Car Tyres compared

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Let Canstar Blue help keep you on the road. Compare leading car tyre brands using our customer satisfaction ratings.

* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2016 and published in September 2016.

See our Ratings Methodology.

2016 Award for Car Tyres

Most Satisfied Customers | Dunlop

The result of this year’s ratings revealed Dunlop to be the only brand to achieve five stars in overall satisfaction, making it the 2016 award winner for Most Satisfied Customers – Car Tyres.

Dunlop steers to victory with award-winning tyres

A medium sized car weighs well over a ton, so you can imagine the incredible pressure put on your tyres when you’re driving. That’s why a reliable set of car tyres is so important. Blowouts or loss of traction can be devastating, and failing to regularly replace your worn tyres puts you and other road-users at greater risk.

We’re not all tyre experts though. In fact, not many of us are, so it’s natural to feel a little in the dark when it comes time to replace your car tyres. Yet fewer than half (42%) of motorists said they researched their purchase to find the best price tyres before buying, our survey found. This same research revealed that 27% of drivers are not even sure where to buy tyres from and will just go to their local provider.

Of course, a reputable car tyre retailer can usually provide sound advice about what tyres are right for your car, but for those seeking a second opinion, there’s no better source than the collective sentiment of New Zealanders. Canstar Blue has commissioned nationwide research into car tyre satisfaction, asking nearly 800 New Zealand motorists how they rate their brand of car tyres against various criteria, including value for money, life of the tyre, handling, stopping and overall satisfaction.

The result of this year’s ratings revealed Dunlop to be the only brand to achieve five stars in overall satisfaction, making it the 2016 award winner for Most Satisfied Customers – Car Tyres.

Other leading brands performed commendably, including Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin which rated four stars overall, while Firestone and Hankook received three stars.

When do I need to replace my tyres?

As we mentioned earlier, driving on worn out tyres can be very dangerous – and driving with tyres below the minimum tread depth can result in a fine of up to $500. Worryingly though, one in four Kiwis (26%) say they only consider replacing their tyres after their car has failed its WoF.

Your car tyres should be replaced whenever the tread on the tyres becomes worn down. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.5mm, so you should start thinking about replacing your tyres when they near this point. The life of your tyres will vary considerably depending on the tyre model, as well as air pressure, road surface and driving habits.

Tyre changing tips

There are a few things you can do to improve safety and ensure you’re getting the most out of your new set of car tyres.

  • Buy tyres in pairs: A car needs to be stable with four good points of contact – a vehicle with unevenly worn car tyres on the same axil will be imbalanced and therefore have reduced traction and control. For this reason, it’s usually in your best interests to replace the front or rear tyres as a pair.
  • New tyres on the rear first: Many commercial vehicles are front wheel drive, so it’s often the case that the front wheels wear down faster, being that they are subjected to the brunt of tractive, braking and steering forces. Yet, even if it is the front tyres that need replacing, you should almost always put the new tyres on the rear axil and move the old rear tyres to the front. Why? Because the back tyres are responsible for vehicle stability, and a loss of rear traction can lead to fishtailing and spinouts, particularly in wet and slippery conditions.
  • Check brake pads: While this one is not technically a tyre tip, replacing a car tyre is a great opportunity to quickly ensure your brake pads still have plenty of grip on them.

The most important message of all is that you really shouldn’t take any chances with your car tyres. Your life, the life of your passengers, and other road-users, depends on it. If in doubt, consult a mechanic and replace those tyres!

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased car tyres in the last 18 months – in this case, 791 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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