Money is tight for everyone, and it can be tempting to try and save money by cutting back on expensive items. Many car owners see buying new car tyres as an expense that they would like to avoid or reduce. They see advertisements for cheap tyres, or for part-worn tyres, and think that this might be a quick way to make a saving, while still using tyres that are within the legal limits.
Skimping on tyres can be a big mistake, however. Which? examined cheap tyres and found out that they have a poor record when it comes to breaking and gripping in wet conditions. One cheap tyre travelled more than 20m further than the standard length for a particular speed. Cheap tyres are more likely to let the driver down when they are most needed, and particularly in hazardous conditions.
Some buyers have turned to part-worn or pre-used tyres, which are legitimately sold by many garages. While these can seem like a good saving, inspections on the tyres have shown that many do not conform to the standards required, and some even have high levels of neglect which can lead to sudden failures in the tyres. This investigation was carried out by the Bristol Trading Standards team, and the dangers they have exposed are likely to be replicated throughout the country. This means that part-worn tyres can be even more dangerous than cheap tyres.
Cheap and part-worn tyres are also a bad idea even if they were completely safe. Tyres are not bought for short-term savings, but to carry the car for months at a time. A good tyre, even if it is more expensive, is likely to last for longer, and provide a more consistent ride, than cheaper alternatives such as part-worn tyres.