need some advice, please call us on:


Newport: 01633 244 474

Cwmbran: 01633 872 001

Pontymister: 01633 614 600

Pontypool: 01495 239 953


Alternatively, please use an online contact form on our website and we will be glad to help you.