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4x4 Tyres – A buying guide

When you are buying new tyres for your 4x4 you have three main choices:

Choice 1: Are you going to go off-road? If you are planning to go off road with your car then you need to buy specialist off road tyre. There are a vast selection available but the basic rule is buy a tyre that will match the type of terrain that you are going to drive over. For example, dessert - get a sand tyre, wet or boggy ground – get a mud tyre. Unsure of terrain – get a general off-road tyre.

- Main benefit: will work fantastically well off road

- Main disadvantage: expensive and will degrade faster if used on tarmac

Choice 2: Are you going to occasionally drive off road or do you just want a tyre that looks good. Away from the big manufacturers there are a number of companies, for example, Avon tyres who make great looking high speed tyres that are also chunky enough for occasional off road adventures.

- Main benefit: the best combination or a good looking tyre and practicality

- Main disadvantage: they will not last as long as the full road tyre

Choice 3: If you are going to drive exclusively on road then you should basically choose a tyre from a major manufacturer like Michelin. The tread pattern is very similar to that of a standard car tyre but they will offer you the highest number of miles before you need to think about changing them.

- Main benefit: fuel economy

- Main disadvantage: do not look anything special

Speed of different 4x4 tyres

The speed of the tyres of different cars may vary. An off road tyre will have a lower speed rating (meaning it is not safe to drive above a certain speed). An on road tyre will have a higher speed rating. If you have a high performance 4x4 like a Porsche then you must make sure that your tyre can cope with the speeds you plan to drive.

Tracking and Tyre Pressures

4x4 tyres are expensive and you do get what you pay for. Cheaper tyres will wear out faster ultimately costing you about the same. Once way to get the maximum range out of your tyres is to ensure the tracking, balance and tyre pressures are all spot on. Not only will you car feel much better to drive but it will also ensure your tyres wear evenly. Check your tracking more frequently if you go off road a lot of if you have a 4x4 with complex air suspension.

Off-road tyres for normal road?

Off-road tyres have larger surface and deeper tread to ensure more contact with the surface. That's why there will be more noise, more fuel consumption and the speed will be lowered compared to normal tyres on normal road.

You may also want to read about: 4x4 Car Insurance

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