Tyres. They’re the only point of contact our cars have with the tarmac, so it’s fair to say wrapping our wheels with the right rubber should be top priority.
But how many of us have opted for the cheapest boots instead of paying out for the Continentals or Pirellis of this world. After all, many motorists have never explored the true braking capabilities of their vehicles so won’t have first hand experience of the benefits offered by premium tyres.
Those who have will agree that the extra outlay pays for itself when the car in front is half a metre away, not half way up your bonnet had you saved some beer money at Kwik Fit.
The other consideration is the noise they produce. When you’re sitting at home or at your desk watching a Renault Twizy going sideways, it’s not the engine note of passing cars that distracts most, rather the roar coming from the rubber.
And finally there’s the fuel economy. Clad your BMW 320ED in non-low-rolling resistance rubber and you might as well be running a 320i.
From November motorists will be able to choose which tyres to go for based on a new labelling system. It will tell you exactly how safe, how noisy and how fuel efficient they really are. It’s the tyre equivalent of calorie information on a sandwich pack.
Tyre ratings range from A-grade to G-grade, which, according to the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders, could deliver a safety difference of 30 per cent at either end of the scale. The SMMT also estimates a 7.5 per cent fuel saving between an A and G-grade tyre resulting in savings of up £100.
Personally, I think the tyre labelling initiative is a great idea and one that will undoubtedly open the eyes of motorists to the clear benefits that better tyres offer. I just wonder why they didn’t think of it sooner…