Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Every street corner in the capital and many in the country have sandwich boards advertising cheap tyres at the moment it seems.
But what exactly are you getting? Well, according to TYRESAFE, the UK's non profit regulatory body, a whole lot of ''False Economy'' for a start. In fact Tyresafe found 34% of so called ''Part Worn'' tyres were potentially dangerous. 98% were sold illegally. This doesn't come as a huge surprise to many of us in the industry as we know where these tyres come from. Put simply they are other peoples throwaways or scrap. Originating in countries like Germany where they have excellent quality roads to be sold here in Ireland where we don't! They are thrown away for reasons. The biggest reason being SAFETY. So if you consider the safety of some random German motorist being of more importance than you and your family, they're a great buy!
Tyresafe also found that ''Part Worn'' tyres were actually better described as ''Nearly worn out'' tyres. The price/cost per usable mm was actually dearer than that of a new tyre. So you would find yourself going back to the dirty little corner shop twice as often as coming to our Clean, Air Conditioned and comfortable depot. Still sound like a good deal?
A full set of ''nearly worn out'' tyres will rarely be of the same brand or pattern. This will increase the noise generated from the tyres as there will be inconsistency of vibration and noise output across the axles. Rolling resistance is greatly increased for the same reason so you will use more fuel. Continental Tyre Group are constantly testing their tyres for fuel efficiency. A recent test in Scandinavia saw a car achieve a staggering 2,536km on 70Litres of diesel using the new Conti Eco Contact 5. We would love to see the same results from a set of ''nearly worn outs''. The difference would probably negate the so called saving in a week. False Economy!
These scrap tyres are imported into Ireland in crammed containers with no stock description and are sold to corner shops at a nominal value with no specific description. Therefore they are a VAT loophole and cost the country millions of euro per annum. Not to mention the jobs and revenue lost in businesses like ours who are committed to doing the right thing.
In recent years there has been a spate of thefts of Tyre fitting and balancing equipment around Ireland. These machines are being stolen or fraudulently obtained to order for use in the sort of back yard operation which sells scrap tyres. So you're contributing to criminality as well as costing yourself money.
 It is only a matter of time before legislation will ban the sale of scrap tyres in Ireland. In the meantime it is up to everyone in the tyre industry to educate the customer of the downfalls of purchasing same, The age of some of these tyres will mean cars failing NCTs as a minimum. We can only hope that there are no deaths or serious injuries directly attributable to scrap tyres but if the Tyresafe results are fact, it's difficult to see that that couldn't happen. Dublin taxi drivers will continue to brag about the great ''savings'' they are making as they risk their customers safety and charge for the privilege. And when they go to their regular corner shop depot to spend their cash, the last laugh will be actually on themselves.

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