Need new tyres? I think tyre retailing is about to get upended. It’s still confusing as hell, though, so let’s shine some light in this somewhat dark automotive corner.
Save thousands on a new car here (Australia only):
Visit Tyroola for discount new tyres online (Australia only):
the tyre industry has three main problems: Firstly, only a very small number of people jump out of bed one morning and enthusiastically, passionately embrace the concept of buying a new set of tyres.
For most of us, tyres are just a grudge purchase. They wear out. They need to be replaced. That’ll be $600 you don’t get to spend on something f-u-n.
Second – they’re all black and round, so they’re not especially differentiated from competitors in the visual domain.
Finally, the guy over the counter, advising you (if that’s the right word): Did you ever stop to think that he might be shoe-horning you into the tyres that are right for him, commercially, and not the ones that are right for you?
This can be quite coercive – especially if you’re a chick, or if you just don’t know much about cars.
This is why I so like the idea of shopping for tyres online. What I found after several years of all those tests was that all the premium tyre brands – the one you are most familiar with – they all perform about the same overall, for a particular spec of tyre.
So – if you’ve got a 245/45 R17 93V – or something – then that size and load rating is going to perform about the same from all those top tier brands you know – Pirelli, Michelin, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Continental, Yokohama – you know the brands I mean. The good ones.
And the brands I’d categorise as ‘tier 2’ – like Toyo, Hankook, Kumho, etc. – they’re almost as good in terms of overall performance. Sometimes they’re very good.
There is, however, a huge difference when it comes to the ‘no name’ brands – and the ‘unknown name’ brands. When the chips are down, in the rain, at night, when stopping and swerving ability really could be life or death, you’d wish you weren’t such a cheapskate up front, I’d suggest.
What I’m saying is: If you can find a discount on a top-tier branded tyre, go for it. For me it’s less about Pirelli versus Dunlop or Michelin, and more about ‘what’s good, and on sale’?
at Tyroola you just enter your tyre size and your geographic location, and you can shop available brands and prices in just a few clicks.
Best way to get the tyre size right is get down in the dirt and copy it off the sidewall – it’ll be 225/45 R17 97W (or something). You don’t even have to know what that means. However if you want to double-check, do these two things:
Number one: Make sure the front and rear tyres are the same size. Most mainstream cars run the same size all round but some performance cars have bigger rubber at the rear.
Number two: Make sure the size you just wrote down is on the tyre placard, which is just inside the door frame. They’re the approved tyres for the car.
If all that checks out, that’s all you need to pump into the Tyroola search fields. They seem to be pretty brand agnostic. You select the tyres you want, you click and pay, and they either get delivered to a fitting shop near your home or work, or you can elect mobile fitting, which comes to you.
Which is a pretty neat way to buy tyres if you ask me. Just remember what I said about the performance of the tier one and two brands versus the unknown-name cheapies – you could unwittingly be dicing with death. And saving cash. Yesssss!
There is of course, a certain class of buyer who just wants the cheapest tyres available. They get what they pay for, and I suppose over geologic time the gene pool will be purified somewhat by this process.
So I spoke to the dudes at Tyroola. And they are not sponsoring this video. But they seem pretty serious and committed to disrupting the somewhat Dickensian retail model for tyres – and that’s gotta be a good thing. They’ve set up a dedicated AutoExpert landing page – again, not sponsored – that’s tyroola.com.au/autoexpert
I checked out the prices – they seem pretty sharp to me.
Check ‘em out, via tyroola.com.au/autoexpert, and if you decide to go ahead, let me know how it goes in the comments feed below. If Tyroola proves reliable and the value and service is good, we might be able to channel a bit of commerce their way, and stop some consumers getting manipulated with bad advice over the counter.
They have a pretty solid referral program as well – so if you get together with friends, colleagues or family you could save substantially.