Mixing Car Tyres: Yes or No?
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Mixing Car Tyres: Yes or No?

Mixing Car Tyres

Most cars have four wheels and therefore need four tyres in order to operate.  Tyres are classed among your vehicle’s consumable items, meaning they will gradually wear out and need replacing from time to time.  The problem arises when these four tyres wear out at different rates; this can lead to one tyre needing to be replaced, while the others still have some life left in them.  Therefore, our customers here at Fast Tyre Service often ask us: should car tyres match?  Is it safe to drive with mismatched car tyres?  Is it legal?  This is a tricky subject, so let’s take a look at this issue in more detail.

It is a common problem that one tyre on your car can wear out before the others.  This can be as a result as vehicle type, weather conditions, road hazards, or a combination of many factors.  Front and left-side tyres tend to wear most quickly.  But with all the brands, sizes and tread patterns available, finding a replacement tyre which is a perfect match can be tricky to say the least!  Under these circumstances, what are your options as a driver?

First of all, what does the law say about mixing tyres?  While it’s not illegal to have tyres from different brands fitted to your car, it will fail the MOT if you have tyres of two different sizes fitted across the same axle.  Mixing tyre sizes is like walking in odd shoes; if you walked down the street with a high-heeled shoe on one foot and a training shoe on the other, you would find it very uncomfortable, and it wouldn’t be long before you started to feel like you were damaging your body.  And if the weather was wet or cold, dressing this way would be downright dangerous!  Therefore, the tyres on either size should always be the same size.  See our guide for information on checking tyre sizes.

But, you may ask, can you mix car tyres as long as they are the same size?  While it is possible to drive a car on odd tyres, it isn’t recommended.  Here’s why:

Mismatched Tread Pattern

The tread of a tyre helps it to grip the road surface.  If a tyre on one side of the car loses grip while the other sticks, the car could spin around.

Mismatched Tread Depth

Similarly, using new tyres alongside worn ones can cause an imbalance.  At the least, make sure your rear tyres have more tread than the front ones, so that the rear of the car doesn’t fly forward under braking.

Mismatched Brands

Even if tyres look the same, models from different manufacturers may by made from different materials.  They can therefore wear at different rates, leading to an imbalance.

The best way to avoid the pitfalls of mixing car tyres is to always try to have four matching tyres on your vehicle.  Fortunately, help is at hand.  For help finding and fitting the correct models, contact Fast Tyre Service today.

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