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Running a car

How to get new tyres fitted

You'll probably buy your first car with the tyres in pretty good nick (I bet your dad did a fair bit of tyre kicking when you went to look at it, huh? Mine did.).

However, it's pretty unlikely they were brand new, so at some point in your first few years on the road, you're going to need to buy new tyres and have them fitted.

Here's how to buy and fit new tyres

  1. Find a tyre centre near you

    Some centres will offer free wheel alignment checks and things like that, so have a look around your local area to see what the best deal is.

    The actual fitting process won't take that long (you'll probably be waiting about half an hour) so you could go further afield if you found a bloomin' good offer.

    There are centres that will come out to you to fit your tyres, which is OUTSTANDINGLY handy, but they won't be able to do your wheel alignment.

  2. Check what tyres you need

    Once you've chosen the tyre centre you're going to, use their website to find the tyres you need to buy. You can choose tyres for yourself (winter tyres, for example) but most tyre centre sites will let you put in your reg to find the right ones.

    When you know which tyres are recommended, it's worth checking the tyres you have on your car right now and what it says in your logbook. Yep, they might not match - could be someone hasn't followed the advice OR you might have non-standard sized wheels.

    I was recommended tyres for 15 inch wheels based on my car's model - but I found out my wheels are actually 16 inch. Check!
  3. Decide how many tyres you're buying

    You'll be buying in twos because each pair will wear at about the same rate - but are you replacing the whole set (advisable) or just the back/front?

    Replacing them all at once is going to give you a better ride and fuel efficiency, and of course, you'll avoid having to swap them in 2 goes later on.

    However, as tyres can cost a fair whack, most people buy 2 at a time. Check for deals on sets though.

  4. Add up what it's going to cost you

  5. When you get your tyres changed, you'll pay for:
    • The tyres themselves - anywhere from around £100 to several hundred for a fancy pair
    • Having the tyres fitted
    • New tyre valves - old ones could be perished, which will let the air out or even cause blow out
    • Having your wheels balanced, which distributes weight evenly to make sure your tyres wear at the same rate, your fuel efficiency isn't affected and your car doesn't wobble to one side (this can cause a tyre to blow or even a wheel to come off)
    ...and optional but a VERY good idea:
    • Having your wheel alignment checked and adjusted, which makes sure your car drives 100% straight
     
  6. Book your slot at the tyre centre

    Lots of places do online booking to go with their lovely tyre searchers (Halford's and Kwik Fit are going to be the most straight-forward but you may not get the best deal) but smaller independent centres may need a call.

    If you don't mind waiting around or it's an emergency, you can just turn up at most places.

  7. Turn up at the centre with money

    Duh. It's a spendy day, so make sure you've got the funds.

    KEEP THE RECEIPT (which will have your reg and the type of tyres you had fitted on it, as well as wheel alignment and so on) and put it with your ownership records. If you sell your car, having proof of when it had new tyres is a good selling point.

Keep up with all the other maintenance your car needs to stay healthy.


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .