By Oliver Hall
Car buyers who are opting for used cars rather than new models due to the current recession are being urged to pay special attention to the tyres.
Continental Tyres is advising prospective buyers in Ireland to keep an eye on the tyres on second hand cars as they can seriously affect the safety of the car.
Tyres in poor condition, for example, can suggest a general neglect of the car over its previous life.
And Continental also claims that mixing tyre brands and specification, especially on the same axle, can adversely affect performance causing safety implications for the buyer.
Paddy Murphy of Continental Tyres in Ireland, said: “There’s a saying that shoes can tell a lot about a man, and the same applies to a car.
“It’s not easy for the used car buyer to assess the quality of the car he or she is considering. Tyres can be a really useful tell-tale sign.”
A recent survey of used car forecourts in Ireland suggests there is a widespread practice of mismatched tyres on cars for sale.
Sixty per cent of cars surveyed by Continental were on mixed tyres, sometimes as many as four different tyres. Thirty-eight per cent of cars had dissimilar tyres across a single axle.
In many cases the oddment tyres were Asian or other budget brands. These have been found to have inferior performance to premium tyres, especially in wet conditions.
In all, over one-third of the cars examined had at least one budget tyre.
Even cars from certified quality used programmes were found to have mixed tyres, often premium brands alongside budget tyres.
Mr Murphy added: “Customers should insist that these cars come fitted with the same tyres, as specified in the owner handbook”