As you know, we are fussy about car tyres and always advise women to buy the best ones they can afford for road safety reasons. That’s sound advice up to a point as it assumes you can afford them, drive more than average mileage each year, over long distances or as part of your job…
But what if you only drive locally, your annual mileage is less than 5000 miles and your car can stay tucked up in a garage when the weather takes a turn for the worse?
Do you REALLY need tyres rated for speeds of up to 150mph when the family runabout is more likely to be found plying the school run or bearing the weekly food shopping from a local supermarket?
Are budget tyres ever a savvy choice?
Low and local mileage is where the budget tyre comes in to its own. But with such an array of names most of us haven’t heard of before, how do you know which ones are any good?
Certainly there was a time when budget tyres had a mixed reputation in terms of quality control and value for money. Some were difficult to balance, we’re told, had a short life and made a lot of noise on the road.
More importantly, some weren’t even proficient brakers at legal speed limits in the wet, which is one economy measure FOXY is not willing to compromise on…
All good reasons to buy a well known brand of course. Happily, the budget sector appears to be getting to grips (pardon the pun) with technology and quality so industry standards are definitely on the up. Knowing this and keen to test this out, we were pleased to be invited to do precisely this for Landsail Tyres so we could tell women drivers how we got on and what we thought.
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About Landsail Tyres
Landsail Tyres is a Chinese brand that’s relatively new to the UK market and growing fast they say. However we don’t expect that many women will know of this name yet. The first thing we spotted was that they make tyres for the Boeing 737 which is reassuring. We also liked the fact that they’ve been manufacturing tyres for over 80 years and, as good as it gets, their reviews were favourable.
We chose their LS388 195/50R16 84 tyres and our test car was a Peugeot 1007 1.6 Sport.
Testing Landsail Tyres
Using the EU tyre label, the tyres are rated as follows: Fuel economy E, Wet grip C, Noise 71db. This compares with other budget tyres we’ve seen.
The tyres were then fitted for us locally and the fitter told us that they balanced well. We then used the car for a few days for the tyres to ‘run-in’ before we carried out any tests.
Once run-in, the tyres provided plenty of grip in the dry and the car could not be persuaded to relinquish their hold on the road in spite of the driver lifting off at speed in the middle of a sharp bend; a driving error guaranteed to find the ditch on cheap tyres not so very long ago.
So no complaints there. However, good dry grip should be expected of any tyre accredited for sale in the UK.
Our main interest was of course how the tyres would perform in rain and wet road conditions. We had plenty of opportunities to test them in this!
The stated wet grip ‘C’ is towards the better end of the (A to G) scale and so it proved in practice; it took a fairly violent, ill-advised and un-FOXYlike manoeuvre to force the car to become unsettled, but even then, the situation was easily corrected and not bad enough to become a cause of concern we felt.
The stated (E) for fuel economy is below average (on a scale of A to G) and it might be that we have to consider any potential increase in fuel consumption whilst bearing in mind the original cost saving to qualify the result with the improved safety of a good wet performance.
But as we all know, the cost of fuel has dropped recently and we are talking about a tyre that is used for below average and not very fast mileage. So this was a less critical factor than braking distances in the wet we felt.
As far as road noise is concerned, the stated 71db is said to be average on a scale of 3. We couldn’t assess the amount of external noise, but it has to be said, the tyres generated a bit more noise inside the car than the Continentals that they replaced. But again, that needs to be measured as part of the overall performance of the tyres versus their role.
When it comes to cost you’ll find budget tyres for c£40 and £50 per tyre which, to put matters into perspective, can halve the cost of many premium tyres. Remember to factor in the cost of fitting them (we paid £15 per tyre which would be included in many online tyre deals) and make sure they’re properly aligned (sometimes a severe kerb bashing can affect this and tyre tread as a result).
All in all we’re happy to endorse Landsail Tyres on the basis of our experience and, in particular for low mileage women motorists.
You can find out more about Landsail’s range of tyres, customer reviews and dealers across the UK.
Finally, by all means share your female experience of tyre shopping and services to benefit others.
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