It’s not news that maintaining a vehicle can be expensive. There are a lot of moving parts in a car, and those parts are complex. Then there are all those accessories and operating costs. It’s completely understandable, then, that many motorists look to save money wherever they can.
This is usually a good philosophy, but there’s a difference between saving money and getting value for money. Value for money means you get a quality product at a good price; and it can take some legwork to find a quality product in an industry worth $5 billion dollars annually. Saving money by cutting corners or buying inferior-quality parts can be downright dangerous, especially when it comes to buying cheap tyres. You might save a few bucks up front, but buying cheap tyres can be really costly in the long run. Here are 8 reasons you should never buy cheap tyres.
1. You can’t resell them
While cars and the parts and accessories that accompany them can be expensive, good cars and quality products can hold their value over the long-term. If you buy a quality set of tyres – and then for some reason or another decide they don’t suit you – you can usually get decent money reselling them. If you’ve bought a no-name brand that is poor quality, though? It will be hard to find a secondhand buyer for them.
2. They’re unsafe
Quality tyres must pass rigorous safety standards in order to be offered on the market. The time and money put into the research and development of new safety technology actually comprise part of the cost of each new set. The same does not always apply to cheap tyres. While there can be various workarounds to this (such as selling cheap tyres as ‘for display only’), however, they are marketed, it always ends up with the buyer putting themselves (and others) at risk by using them.
3. You can’t hold someone accountable
One of the principles of business in Australia is that anything you buy is presumed to be in good working order unless otherwise stated. It also means if something does go wrong with a product you purchase, you can hold the seller accountable under the law. But cheap tyres can often be traced back to dubious suppliers or manufacturers. This means when something goes wrong with the tyres, you’ll struggle to make your complaint heard or find a solution to the problem.
4. You could be held liable
If you end up buying a set of tyres from one of these dubious suppliers or manufacturers, you could be held responsible for any mishap that occurs as a result of their malfunction. This could be something as simple as your insurance company is unwilling to honour a claim if you skid coming out of your driveway, all the way up to a serious investigation if your car is involved in an accident. In addition to risking your own life, you could potentially be risking the lives of other drivers around you. Tyres that seem cheap at first can become really expensive in an accident.
5. They wear out faster
Beyond these serious safety concerns, cheap tyres are also not great value for money. While all tyres wear out eventually, quality tyres (especially when rotated and properly cared for) will last through many seasons. Cheap tyres can begin to show wear and tear after just one.
6. They create problems for other parts of your car
Tyres play a crucial part in your car’s performance. If your tyres are worn, deflated, or otherwise damaged, they can add considerably to the daily operating costs of your car. Then there is the increased risk of damage to other parts of your car due to the constant strain and toll of accelerating and braking on poor-quality tyres.
7. They look bad
Picture this: you have a sleek black sports car, an all-white 4WD, or maybe a gorgeous fire-red sedan. You’re pretty sure you bought black tyres to go along with the colour scheme you had in mind for your new ride. That is why you’ll be more than a little annoyed when you notice your tyres are starting to fade to grey, blue, or any other non-black colour that definitely wasn’t in the brochure. That’s cheap tyres for you.
8. Buying cheap tyres rewards poor production
If we didn’t properly celebrate innovation and progress in the auto industry, there would be no Ferraris, Porsches, or Mustangs. Sure, not every single vehicle or accessory that’s released on the market needs to be a game-changer, but rewarding poor quality can lead to a race to the bottom.’
While it may seem like the auto industry isn’t a field where much change can really occur, in reality, it’s one of the few that can. The success of Elon Musk’s Tesla has shown that there is extensive interest in high-end electric cars, whereas before there was none. That same emphasis on innovation means that manufacturers of poor-quality products will find themselves going out of business when demand ceases. That’s why it is vital to vote with your feet – and your wallet.
Buying cheap tyres will always be tempting. There are plenty of expenses surrounding car ownership, and the chance to keep a little more money in your pocket is always a good idea. The reality is, though, that cheap tyres will be expensive in the long run.
Instead of investing in a poor set of wheels that could literally see your car cut corners, look instead at the many other ways in which you can save money if costs are a big concern. Use apps to make your ride more efficient, and keep up with routine maintenance. Do these two things, and incorporate other good habits into your ride, and you’ll have extra cash to spare to buy a set of really nice quality tyres.