They look great on the road, but bulky utility vehicles like SUVs come with a plethora of special requirements, and getting the wrong tyres can prove expensive. To help, we've put together this handy guide of frequently asked questions.
How do SUV tyres differ from normal ones?
The answer to this one is fairly obvious: SUVs are heavier which means the tyres need to be thicker in order to support the weight overhead. It's also generally recommended that you opt for four identical tyres on all corners in order to spread the weight evenly.
How often do I need to change my tyres?
It goes without saying that how often you need to change your tyres depends largely on the frequency of your use. For an average car, it's recommended that you start thinking about trading in for a new set after between five and ten years - for an SUV you can probably shave a couple off due to the extra weight they're carrying.
How much will new tyres cost me?
Most dealership websites allow you to search by your car make, engine and size, and prices will be tailored according to your requirements. In general, though, you can probably budget for somewhere between £70 and £100 per tyre - anything more than that you should expect some additional customisation perks.
How often do they need to be serviced?
SUV tyres need regular check ups to make sure everything is in order. Things like wear, tread depth and pressure need to be monitored monthly at the least in order to ensure there are no danger signs. It's also a good idea to have a close look at the wheel alignment, as this can be easily missed by the naked eye with such a large chassis in the way.
How does the weather affect my tyres?
As with normal tyres, performance can be affected hugely by weather conditions (although SUV tyres are generally better equipped to handle the snow, for instance). If you're going to be driving on wet surfaces regularly, then it's a good idea to choose a tyre with a bit of extra grip to help you round those tricky corners.
Which brands are best?
By popular consensus, major manufacturers like Michelin, Hankook, Cooper and Goodyear are among the most skilled at producing solid SUV tyres - particularly if you're looking for good grip and shorter stopping distances (again, this is pivotal on slippery roads).
You can usually use allseasons tyres but if you want you SUV to perform better you will need to buy proper winter and summer tyres. It's been said that all-season tyres are actually no-season tyres so it's worth to buy 2 separate sets of tyres for the different weather.