How long should my tyres last?
Updated 20 Apr 2021
Good question, and let’s begin the answer with a spot of social research.
Consider the people in your street and you'll likely discover a gamut of ages, types and habits.
There's the old couple who keep their house and garden immaculate and enjoy a walk every evening after dinner.
There's the young family always on the go as they negotiate school runs, grocery shopping, gym sessions, dog walking and going to work to pay for the mortgage, education, supermarket, spin classes, pooch and so on.
There's the cohort of university students in the share house with a front lawn pleading for a mow; the mysterious bloke who only ever emerges to collect the mail; and the middle-aged couple with a boat that hasn’t entered water for years.
Along with a few others, you and yours complete a streetscape of enormous diversity.
Now consider the vehicles driven by all these people and you’ll note a similar variety, with the same occurring for the choice of tyres on those vehicles.
All of which brings us back to our initial question – how long should my tyres last? – and the answer you've been waiting for is...
Unfortunately, calculating the life of your tyres isn’t an exact science, thanks to influences as wide-ranging as life in your street.
What is possible, however, is improved tyre safety, performance and longevity.
Again, consider age, type and habit.
Age: the circle of tyre life
The modern tyre is a revolution revelation.
Yet as advanced as tyre technology may be, you should still avoid running the same set of tyres for too long - old tyres do not make for old friends.
Some fundamental tyre maintenance can come in handy along the way, such as ensuring the air pressure is at the recommended level and monitoring the tread and sidewalls for embedded objects and other inconsistencies.
Furthermore, if you're carting stuff around all day, try to spread the load evenly so one tyre doesn’t work harder than any other, thus risking premature ageing and general wonkiness.
The tyre rating on the sidewall is a cool guide in this regard, because it will tell you how much weight your tyres can handle and the recommended maximum speed of the vehicle.
Though such simple precautions combined with generally safe driving will never completely halt the march of time, they’ll help get the best out of your tyres for longer.
Type: tyres, tyres everywhere
There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to tyres today, so take your time when choosing new ones.
Costs vary and inevitably so does quality — as much as that bargain basement quartet of pre-Cold War tyres for sale online may seem the wheel deal for your wallet, remember you always get what you pay for.
The best advice is to choose quality brands that meet the right fit and function for the vehicle concerned, be it a Ferrari, family sedan or the Surfers Paradise Aquaduck.
Talk to your tyre dealer.
Habit: stop and go or spin and screech
Product quality combined with driver behaviour are two major influences on tyre life.
If you love nothing more than the sound of tyres screeching and squealing, be prepared for your affection to be matched by premature tyre deterioration.
Then again, if you're one of those brake-happy drivers who just can't go for stopping, this will tell on your tyres’ lifespan too.
To come full circle, as all tyres should do, the difference between getting 10,000km or 60,000km out of your tyres is affected by many factors, including those we’ve already mentioned and a bunch of others we could have — road conditions, climate, city or rural driving, general vehicle condition.
However, informed choices, sensible driving and regular maintenance should ensure a better quality and quantity of tyre life.
At AutoGuru, we have a number of articles to help you with tyres.
If you’re in need of new tyres, book in with your local tyre specialist on AutoGuru!
Michael Jacobson is an award-winning Queensland-based writer.
His appreciation for motoring began as a young journalist covering racing from Simmons Plains in Tasmania.
Over the years he has interviewed many Australian and international motoring greats.
He has also been driven around Lakeside Raceway at ferocious speed, circumnavigated the Gold Coast Indy circuit at more than 200kmh and managed to squeeze 365,000 kilometres out of a Toyota Starlet.