By Denna Bowman
Cash-strapped motorists who are tempted to buy part worn cheap tyres rather than brand new replacements will end up paying more in the long run, according to a leading tyre manufacturer.
Matt Smith, UK and Ireland Director for Falken Tyres, was responding to research by tyre distributor Micheldever, which highlights the worrying trend of UK consumers using their tyres beyond the legal limit.
He said: “Tyres tend to be a distress purchase and this is particularly true in this economic climate.”
Micheldever found that an increasing number of motorists are driving with severely worn and dangerous tyres.
A shocking 58% of vehicles surveyed had at least one tyre that was below the legal tread depth of 1.6mm and over 95% of vehicles had a tyre below 2mm.
The results suggest that the current challenging economic climate is driving consumers to cling on to their old, illegal tyres or switch to economy or secondhand cheap tyres, rather than opting for more costly new replacements.
Smith commented: “Tyres remain ridiculously low on the vast majority of motorists’ priority lists.”
He was also keen to point out that although motorists looking for cheap tyres think the answer lies with part-worns, this can be a false economy.
“A used tyre with a tread depth of 3mm costs £20 and has 1.4mm of usable tread, resulting in a cost of £14.29 per millimetre,” Smith explained.
“Conversely, a new tyre with a tread depth of 6mm costs £60 and has 4.4mm of usable tread, equating to a cost of £13.63 per millimetre and therefore makes new tyres the better value purchases for consumers.”
However, while Smith understands the financial pressure put on motorists to gravitate towards the cheap tyres, he insists the safety risks are not worth the monetary saving.