Buyers' advice, Motoring News, vehicle maintenance

Looking for new tyres? Here’s some great advice for prices

  • Buying tyres? It can pay big-time to shop around
  • Look at real ‘street pricing’ at fitting specialists
  • …and check prices in other regions

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Research by The Lightstone organisation, using anonymous shoppers visiting tyre-fitting centres and asking for the best price on a specific tyre size, have thrown up some interesting dat

”The results,” Lightstone says, ”are certainly interesting – particularly where pricing is concerned…”

And so save you, dear reader, perhaps a bundle of cash.

However, Lightstone Consumer MD Paul de Vantier enlarged: “Tyres are safety-critical. Price is always important but should not be the first consideration – consider tyre wear, too.

“A quote might seem cheaper but that tyre might last for only 30 000km while a slightly more expensive one might last 90 000 km.”

CHEAPER CAN BE VALUE

One interesting survey finding was the plethora of tyre brands available in South Africa. 81 brands were encountered across almost 2500 recommendations.

De Vantier added: “Many of these tyres, including those you might not have heard of, are actually of fairly good quality. However buyers should be cautious and take the advice of a trusted tyre specialist.”

The Lightstone survey was conducted in Gauteng, kwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, the focus being on major metro areas.

Here are 24 of the most commonly-used tyre sizes for cars and light commercial:

155/70R13
185/65R14
205/60R16
225/45R17
245/70R16
155/80R12
195/65R15
205/R16R16
235/35R19
245/75R15
175/65R14
195/80R14
215/65R16
235/40R18
255/60R17
175/70R14
195/R15C 80R15
215/70R16
245/35R20
265/65R17
185/60R15
205/55R16
225/40R18
245/45R19

To help you to understand tyre sizes, here’s a guide using a 205/60 R16 as an example:

205: Section Width – this is the width in millimetres.
60: Aspect Ratio – this is the percentage of the tyre’s sidewall height compared to the tyre’s width.
R: means the tyre has a radial-ply construction
16: Rim diameter – the diameter of the rim in inches.

Price, however, depends very much on where you are. For example, prices for a 185/60R15 ranged significantly, depending on brand or region; The average price of a Continental tyre in this size ranged from R874 in the Eastern Cape to R1065 in Gauteng.

However the permutations don’t end there: the price for the same tyre,in Gauteng, ranged from R650 to R2475.

If you’re not fussy about the brand you can find the same-sized tyre for R518.

PRICES BY REGIONS

Prices by region varied within different tyre sizes and brands but remained similar; we couldn’t say that on average any region was more expensive than another although it was noted that the market is particularly competitive in KZN and Gauteng.

WHAT ARE ‘LOW PROFILES’?

While bigger rims and low-profile tyres look great and offer improved handling, think twice before selecting this option. When it comes to replacement, a low-profile 17” tyre can sometimes cost twice as much as a standard-profile 16”.

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