Budget tyres versus brand tyres

A One Tyres - Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Everyone wants to make the most economical tyre purchase possible.  But economy may not always come at the cheapest price.  When considering which tyre to purchase there are multiple factors to consider:
  • How many miles do I do?
  • What kind of driver am I?
  • Do I use the brake a lot?
  • What are the road conditions like? – do I need winter or summer tyres?
  • What price do I put on safety?

The answers to these kinds of questions can be different for everyone.  The tyres we would recommend for commercial drivers who do lots of miles might be different from the driver who uses the car for short runs around town, to school or the shops.

The experts have spent plenty of time and money considering just these questions.  Tyre manufacturers like Continental, Michelin and Pirelli spend millions carrying out all sorts of tests to establish what difference it makes when you buy a cheap budget tyre in preference to the more expensive brand name tyres. 

What do the experts have to say?

In tests on cheap tyre imports from the Far East, tyre manufacturer, Continental said “we were expecting the bargain tyres to fall short, but we weren’t prepared for just how wide the gap was”.


Continental invited journalists to test budget tyres on a completely wet surface against Continental branded tyres.  In her blog, Continental’s Laura Hardy writes “The verdicts were unanimous:  the dangers posed by the cheaper tyres on a soaking surface were far greater than any benefits derived from any potential savings they offer.”  See the full story in her July 2013 blog article:


Pirelli tyres have also been tested by the top auto magazines.  Check out the results.


For many people purchasing tyres can be a stressful experience.  We at A One want to take the stress out of this for you.  For free advice on the tyre most suited to your needs simply call in at our Dromore depot, or ring us on 028 9269 9107, or complete an online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.  We won’t insist you buy brand name tyres, we have both premium and budget tyres in stock, but we will present the options for you to make an informed decision on your tyre purchase.

We look forward to helping you make the right tyre purchase for you.

So what’s in a tyre label?

A One Tyres - Thursday, June 27, 2013

Those of you who have visited our Dromore depot will have noticed a tiny screen on the reception counter as you have ordered your tyres or paid your bill. This isn’t just a cute addition to our reception furniture. This has been installed as part of our changes to meet the requirements of the EU tyre labelling legislation that came into force in November 2012.

Why has tyre labelling been introduced?

Tyre labels are required on all new tyres and were introduced by the EU to help customers understand how to compare new tyres. The focus is on their environmental impact, in what can be a baffling array of availability. Legislators hope that consumers have a more informed idea of the performance of the tyres and will be guided to make an energy efficient tyre purchase. The system does not claim to cover all aspects of the tyre purchase, but don’t worry, we are here to help.

So who decides how the tyres score?

The scale scores on the tyre labels are based on the tyre manufacturers own declarations. The EU requires member states to regulate the market to ensure compliance.

Understanding a tyre label

The 3 categories compared on the labels are fuel efficiency, wet grip and road noise.

Fuel efficiency

Choosing a tyre with a higher rated fuel efficiency will give you more miles per gallon.

Fuel efficiency is rated from A to G on a colour-coded scale:

A (green) = highest fuel efficiency rating
G (red) = lowest fuel efficiency rating

The difference between an A rating and a G rating could mean a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 7.5%.

Wet Grip

The scale focuses on the wet braking performance of the tyre. The patterns cut into a tyre’s surface (tread) are designed to help water dispersal, and this is another key research area for tyre manufacturers.

Wet grip is rated from A to F:

A = highest rating (that is the shortest wet braking distance)
F = lowest rating (that is the longest wet braking distance).

The ratings are measured with braking distances when cars travelling at 50mph. The difference in the wet braking distance between a car fitted with tyres classed as ‘A’ compared to ‘F’ is over 10 metres. That’s equivalent to 2 car lengths!


The EU labels shows the measurement of external noise emissions of the tyre in decibels.

For consumers unfamiliar with measurement by decibels the black waves show a pictorial idea of where the tyre fits into the scale of noise emission:

1 black wave: Quiet
2 black waves: Moderate
3 black waves: Noisy

What’s not in a tyre label?

While the EU label addresses some important criteria in tyre performance, there are other factors that may influence your tyre purchase. These factors are measured by tyre manufacturers during testing, but are not recorded on the EU label. These include tyre wear, dry handling, wet cornering and winter performance. So how you drive and what conditions you drive in will determine how your tyre wears over time, and how it performs in an emergency. Whether you prefer to buy top brand or basic budget you should consider these factors along with how much you want to pay.

How we can help

The more information you as customers have in making your tyre purchase the more confidence you have in making the purchase. The reception staff in our Dromore depot are experienced in walking you through this purchase decision and are constantly updating their knowledge of tyres available. Our tyre stock covers the whole spectrum from budget to brand. And what we don’t have in stock we will get for you or advise you on a suitable alternative.

I hope you have found this simple guide to tyre labelling helpful. Feel free to give us a call to discuss the options for your car.

Top Tyre Tips for Motorbikes

A One Tyres - Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The snow is gone (we hope!), spring is in the air, blow away the winter blues, get out on the road, the motorbike season is now here! Some seasoned bikers have been on two wheels all winter, but most of us are only now dusting down the leathers and getting out on the open road.

There are exciting new tyres and treads available this season enhancing performance and mobility. I’m constantly checking out what the Big Brand names are bringing out this season.

The Michelin Total Performance range offers safety, pleasure and longevity from track to road, with cutting edge technologies . Indeed the Michelin brand was again awarded the prestigious 2012 “MOTORRAD Best Brand” prize for the third year running. Michelin’s aim is to produce tyres whose performance delivers grip, consistency and versatility without compromise. I would certainly endorse these achievements. Let me know what your experience has been with these tyres.

The new 2CT generation offers harder rubber underneath the softer rubber on the shoulders giving better rigidity at lean, for more stability when cornering, especially under strong acceleration.

The Michelin 2CT dual compound technology successfully accomplishes two conflicting ideals: wear resistance in the centre of the tread and grip on the shoulders.


Metzeler has brought out the new Tourance NEXT. This is the Enduro street tyre that “dares you to challenge any weather condition and any road”. The latest generation of Enduro Street tyres features new compounds, profiles, structure and tread pattern for unmatched levels of stability, safety on wet and mileage.

Pirelli has brought out their AngelGT, ideal for travellers using the bike for long road trips, with side bags and passengers, looking for safety on wet, stability and mileage, bringing the “sporty attitude” to a wider range of usage conditions and for longer distances.

I’d love to hear your highs (and hopefully not too many lows) of motorbike tyres, every story gives a bigger and better picture of what’s hot and what’s not. Get in touch, or call in at the Dromore Depot. My colleagues and friends will tell you, I love talking tyres! Feel free to give me a call to chat about your specific motorbike tyre requirements. It’s essential to get the right tyres when there are only two of them between you and the hard ground. Meanwhile, enjoy the thrill of the road and be safe.

A One Tyres – the One to keep you moving

A One Tyres - Friday, March 29, 2013

My name is Aaron Clydesdale, Depot Manager at A One Tyres in Dromore, Co Down. I’ve been working in tyres for over 25 years. With that number of years under my belt, I’ve soaked in plenty of tyre knowledge and have a wealth of hints and tips for the discerning customer, as well as sound advice for the customer who simply sees their tyres as ‘round and black’ and necessary to keep them on the move.

Over the next months I plan to post some articles to share some of this experience. I’ll offer some tips on how to get the most from your tyre to enhance fuel economy and performance. I’ll even give an insider’s view on what’s best in tyre brands in the Northern Ireland market. I’ll share insights into topics, like tyre inflation (the air or nitrogen debate), to re-groove or not to re-groove, I’ll be discussing if winter tyres are worth it and sharing my thoughts on how the right tyre can help with your household or business budgeting.

But my specialist subject is “motorbike tyres”. And no, I’m not auditioning for Mastermind, I have a keen interest in motorbikes and specialise in getting the right tyre for any kind of biker, from the tourist to the sportsman. The motorbike season is almost upon us. Hopefully I can keep you up to speed on biking events. I’d love to hear from anyone in Northern Ireland running a motorbike show, organising charity runs or random motorbike get togethers. The biker fraternity are a unique bunch. I love my job!

Watch out for my series on “Top Tyre Tips”. To mark the start of the motorbike season my next post (published soon) will be looking at Top Tyre Tips for Motorbikes. To keep up to date, add this blog to your blog list.