When you buy a new car, it comes with factory fitted car tyres. These tyres are chosen by the manufacturer because the car designers believe these tyres will work well with the model they have designed.

However, when it comes to buying new tyres, how does the manufacturer’s choices influence you? By learning more about the manufacturer’s decision process, you can better understand the relationship your existing tyres have with your car, as well as determine which summer tyres or winter tyres you wish to use moving forward.

Custom requirements

When designing their tyres, manufacturer’s have their own requirements. They may want to focus on a specific area, such as catering to the right tyre size or producing a tyre with superb aquaplaning resistance and overall wet performance.

Similarly, they also need to apply to various legal conditions and requirements. In the UK, this includes the likes of the load index and speed index. Furthermore, the EU tyre labels also offer some important criteria, such as rolling resistance, wet braking distance and tyre noise, that will influence customer decisions.

 back of car

Car manufacturers will often choose tyres that enhance the best qualities of their vehicle.

On top of all this is a process known as Original Equipment (OE) homologation approval. While some vehicle designers will simply choose from existing tyres, others will actively review and assess the parameters of tyres currently in development, offering their own minimum requirements.

From publicly disclosed examples, it can be seen that different car producers have different requirements for tyres they are interested in using. For instance, some companies may want better braking, while others are more concerned with rolling resistance and better fuel economy.

Compromise and balance

Yet vehicle manufacturers have their own requirements, often based on the type of car they are looking to produce. Many developers might want efficient tyres to promote a more efficient car, for example.

Every car tyre design is a compromise between different parameters and qualities.

Likewise, when it comes to making one specific model of tyre, manufacturers simply cannot meet all the demands of the vehicle designers. All tyres are a compromise between various parameters, as it is not always possible to have different factors without impacting each other. This is one of the reasons why different tyres are ultimately fitted onto various different vehicles, even within models by the same vehicle manufacturer.

How does this impact the tyre?

It can be argued that this process is, fundamentally, good for tyres. By working with those responsible for today’s cars, these tyres can be better designed to work well with the latest models.

As a customer and driver, this allows you to get the best options for your car, rather than one tyre model designed to meet the average requirements. The likes of 4x4 tyres and snow tyres, for instance, are quite different, so having a tailored answer for each helps improve the performance of 4x4 cars and winter vehicles, respectively.

What about used cars?

When you purchase a previously owned car, it often comes with the last owner's tyres. Dealerships, on the other hand, will often fit their own tyres. With this in mind, is there any selection process that you should be aware of?

winter car tyre on ice

Ultimately, you should consider what a dealer needs from their vehicle. Their tyres do not need to handle a variety of conditions, as the typical road test will take place on smooth roads in a good condition. As such, summer tyres with low rolling resistance will benefit these cars.

When you buy it, however, you may have different requirements. You might also want a set of winter tyres, too, which is not something vehicle manufacturer’s supply new cars with.

Does this make the factory-fitted tyre the best option?

When it comes to replacing your tyres,  you could stick with the existing tyres, or look at other brands and possibilities. Ultimately, the tyres that come equipped to your car as standard will be a very good choice, but they might not represent the best option.

This is because there are a number of factors to consider, such as the environment and your personal style of driving. Most cars tend to come with quality tyres focusing on overall parameters. If you live in the city or only use your car on highways (and other well maintained roads), this is ideal. If not, you might want tyres with better grip and braking distance.