Rateworks auto loan refinance
April 5, 2023

What Types of Tires Are Right For You

When it comes to choosing the right tires for your vehicle, it's essential to understand the different types of tires available in the market. There are various types of tires designed for different driving conditions, weather, and vehicle types. Understanding which type of tire is suitable for your driving needs can enhance your vehicle's performance, safety, and longevity.

Types of tires
Written by

Matthew Oliver

What types of tires should I buy? 

Why tires are important?

Your car won’t run without tires. But did you know that if your tires are at low pressure you’ll spend more on gas? When the car has tires filled with the correct pressure, the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to move the car forward, so it uses less gas. 

Tires are built to hit certain speeds, in specific terrain, and offer specific extras like a quiet ride, extra grip, long life, or safety from punctures. 

The different types of tires and their roles

Summer tires

If you live in areas that don’t see much snow, you might be interested in Summer tires. They can withstand greater heat, put more of your tire in contact with the road, and are rated for wet and dry conditions. They often make more noise than other types. They have a lifespan of between 20-40 thousand miles. 

Winter tires

Winter tires are aimed at people living in colder climates, where they’ll encounter snow, slush, and ice often. If your area regularly reaches temperatures below forty degrees, you might consider these. Their specific tread type is designed to compact snow for better traction, but that means they don’t do as well in dry or merely wet conditions. They have a lifespan of 30-40,000 miles.

All season tires

All Season tires are for people who don’t change their tires based on the season, and live in places with hot summers and cold winters. They don’t make a lot of noise, and they’re comfortable for most drivers. They brake best in dry conditions, so in wet or snowy conditions, you’ll want to be more careful. All Season tires have a lifespan of 50-85,000 miles. 

Performance tires

Performance tires are for sports cars or small coupes. They take turns like a pro, and are excellent for quick braking maneuvers. They’re not here to offer a smooth ride or help lower your gas costs; they’re here to help you be fast and nimble. They don’t do well in very wet or wintery conditions. You can hope for 50,000 miles out of them, but if you put a lot of strain on them or drive a heavy car, that lifespan could be less. 

Touring tires

Touring Tires are like All Season tires but fancier and more expensive. They provide better handling, turning, overall comfort, and less road noise than All Season. They’re not rated well for extreme hot or cold situations. The standard lifespan you can expect for touring tires is 55-60,000 miles. 

Run flat

Run flat tires offer you puncture protection. If you run over a nail and puncture a hole in your tire, the tire will continue functioning for a certain distance or time until you can safely reach a place to have it replaced. They won’t run indefinitely. You might be able to drive fifty miles at fifty miles an hour or lower before the tire becomes unusable. Run flat tires might tend to be heavier, thus driving up fuel costs, and providing less driving comfort than other types of tires. They’re a bit more expensive, too. You can expect a 30-40,000-mile lifespan out of these tires. 

All terrain and mud tires

If you routinely go off-road or use dirt and gravel roads, all-terrain can give you extra grip and support in adverse conditions. Mud tires are even more specialized, and are superior in wet and muddy conditions by keeping mud out of your tire treads and providing exceptional grip. All Terrain tires can be used all year. They’re often used for SUVs and trucks, and therefore often have a higher load rating than other types of tires. But, they’re prone to wear out more easily, and have a lower fuel efficiency than other types of tires. You can expect 40,000 miles out of your all-terrain tires. 

Spare tires

For emergency use only, you might have a spare tire set into a recess in your car’s trunk, or set onto the back door of your SUV or Jeep. Sometimes spare tires are full size, but often they’re compact, or “donut hole” tires. These tires are only to get you out of tough situations. If you have to change your tire in a hurry on the side of the road, you’ll put the spare on and then can drive to an auto shop. You should not drive more than 50 miles on a compact spare tire because the small size can create extra strain on your car frame. Spare tires are not rated well for weather conditions. They are only there as an emergency measure.  

There’s a tire for everyone

Every car needs tires. You can find your ideal tire type by using online tools like TireTrack’s tire quiz or Car Talk’s Tire Buying Guide.

For all your car maintenance and refinance needs, check out the RateWorks insights blog for more tips!