26/07/2010: Are you looking for the cheapest tyres?
With the recent swingeing budget and continuing financial uncertainty, finding the cheapest tyres is becoming a priority for more and more motorists. However, many pitfalls lie in wait for those on the lookout for the cheapest tyres, not the least of which is the temptation to fit part-worn tyres in an understandable attempt to keep on the road. However, it is rapidly becoming clear that this is not only a false economy but is also a safety risk and fierce price competition amongst retailers means you should now be able to get the cheapest tyres without compromising safety.
If you look at all the implications, it’s clear that the cheapest tyres are hardly ever part-worn tyres, as was shown in an investigation by Birmingham City Council’s trading standards officers who found that nine out of ten part worn tyres failed to meet minimum legal standards. These may appear to be the cheapest tyres in terms of cost alone but there are very high levels of risk associated with buying part worn tyres. Tyres which had nails embedded, illegal tread depth, exposed cords, inadequate markings and one tyre which was 17 years old were among the failures. These may be the cheapest tyres but are by no means value for money.
Proof that these particular cheapest tyres are not the best can be seen by the fact that over the last nine years, Birmingham trading standards officers bought and tested more than 190 part-worn tyres of which 25% were found to have a structural defect. Further proof that it’s better to buy the cheapest tyres you can find from a reputable retailer was shown by the fact that 90% of the tested tyres did not have the correct markings which are required by law to identify them as part worn. Moreover, a selection of these so-called cheapest tyres was X-rayed which showed hidden faults that would be invisible under normal legal inspections.
So if you’re seeking the cheapest tyres, it’s worth noting that all of the X-rayed tyres showed signs of impact damage which would make them much more likely to suffer a blowout that could cause a serious accident or injury. The big problem for those seeking the cheapest tyres is that although selling part-worn tyres is perfectly legal and rigorous trading standards apply, it’s not easy for the average motorist to distinguish between honest traders and the unscrupulous kind. Birmingham City Council’s trading standards officers always recommend fitting brand new tyres and these really can be the cheapest tyres in the long run.