How to save money buying new tyres for your car

buying new tyres
Even tyres for a small car can prove expensive (Picture iStock/GeorgeRudy)

Buying new tyres is one of the necessary evils of running a car. Not only do tyres inevitably come to the end of their life, they’re also deceptively expensive. Replacing all four tyres on even a modest family saloon can leave you without much change from £500. And the bigger the car, the more you’ll pay. Buy four new tyres for a high-performance motor and it’ll cost the thick end of £2000. But there are ways to save money without scrimping on safety.

Find out about your tyres

As with buying anything, price is determined by supply and demand. If your car has an unusual tyre size, or perhaps different tyres on the front to the back, the chances are they’ll be harder to find and therefore more expensive. If they are a common what’s known as fitment, there’ll be plenty of choice and the price will be lower. You can then devote more time to shopping around in the knowledge that you might reap some rewards.

Shop around

Just like when you buy anything, it pays to shop around to get the best price when buying new tyres. In addition to small independent tyre fitters, there are also companies that offer a mobile service, large chains of so-called fast fit operators and internet tyre retailers. When you’re doing your sums, remember to factor in the cost of actually having the tyres mounted on the wheels. That super-cheap internet retailer can suddenly look quite expensive if a garage is charging you £15 per wheel to fit those apparently bargain-priced tyres.

Why fitting is important

How new tyres are fitted is vital to how they perform. A good tyre fitter will balance every wheel once the new tyre is fitted. They shouldn’t charge for it either. This is because when new tyres are fitted, they will send the wheel out of balance. This will cause a vibration through the steering wheel.

In order to rebalance them, tyre fitters will put the tyre on a machine which will tell them exactly where and how much weight is needed to re-balance them. In addition to being more comfortable in the car, this will ensure you get more wear out of your tyres.

buying new tyres
Wheels need to be balanced and aligned after new tyres have been fitted to guarantee the best performance (Picture iStock/wathanyu)

Book in advance

If you do your research and shop around, the next step is to book an appointment. You’ll always get a better deal by doing that than simply turning up at the dealer. In addition, it could prevent you from having a wasted journey. There are so many makes and sizes of tyre that not all retailers have every tyre in stock. They may have to order them.

Premium or budget?

For a small family car you can spend anywhere between around £40 and £90 for a tyre. But buying cheap won’t always save you money. Manufacturing a tyre that has grip in the wet, handles the road well in the dry and doesn’t wear out too quickly is a skilled business. Premium makers such as Continental, Michelin and Goodyear spend billions between them achieving that balance. Budget manufacturers don’t have the same resources so although their tyres might be cheaper to buy, you may not get as many miles out of them, making them more expensive in the long run. There are similar arguments against buying part-worn tyres.

buying new tyres
There’s a huge choice when it comes to buying new tyres (Picture iStock/thawornnurak)

Can it be repaired?

If you suffer a puncture, you may not need a new tyre. It is possible and entirely legal to repair punctured tyres. And it’s an awful lot cheaper than buying a completely new tyre.

However, the repair must be within a certain area on the tyre. That’s the central portion of the tread. Repair a tyre on the sidewalls and as well as being illegal it could well be dangerous as it affects the tyre’s construction.

20 comments on “How to save money buying new tyres for your car

  1. Gilbert hamblett 11/10/2019 7:58 PM

    A rather misleading title, yes. Where is the advice about saving money? What you have written us all rather obvious.

  2. Brian Holdford 12/10/2019 7:28 AM

    You havent made any mention of ‘run flat tyres’

  3. Harry 12/10/2019 9:19 AM

    Shopping around is KEY!!
    Many small independent tyre garages are way cheaper than the well known companies, even with their discounts and offers which might seem unbeatable.

  4. Gerald OBrien 12/10/2019 10:38 AM

    I wish you could provide a diagram of exactly which parts of the tyre can be repaired
    other than just the central part.I know the sidewall cannot be repaired but there are
    times when I’ve had tyres repaired at a National garage mechanics tell me I need a new
    tyre even though the damage is on the tread and not the sidewall.

  5. Tom 12/10/2019 10:49 AM

    What about the winter, summer tyre issue

  6. Dave haddock 13/10/2019 7:36 AM

    Tyres can be repaired in the side wall. It takes longer because the repair needs heated to weld the repair. Busy garages dont offer the repair because they loose a bay for two hours. It is more expensive, but cheaper than a new tyre.

  7. Geoffrey Bazeley 13/10/2019 3:26 PM

    Hi all our local firms all get together and isn’t a toss between the lot of them and do you get your money worth if you brand names they all can get a punchers

  8. Gail Wilkins 14/10/2019 7:50 AM

    There are cars out there that don’t have spares only the foam that you have to use. So this a new tyre whatever happens.

  9. David March 14/10/2019 11:38 AM

    Your photo above with reference to wheel balancing is showing a car having its wheel alignment checked.

    • Mike Shaw 04/11/2019 12:00 PM

      Good catch, David, and everyone else who spotted this mistake.

  10. Pilgrim Ken 14/10/2019 11:40 AM

    This might have more credibility BUT the photo for wheel balancing is showing the tracking being checked, which doesn’t change when you change the tyres!

  11. Allan Pothecary 14/10/2019 4:43 PM

    I went to a local tyre fitter and a really nice, friendly guy quoted me for new tyres showing me massive discounts he was able to give.
    I checked the prices out with a well known site then booked through them to the same place for just over £40.00 per tyre cheaper for exactly the same thing.

  12. Alistair Willis 15/10/2019 12:11 PM

    Garages refuse to repair punctures on run flats as the tyre side walls may have been damaged. A good reason to dump the run flats and use conventional tyres and carry a space saver spare in the boot. Conventional tyres last longer, quieter on the motorway and are a third cheaper.

  13. Michael 16/10/2019 9:26 AM

    What of rum flat tyres? What do the experts say?

  14. Julie Leek 16/10/2019 4:05 PM

    My husband recently bought two brand new all weather tyres. He had these fitted on the front wheels and the older front tyres, which still had plenty of tread, put on the back. However, his mate said he should have put the all weather tyres on the rear wheels and left the others on the front. Which of them is right? We drive a VW Golf GTI.

  15. P. Atkinson 16/10/2019 4:17 PM

    I bought a new tyre from ford dealer, they fitted a nurex tyre in stead of a continental, all the other tyres were continental on my car. They never said that they did not stock continental tyres? On my dash board it started to flash my tyres had loss pressure. I had to put pressure in the two front tyres. I took my car back to the dealers, waited 3hrs for them to check for leakage. none found.

  16. Norman Burrell 16/10/2019 8:02 PM

    It is definitely a good idea to shop around on the internet but sometimes the deals are short lived so try not to spend too much time searching before getting them fitted and if ordering online make absolutely sure you have the correct tyre sizes for your car.You can put in your registration and it will show the recommended tyres but double check your existing tyres. Of course it is getting more complicates as there are now, Summer tyres, Winter tyres All Season tyres, reinforced tyres, Heavy load tyres, All year tyres, All weather tyres, Flange shield or rim protected tyres, the list goes on and on. Have you ever considered that an unused perfect spare tyre that has been in a boot for six years shouldn’t really be mixed with other tyres on your car for a length of time also tyres with near perfect legal tread but are over 10 years old may not be road worthy (as in those fitted to classic or rarely used cars).

  17. J W Watling 10/09/2020 6:12 PM

    Can I buy new tyres through green flag

    • steven 29/12/2023 5:47 PM


  18. Chris Pederson 17/09/2020 5:18 PM

    Thanks for explaining how fitting new tyres is vital to how they perform. I’d like to get some new tyres that will last me a long time. I’ll go buy some new ones but I’ll be sure they are fitted on just right.

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