Friday, 14 October 2011

A Gripping Purchase

I've bitten the bullet and fitted my wee car with winter tyres.  Regular readers will know I thought about purchasing them last year but when I enquired at my local tyre fitters, they told me I could well wait at least two months for delivery as stocks were nearly exhausted.

Also last year I suggested the Scottish government may want to consider legislation for winter tyres for all vehicles driven in Scotland as they do for vehicles in Switzerland.  However that idea, briefly mentioned by the First Minister during the worst of the weather, has fallen by the roadside wayside.

Having winter tyres does not ensure I will be accident free, but it will give me the confidence to proceed with my usual activities, although I'm aware they will be of little use on hard-packed ice.

The cost was not cheap but it included wheels as well as tyres.  I decided, after looking around, it would be worthwhile buying wheels and tyres rather than paying £40 twice a year to have the tyres changed over. The tyre place is happy to store my 'normal' set and to change over tyres and wheels - all free of charge.  Should I sell the car for any reason having a set of winter tyres should
entice a better trade-in price; particularly when the wheels are alloy.  That was very important to my young tyre fitter although of little interest to me.

Should you go down the route of heavy grip tyres, please check with your insurance company as some are insisting they are a modification and upping premiums. Two of my friends had this problem last year with Direct Line and they were so furious they cancelled their policies and found cheaper ones with other companies who did not penalise them for trying to make their vehicles safer.

It will be interesting to see if they make much difference. Now all I need is snow!


Macheath said...

A sound move! I may be stuck in England, but my family in (southern) Scotland have had winter tyres for 2 years and swear by them.

One thing to watch for if only changing the tyres; not all garages are as public-spirited as yours and I've heard of cases where the good summer tyres have 'accidentally' been taken away before the owner returns to collect the car.

Happy winter driving, Subrosa!

pa_broon74 said...

I put new tyres on my car too, not winter tyres mind but its a four wheel drive anyway.

£240 smacks for two! I nearly fell of the chair.

I find it makes little difference though, its all the other drivers who get stuck when it snows, you'd be better off with a helicopter.

Also, having four wheel drive capability is not cunducive to weather-related days of work.


subrosa said...

I've heard good reports here too Macheath. Yes I can imagine in larger towns that could well happen but in this small town the tyre business would fold if they behaved like that.

I could have brought them here and stored them in my own garage but I trust these lads to take care of them. In fact, I'll pop in next week and ask to see where they are. They're very tolerant with pensioners. :)

subrosa said...

Hey pa, you were done! My bill was £541 for the 4 winter tyres, the 4 alloy wheels (cheap ones but look ok I'm told), the fitting, rebalancing etc.

My wee car only has front wheel drive but that hasn't been enough the past two winters.

Very true indeed. That's why I think we should do as the Swiss do then everyone would be safer.

Now, if I had a spare big, big shed, I could store folks normal tyres couldn't i? For a small fee of course. :)

petem130 said...

We bought a snow shovel on-line earlier this week. A man brought it to the door yesterday. It was obviously a snow shovel and he said "do you know something I don't?" All I said back was "Last years winter?" he replied "Ahhh".

I might not use it but then again I just might have to. Next it's a small non perishable food stash. A fully legal shooty gun thing is still a step too far at the moment but I'll keep an open mind on that one mean time.

Sandy said...

A wee tip for next time Rosie.

Just stick winter tyres on cheaper steel rims.

Save you a few quid and the salt in winter will not damage the tyre seat in the same way as an alloy.

Fit plastic hubcaps if you want to go all posh.

subrosa said...

I'm on my third snow shovel in 10 years petem. The one I bought online last year is far too heavy for me so you've reminded me to look in local shops for a replacement.

Round about here a few have the blower and say it's marvellous, but they are expensive and once I get to the stage that I can no longer shift the stuff, then I suppose it will be an option.

subrosa said...

Sandy, I should have asked your advice before I bought these but hope others see it.

The lad seemed hell-bent on the alloys because the car already had alloys. I didn't realise that hub caps were so different. Thought they all did the same job.

Posh? Naw, I leave that to others. :)

Woman on a Raft said...

Yep, two sets of wheels is the way to go. Mr Raft has this set up for a car which has to cope with the dales and moors as well as motorways. Luckily, we have a garage where they can be stored. He might not swap them over himself; it depends - he might put them in the car, take them to the garage and bring the summer wheels back with him to put back in the garage.

The trick is to know when to fit them. On Saturday afternoon I was wandering about the green in a summer jacket but a couple of the weather watchers say it will snow tomorrow. I've known it to be warm in Whitby on Halloween but normally it turns within a few days. I've never known a warm Nov 5th.

subrosa said...

Aye mine were fitted when it was 16 outside WoaR, but the chap said he had a long list of folk waiting so I decided to go ahead.

Unfortunately the tyre place doesn't have a van since their senior mechanic was killed while out fixing an agricultural vehicle, so I decided I wasn't running back and forward with the other tyres. Mind you, I'll pop in this week to see where they're stored and may just change my mind and bring them here as I've plenty room.

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