Tyre buying guide: How to choose the best tyre for your car

Compare car tyres from Bridgestone, Dunlop, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli and more.

Car tyres are crucial to your vehicle's safety and performance on the road. It's essential to replace old and worn tyres regularly, so if your car's rubber has seen better days it may well be time to buy two or even four new tyres.

There are many different tyre sizes, types and brands to choose from, with prices ranging from $70 to over $500. Our guide will tell you what you need to consider when buying new tyres and how to choose the best tyres for your vehicle.

Compare some of the best tyres

Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Width (mm) Aspect ratio Rim (inches) Load rating Speed rating Purchase today
Achilles 122 175/70 R13
Achilles 122 175/70 R13
$57
175
70%
13
84 (500kg)
H (210km/h)
The Achilles 122 is an affordable, comfortable tyre that is optimised for wet and dry braking, ideal for passenger cars.
Hankook Optimo K415 175/65R14
Hankook Optimo K415 175/65R14
$79
175
65%
14
82 (475kg)
H (210km/h)
The Hankook Optimo K415 is a summer tyre for small and medium cars, specifically designed for smooth driving over wet roads.
Toyo Open Country A25 255/70R16
Toyo Open Country A25 255/70R16
$129
255
70%
16
111 (1090kg)
H (210km/h)
The Toyo Open Country A25 is designed specifically for the Nissan Navara.
Bridgestone Turanza T001 215/60R16
Bridgestone Turanza T001 215/60R16
$189
215
60%
16
82 (475kg)
W, V (270-300 km/h)
The Bridgestone Turanza T001 is specifically made for luxury cars, with a unique tread design and noise reduction technology for comfort, high speeds and stability.
Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season 235/60R18
Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season 235/60R18
$199
235
60%
18
103 (875kg)
H (210km/h)
The Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season is tailored for higher mileage and light off-road performance, ideal for Crossovers and SUVs.
Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 245/45R19
Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 245/45R19
$199
245
45%
19
98 (750kg)
Y (300km/h)
The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT features advanced tire technology and asymmetric tread design that creates precise steering and enhanced stability.
Michelin Primacy 4 225/45R17
Michelin Primacy 4 225/45R17
$299.40
225
45%
17
91 (615kg)
Y (300km/h)
The Michelin Primacy 4 is ideal for passenger cars, providing safety on wet roads and fast braking even when tyres are worn.
Nitto Invo 295/35R20
Nitto Invo 295/35R20
$325
295
35%
20
101 (825kg)
W (270km/h)
The Nitto Invo is a mid-range street tyre specifically developed for luxury sports cars.
Yokohama BluEarth - A AE50 255/35R19
Yokohama BluEarth - A AE50 255/35R19
$339.25
255
35%
19
92 (630kg)
W (270km/h)
The Yokohama BluEarth - A AE50 is a fuel-efficient tyre that provides excellent grip, wet steering stability and smaller pitch variation for a quieter ride.
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 245/40R20
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 245/40R20
$460
245
40%
20
99 (775kg)
Y (300km/h)
The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 sports tyre is the winner of the 2012 Motor magazine tyre test gold medal.

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Why should I consider new tyres?

The right tyres ensure that your car accelerates, turns and stops safely, is cheaper to run and offers a smooth ride. But when should you change your car tyres? This is a common question many drivers don't know the answer to. While there's no such thing as a standard lifespan for tyres, factors like high-speed driving, harsh acceleration and braking, hot climates and driving on abrasive road surfaces can all cause your tyres to wear down quicker.

The legal minimum tyre tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm. New tyres come with around 8mm of tread depth, and some manufacturers recommend getting new tyres when the depth reaches 3mm.

How many tyres should I buy?
It's recommended that you replace all tyres at the same time to ensure that there's no interference with your car's handling and performance. If you're replacing less than the full complement, take note that tyres on both sides of an axle must have the same tread pattern and tread depth.

Why shouldn't I consider new tyres?

If you're unsure about whether or not it's time to buy new tyres, check the following two things:

  • The tread wear indicators on your tyres. If they're still hidden in the tread grooves rather than flush with the surface of the tread, you have more than the minimum legal amount of required tread.
  • Your car owner's manual. Check the manual to see if your car manufacturer specifies a minimum tread depth at which you should replace your tyres. If you have more tread than the lower limit listed, you can probably wait a little while before getting new rubber – and why not get maximum value for money from the set you already have?

That said, be aware that worn tyre tread can make a sizable difference to stopping distance. According to the NRMA, when travelling at 80km/h in the wet:

  • Cars with 3mm tread depth will take 9.5 metres longer to stop than a car on new tyres
  • Cars with 1.5mm tread depth will take 18.6 metres longer to stop than a car on new tyres

This could quite literally mean the difference between life and death, so don't put off shopping for new tyres if yours are starting to look worn. Finally, if in doubt, don't hesitate to ask a professional for advice. Visit a reputable tyre shop and let their expert eyes give your car's rubber a closer inspection.

What types are available?

You're spoiled for choice when buying new tyres, with options available from a range of well-known brands including:

  • Bob Jane
  • Bridgestone
  • Dunlop
  • Goodyear
  • Hankook
  • Kumho
  • Michelin
  • Pirelli
  • Toyo
  • Yokohama
The main way to distinguish between tyres is based on their size. However, to understand what size a tyre is, you'll first need to decipher the code printed on the side of your tyre, which may look something like this: P205/65R15 92H.

In this code:

  • P stands for passenger tyre.
  • 205 is the section width (measured in mm) of the tyre when properly inflated. The section width is the distance between the exterior sidewalls.
  • 65 is a percentage that denotes the tyre's aspect ratio, which is the comparison between the section height and section width.
  • R is for radial, the most common tyre construction method.
  • 15 is the diameter (in inches) of the rim the tyre must be fitted to.
  • 92 is the load rating index, which is used to denote how much weight one tyre is rated to carry. In this case, an index of 92 means the tyre can carry up to 630kg.
  • H is an index that specifies the maximum speed at which a tyre can travel. In this case, H is 210 km/h.

Check your car's owner's manual or tyre placard for the manufacturer's recommended tyre size, speed and load. When carmakers launch a new model, they work closely with big-name tyre companies to find the best handling, braking, comfort, efficiency and wear rate, so the tyres your carmaker nominates are typically the best choice.

How to compare tyres

While it can be tempting to save money and fit budget tyres, spending a little extra for quality tyres usually means improved performance and safety. Pricier tyres will also generally last longer than their cheaper counterparts, which can help to offset some of the additional cost. While car tyres start at around $70, most sit somewhere in the $100-$350 price bracket.

Once you know what size and type of tyre your car manufacturer recommends, you can start weighing up the pros and cons of the available options. Make sure you consider the following factors when comparing tyres:


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