For many drivers, the cost is a big option when considering new tyre options. As such, economy class car tyres are often the go-to option. Yet, even here, there is a broad range of models available.
Are you interested in economy tyres? Here, we will look at what these budget tyres offer, who they are for and which models are currently the most popular.
What are budget tyres?
When it comes to car tyres, there are three broad categories which all products fall into:
The economic class, which offers affordable, budget solutions
The medium class, which strikes a balance between the economic and premium class qualities
Premium classes, offering the highest quality and performance
When comparing tyres from different classes, you will see that they vary from one another in various areas. The most important wants to be aware of, however, are the price and performance level. For performance, you should know that there will be a difference in the likes of grip, rolling resistance and tyre noise level, depending on the level of tyre you opt for.
Dębica Frigo 2 - a popular winter tyre.
Furthermore, the level of tyre class will also signify the level of tyre construction and overall quality. This will change many qualities of the tyre, such as its resistance to mechanical damage - this refers to the tyre’s ability to survive contact with kerbs and potholes, for instance.
Who should use economic tyres?
If you’re trying to decide what class is right for you, you should be aware of the driving factors that matter. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you usually drive inside the city, outside of it, or a combination of both?
Do you drive a powerful car with high performance, or is it a more compact, inner-city vehicle?
How do you drive? Is your style calm and relaxed, or is it more dynamic?
Budget tyres, also known as “cheap tyres” are intended for a specific sort of driver:
Such a driver should not drive often
He or she should have a calm, moderate driving style
They should mostly drive in city environments, especially where winter tyres are concerned.
Naturally, many drivers will be concerned about tread wear. However, it should always be remembered that each tyre is a compromise between different parameters - it is not possible to achieve the best results across all of them.
As a result of this compromise, budget tyres are made from older compound mixtures, which is why they will always be worse in comparison to top premium-class options, both in terms of fuel efficiency and tread wear.
Economic tyres - the most popular brands
While many big names many have an economic product or two, there are some brands that specialise in providing affordable solutions. In fact, many of these smaller brands are owned by the bigger companies, such as the Goodyear tyre group, often acting as their ‘budget’ range. These brands have proven very popular with drivers and they include:
Economic class summer tyres
There is a broad range of summer tyre models available in this class, including:
Economic class winter tyres
On the other hand, if you’re looking for winter tyres, you will find many great budget models. However, due to their nature, these should be kept to city driving and other well maintained roads as much as possible.
Budget tyres are not recommended for more powerful cars.
Cheap tyres - what about Asian brands?
Drivers are often warned about the risk of Chinese tyres, so it’s only natural that many drivers are still suspicious of products in the budget range.
There are many Asian tyre brands, as well as brands that simply use China as a location for their factories, that can be commonly found in the UK, including:
The majority of these come from China, yet offer a low price and a relatively high resistance to wear. At this budget category, they are not that much different than their European counterparts.
Chinese tyre examples: Accelera Snow, Nankang Snow Viva 2, Nankang AS 1
Many Asian brands are often mistaken to be Chinese brands, but not all such companies operate in China. Similarly, brands such as Zeetex tyres and Infinity actually come from the United Arab Emirates, yet are also mistaken as Chinese in origin.
Yet companies such as these, as well as the entrepreneurs behind them, heavily invest in the ongoing development of the automotive industry. Their products are manufactured on the basis of licenses, originally purchased from western companies and using their latest technology. Because of this, it simply cannot be said that these products are worse than European budget brands.