I was forced into making a quick decision a little while back. I'd just had a full set of Vredestein 235/45/18's fitted after waiting almost 3 weeks on them coming in as a special order at the local tyre depot. Sod's Law then dictated that 2 of them would then suffer punctures, at the same time, on the shoulders which meant that they couldn't be repaired,
. (This was the subject of a thread in the Rant Room at the time)
Being a Friday, of course
, rather limited my options. My tyre guy had Pirellis in stock, but they were 245/40/18 and 97Y rather than 98Y. He couldn't see there being a problem as they are standard fitment on things like the Audi A6 3.0 TDi and a quick call to my insurance company confirmed that they had no objection to this change as it was "not a performance-enhancing modification" and the slight difference in the load rating wasn't of concern to them either,
Those tyres cost me about £145 each as I recall and when the other 2 Vredesteins wore-out 2 weeks ago
(like CuriousOrange they only lasted about 5000 miles, and mine's not been remapped.....yet) I was offered some Avon ZZ3s (again 245/40's) at £105 each. So far, they seem very good with a sharp turn-in, are much quieter than the Pirellis (or the Vredesteins for that matter) and best of all (and like the Vredesteins) because they have a chevron-type tread pattern they've again cured the tram-lining along ridges that you get with the straight-cut treads of Pirelli, Bridgestone et al,
The increased popularity of the 245's over the 235's means that the prices are much keener for what is essentially the same spec of tyre (give or take a few kg's on the load rating).