Choosing the right make of tyre could be the difference between stopping in the wet or careering into another vehicle, Which? warns today.
We’ve road-tested 99 premium and economy tyres to fit many popular cars, including the UK’s top-selling tyre sizes – the 195/65 R15V and the 175/65 R14T.
The 195/65 R15V is found on many medium-sized cars such as the Ford Focus, Mazda3, Toyota Auris and the Volkswagen Golf, as well as large cars such as the Vauxhall Vectra and Honda Accord.
The 175/65 R14T, the second highest seller, is fitted to superminis such as the Citroën C2, Honda Jazz, Ford Fiesta and the new Fiat 500.
Our tests revealed there were big differences in terms of price and performance.
For example, in our wet-braking test, the best 195/65 R15V tyre – the Pirelli P6 – stopped 20 metres sooner than the worst, the Wanli S1095.
This meant that when the car with the Pirelli P6 had stopped, the one with the Wanli S1095 was still doing 30mph – which could result in a severe shunt.
Which? Car Editor Richard Headland said: ‘No matter how stylish, fast or clever your car is, the way it handles – especially in a crisis – owes everything to the quality and condition of the tyres.
‘Our exhaustive testing shows there are big differences in performance and wear rates. Can you afford not to buy the best?’
To see which tyre brands we rate highest, read our best car tyre guide.