06/06/2011: Should you put budget tyres on your car?
Let’s make it clear from the outset that by budget tyres I mean those that are made down to a price in the first place. This means they are using lower quality materials, lower labour costs, limited technology and possibly out of date designs. These are budget tyres because they were always intended to be so. In fact it’s also fair to say that few of them claim to be anything else and they are not meant to be a substitute for a high quality, premium brand tyre. Some budget tyres though are not quite what they seem to be and are actually a bit of a problem.
When I say some budget tyres are a problem I mean there are some unscrupulous manufacturers and traders out there who produce and sell ‘replicas’ of leading brand products. These are often aimed at the more expensive end of the market for 4 x 4’s and luxury or sports vehicles. These so called budget tyres look like a high quality tyre but that’s all. In fact several of these imitation budget tyres have been tested against the real thing by reputable motoring magazines and performed very badly indeed in terms of handling and stopping; especially in wet conditions.
Sadly this misuse of budget tyres is a problem for all road users, not just those who have unfortunately fitted them to their vehicles. They do not meet the performance needs of the cars they are fitted to and can often lead to accidents. So are there any budget tyres that you can fit to your vehicle with a clear conscience? Well there certainly are and one way you can find them is to look out for premium tyres that are offered on sale at bargain prices. These are budget tyres in price only and you should definitely snap them up when you get the chance.
There are also budget tyres that are low-cost products made by leading manufacturers, often based on their older designs but still perfectly relevant to today’s motoring. These are especially good if you want budget tyres because you only do local journeys that don’t involve long distances at high speeds or with heavy loads. These are a matter of common sense and are frequently a good choice of budget tyres; especially for those motorists with older vehicles of lower residual value which, whilst being perfectly serviceable, do not warrant a significant investment by their owners.
If you go online to look at budget tyres you will find most online retailers will offer you a range of tyres covering different price brands. If you take the attitude that you only get what you pay for, it’s clear that any budget tyres backed by the reputation and reliability of a quality manufacturer justify the asking price; even as a stock clearance for example. These are budget tyres that you can fit to your car in the absolute confidence that they will be safe, reliable and great value for money.