It’s pretty sad to think that we live in a world where we really can’t even take the safety and integrity of tyres for granted. Unfortunately though that’s exactly the case, which comes down to the way in which recent years have seen the markets of the UK and beyond flooded with dodgy knockoffs from the Far East the likes of which really have no place on the roads. You can bet your bottom dollar that if there’s a commodity of value, somebody somewhere will be doing their level best to make counterfeits and sell the public short for their own good.
Tyres, sad as it is, are no exception.
If this all wasn’t bad enough, there’s also the fact that dozens of part-worn tyre suppliers up and down the UK are knowingly selling products that are in no way fit for use on public roads. Just as is the case with the fake tyres flooding in from overseas, it’s pretty difficult to know one from the other as unless you know each and every tiny detail of a tyre inside and out, you’d really never be able to tell the difference.
According to the country’s leading fitters, suppliers and providers of mobile puncture repairs alike, the days of buying tyres blindly and with complacence are over.
Spotting a Dodgy Deal
The good news to be found in all the doom and gloom however is that if you keep your wits about you, it’s actually quite easy to avoid falling foul of a bum deal. Even with no knowledge of what to look out for with regard to the tyre itself, steering clear of dodgy dealers is as easy as being at least very slightly selective when it comes to choosing who you buy them from.
After all, find a dealer you can trust and there’s nothing to worry about!
1 – Reputable Dealers
Which is of course the first and the most important point of all as there’s a big difference between buying tyres from a leading local supplier and picking them up from a guy on eBay who doesn’t appear to know how to spell his own name. If you buy privately from a person or brand you’ve never in your life heard of, chances are you’ll be take a much, much bigger risk. So, while it may cost you slightly more, it’s always wise to stick with the brands you can trust.
2 – Sensible Pricing
Speaking of costs, perhaps the number-one red flag to be aware of when it comes to knock-off tyres is the price they’re on the market for. If for example you’re out to buy a set of Dunlop tyres of a certain size and specification, there won’t be a huge difference in price no matter where you buy them from. As such, if you come across the same tyres from an online or backstreet seller for about 60% less than everyone else seems to be charging for them…well, let’s just say it shouldn’t take a genius to figure out why this might be. Don’t be sucked in by deals that are clearly too good to be true…they’re never worth it.
3 – Paperwork Missing
Regardless of whether you buy a supremely expensive sports car tyre that’s 100% brand new or a much simpler tyre that’s only got a few months of life left in it, you should always, always and ALWAYS be given some sort of paperwork. Not only do you need proof of purchase in case there’s any kind of problem with the purchase, but the seller needs to keep records for legal purposes too. As such, if you find that no receipts are being given as standard or that you have to pretty much beg to get one, there’s a good chance they’re trying to distance themselves from the tyres and their respective buyers for a very good reason. And suffice to say, it’s a reason you don’t want any part of.
4 – Not Buying British
Last up, unless you’re buying seriously rare tyres that are never available off-the-shelf and must be ordered in, be wary of any online businesses that offer cheap tyres that are imported to order. Chances are they’re very cheap and chances are they’re very imported, but in so many instances you’ll find yourself lumped with the dodgy knock-offs you’re trying to avoid with no comeback when they let you down.