Wheel and Tyre Sizing

If you’re looking for a new car, you’ve probably noticed how many have larger wheels and tyres. Bigger wheel and tyre packages look stylish, and they reduce the sidewall height of the tyre itself. The tyre’s sidewall is the section between the inside and outside diameters; the more sidewall the tyre has, the more padding there is between you and a bumpy road. Many cars with larger wheels and tyres have narrow sidewalls, which can improve handling at the expense of ride quality.

On the other side, handling decreases with high-sidewall tyres because there’s more of a chance of leaning and rolling. Fortunately, you can strike a balance between performance and comfort when you choose a wheel size. Whether you need a more comfortable ride from your new car, or you want to change the setup on your current vehicle, these tips will help.

Don’t Choose a Wheel and Tyre Package That Increases Wheel Size

Most new cars are available in various trim levels. The base model typically has the smallest wheels and tyres, while the top trim level often comes with larger wheels. Sport packages usually come with larger tyres and stiffer suspensions, and if you’re not an auto enthusiast, you will likely be satisfied with a stock setup. However, if you want different wheels than those that come standard, you can ask the dealer to fit the vehicle with a different set.

Sport vs. Touring Tyres

All tyres may look similar, but they’re not all created equal. Performance tyres are typically made with a softer rubber compound that offers better traction, but reduces tyre life and creates more road noise. Touring tyres are designed for everyday driving and they ride softer, last longer and offer better fuel economy.

Plus One or Minus One

If you currently have a vehicle, you can buy aftermarket wheels and tyres to improve its ride comfort. When upgrading your tyres and wheels, a good rule is to increase or decrease size by one inch. For instance, if your car has 17“ wheels, you can go to a 16“ wheel for more ride comfort, or go to an 18“ wheel for improved handling.

If you’re keeping your suspension stock, it’s not advisable to go more than an inch above or below the wheel and tyre size you already have. A change that’s too big can cause suspension and handling issues, and it can cause brake fitment problems.

If you’re thinking of buying new car tyres and wheels, there are many places to get information and buy tyres online. With a wheel and tyre fitment tool, you can find out which packages fit your car, and you may even be able to see how the vehicle will look with the wheels and tyres you choose.