When shopping for a new set of tires, or even a single replacement tire, you want to be sure you’re choosing a product that’s going to perform well for your vehicle, while also providing you with a good value. There are lots of decisions to make, so be sure that when the time comes to buy some new radials, you know what exactly you’re looking for. But most of all, be sure you’re getting the right-size tire (or tires) for your car, truck or van.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when making your selection:

How Many?

There are certain times you may need a whole set of tires, or you may just need to replace one. If all of your tires are wearing out at the same time, this offers some flexibility in the selection process. If you loved your original tires, replace them. Or, if you want a smoother ride, longer treadwear or more handling, you can consider other options. If you just need one tire, due to a road hazard or vandalism, it is important to replace the tire with an exact match.

Tire Size

Figuring out the size you need is the simplest part of the process. Consult your owner’s manual to find your recommended tire measurements. This will tell you the tire’s width and diameter. This number will also indicate the load index, which notes how much weight each tire can support. This figure will also tell you your speed rating, which refers to the tire’s maximum speed in relation to the load index.

Weather and Type

Consider when and where you’ll be using these tires most. Are you looking for something all-season? Are you looking for winter/snow tires? Select something that will fit your specific needs. Think about the worst driving conditions you may expect to encounter and factor that into your decision. If you typically just drive around your neighborhood or to the grocery store, you don’t need the same tires as a long-distance commuter.

Pricing

A new set of tires can cost a chunk of change, so you want to be sure you’re getting the best value. Evaluate how much per mile each tire may cost, especially if you’re trying to make a decision between tires that fit for your specific needs and a set that may be slightly cheaper.

In the long run, the different in cost may outweigh the value.

Find a Reputable Dealer

Having a knowledgeable staff to rely on is crucial in your selection process, especially if you’re a novice. Be sure to select a reputable dealer who will help you throughout the process. Also consider the potential that you may purchase tires that you don’t end up liking. Ask your dealer if you can do a drive-test to be sure of your selection.