Buying Guide

Which Tyre For You?

Michelin 18 May 2010

It’s as easy as 1,2, 3.

Which Tyre For You

To help guide you towards making the right choice when fitting replacement tyres, there are three main things to remember:

  1. Your tyre size
  2. Your climate condition
  3. Your usage condition

1. Your tyre size

When changing your tyres, make sure they're the same as your vehicle's original equipment tyre size. If you're not sure about the right size, use our Tyre Selector to find the right tyre for your vehicle or read the sidewall of your existing tyre. See How to Read a Sidewall. When tyres are not fitted in complete sets of four, we advise that tyre types are not mixed across an axle. If you are still in doubt, consult your tyre dealer for fitment details for your car. 

Considering a tyre conversion?

Changing the size of a tyre can increase the area of rubber in contact with the ground resulting in better steering response with more precise behaviour through bends. A set of low profile tyres with shorter sidewalls may look better but generally results in a harder ride and more surface irregularities will be felt. It can also also affect braking, engine performance, fuel consumption and so on. For your own safety, stick as closely as possible to the orignal tyre external diameter. Ensure rim widths are compatible with the tyres being considered. We recommend that you consult a specialist when considering a tyre conversion. 

4x4 Vehicles

We strongly recommend that 4x4 vehicles use identical sets of four tyres (same size, make, pattern, load index/speed symbol). The exception is when different front to rear sizes are specified by the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle manufacturer's recommendations should also be followed.

2. Your climate condition

Your tyres have to handle a wide variety of climatic conditions: rain, strong wind, fog, snow, ice and so on. These all affect their performance and you need to adapt your driving style to suit each weather type. Before a long trip, check the condition of your car and tyres.

Winter driving

Driving on a wet road

The conditions for wet weather driving include rain, snow, sleet and fog. To drive safely in these conditions you need to realise that wet weather driving is fundamentally different than dry weather driving.

Driving in the rainOn a wet road stopping distances increase, and this is even more the case with worn tyres. Visibility may also be decreased. The risk of sliding is also considerably increased if it has just rained after a long, dry, hot spell as the dust and oil on the road may make the road slippery.

The braking distance on a wet road may be up to three times longer than on a dry road. A Michelin tyre in good condition will rapidly expel the rain along its tread away from the contact area of the road. So please check the depth of your tread regularly.  It should be at least 1.6mm deep. The greater the depth, the better the ability to evacuate water.

Driving on a dry road

Driving on a dry road can be safer, but be careful about significant changes in road surfaces like potholes, gravel or puddles. They risk abruptly reducing your grip.

While driving on dry roads can be safer than on wet roads, the following tips should help keep your tyres in top condition and keep you alert.
  • Check your tyre pressure regularly - at least once a month and before long journeys.
  • Use the right tyres to suit your needs - check out our Tyre Selector.
  • Watch your speed - keep within designated speed limits and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Become a good night driver - be alert to the demands of low visibility nigh time driving.
  • Don't drive when you are tired.

3. Your usage condition

Because your tyres are your only link between your vehicle and the road, they play a key role in road handling, comfort, braking distance and fuel saving. Different usage conditions require different tyre characteristics.

In the city

Because you need to be doubly alert in urban and city areas we suggest the following selection criteria:

  • Braking distance. Use tyres with the optimum braking distance, on both dry and wet roads.
  • Longevity. City driving with its numerous stops and starts puts great demands on the tyre. Choose tyres with increased longevity.
  • Fuel economy. Tyres with low rolling resistance save fuel.
  • Tyre pressure. Check tyre pressure once a month and before long journeys. Under-inflated tyres increase braking distance and fuel consumption. Don't forget to check the pressure of the spare tyre as well.

On main roads or motorways

Tyres play a key role in your vehicle’s handling.

Tyre selection criteria:
  • Braking distance at high speed. For maximum safety, select tyres that provide optimum braking distance on both dry and wet roads.
  • Comfort. For long trips, choose tyres that offer comfort both in terms of vibration and noise level.
  • Road holding. Select tyres that provide excellent grip and stability.

Sports car

If you enjoy driving in a sporty manner, your tyres should have the necessary characteristics to assist you - consistent with road safety rules or consistent with track day requirements..

Tyre selection criteria:
  • Grip. Look for a tyre with excellent performance on both dry and wet roads.
  • Road holding. Choose tyres from the MICHELIN Pilot tyre ranges. They provide excellent steering precision and good stability in bends.


Get a recommendation by entering your Car details or tyre size and defining your driving needs.

Your recently viewed articles

There are no recently viewed articles

  • car
  • 4x4 / suv
  • van / motorhome