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Buying tyres with a tight budget?

Value versus low price, which way to go


If I am selling my 4wd, would it help to sell if I put new tyres on?

- If you are trading in or selling to a car dealer I think not, I have never heard of a car dealer giving more for a trade because of any extra repairs or replacement items that have done to the vehicle.

- If you are selling privately then yes I think it does help sell the vehicle, and often reduces the reasons for a buyer to negotiate lower if you have maintained and replaced worn items before the sale, however don’t put the cheapest tyre option on as an astute buyer may see that as just DRESSING UP your vehicle for sale and may be worried what else was scrimped on.


Only two tyres are worn out, do I have to change all four?

- Absolutely not, it doesn’t matter what brand of tyres you have if two have legal tread (above 1.6mm) then you don’t have to change them, and although most sellers of tyres will recommend you do change 4 at a time it is often in your best interests not to, especially as it costs only half the amount to change two so it helps tight budgets.

- A tip on changing just two tyres is if you driving is mainly on sealed roads then put the new ones to the front. (more tread means more grip as the weight transfers to the front when braking hard or in an emergency)

- If you’re driving mainly on unsealed dirt roads then put the new ones to the rear (front tyres kick up stones and they can be standing up when the back tyres run over them and there is more chance of tyre damage or flat tyres, more tread means more protection from stone damage)


Do I have to have the same brand tyre on front and rear, or could I fit a cheaper option?

- There is not rule saying they have to be the same, the main thing to remember is it is better to fit similar tyres to both axles, that means similar handling characteristics.(eg is they should be both Steel radials)


- If you do change brands it is better to buy better tyres rather than lesser tyres, that way at least your safety is better on one end of the vehicle.


Do cheaper brands give me the same mileage and grip as more expensive brands?

- This is a question that sellers of cheaper brand versus sellers of more expensive brands will argue. However with tyres you usually get what you pay for, and cheaper brands just can’t give both, grip and mileage where are more expensive brand puts more ingredients into the tyre to achieve performance and mileage, that’s why they cost more. An example of this is a material called Silica that can be chemically infused in the tread compound, it is expensive however when added it gives added wet grip without lowering mileage expectations. However few 4wd tyre brands use this material, and the ones that do are higher cost, but much safer to drive on.


Also most cheaper brands cut the cost in the construction, basic sidewall cords and lesser strength meaning more chance of offroad damage and lesser in handling charactistics.


How do I know what the value really is in paying more for tyres?

- This is a tough one as, who do you believe?

- If the tyres are a Light Duty, or Passenger contraction 4wd tyre then it is easy, on the sidewall you will see the words

TREADWEAR followed by a number, and the higher the number the more the tyre will wear, so a 600 tyre versus a 300 tyre means it will wear or last twice as long.

Then the word. TRACTION followed by a letter, A,B or C, this means that A is best so if you have a high mileage number of say 500 and A traction, compared to say a tyre with 300 and B traction there is a big value difference and you should be paying far less for the lower number and traction tyres.

- If your tyre is a heavy duty, or Light Truck construction 4wd tyre then there is no legal requirement to put the treadwear and traction on the sidewall, in this case I would ask for written evidence on the comparison between brands you are considering.’

A general rule of knowing how good a high value tyre is…..

More tread means more miles, and more grip on and off road.

High tensile materials in the construction to make the tyres stronger for less damage, and lighter for better fuel economy.

Modern tread technology that the salesman can point out what the tread is designed to do, and why it works better than other brands.


Terry Smith - Managing Director

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