Although Londoners don’t typically drive very far in the city, often from one borough to the next, they can often suffer from more wear and tear than people who live in other parts of the country. This is because there are quite a few obstacles to overcome, especially in inner London. Broken glass, spilled materials, and the prevalence of potholes all contribute to more significant tire wear. There again, the many sleeping policemen that try to slow drivers down in residential districts of the capital can also cause tyre damage. Even if your tyres are in good condition, bumping up and down kerbs can deflate them, which, in turn, will lead to premature aging.
Therefore, London’s motorists – perhaps more than any other city dwellers – need to think carefully about how and when they buy replacement tyres. Read on to find out more about the typical pitfalls that potentially lie in store.
Steer Clear of Part-Worn Tyres
Part-worn tyres are legal to buy, fit, and drive on, but they tend to last only a short time, making them something of a false economy. Even worse, the tread on them might be okay, but there could be some other fault you cannot see with the naked eye. If so, you could suffer a blowout only a short time after having them fitted. Part-worn tyres are only suitable for dealing with emergency situations when you cannot access new ones.
Avoid Retread Tyres
Retread tyres have been illegal on British roads for almost 20 years. If a new section of rubber has been fitted to a second-hand tyre, then this is known as a retread. You should not have tyres like these fitted under any circumstances even though the price may seem to be attractive.
Pick the Best Tyres You Can Afford
Choosing low-cost tyres might seem sensible if they are all you can afford. However, if you can spend a little more on slightly better tyres, then it tends to save money in the long term. Premium tyres are made from tougher rubber compounds, so they should last longer. Budget tires have their place, though. If you’re just changing one tyre and want to replace it again when the other three have worn out so you’ll have a matching set, then this is often the best way to proceed. Look for promotions on premium tyres. Sometimes tyre dealers will offer discounted prices when you buy two or more.
Confirm the Fitting Charges
Whether you choose premium or budget tyres, the fitting fee should be similar. If you are quoted a price for a tyre, then make sure you know exactly how much you’ll have to pay for it to be fitted for you. Make sure that if wheel balancing or tracking services are to be included that these measures don’t come with a surcharge. London’s renowned tyre fitter – DAT Tyres – is now offering budget and premium options at friendly prices. That said, wherever you choose to have your tyres fitted, make sure the price you see for fitting them is inclusive of VAT to avoid a nasty extra cost when it comes to paying your bill.
Buy Tyres That Will Fit
If you buy tyres online and find a bargain, then you can save money. However, you will need to ensure the tyres you are buying actually fit your car. The best way to do this is to check the tyre code of your currently fitted one, which you can read on the tyre’s sidewall. If the tyre width, wheel diameter, or aspect ratio coding isn’t right, then you’ll be lumbered with tyres you cannot use.