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Flat broke

A friend is changing his 2006 BMW 330i SE Coupe. It is in pristine condition and he has offered it to me. However, it is on 19" wheels and in the last 2 years he has had 3 punctures and had cause to replace another tyre. The tyres cost over £250 each because they are runflats and sometimes tyre distributors don't have them in stock so you have to buy them from BMW and they cost over £340. My problem is that if I buy the car and want to sell it in 2 - 3 years time it may be worth about £9k, but no one is going to buy a £9k BMW for which the tyres cost £250 each. I asked BMW Bridgwater if they had a conversion to a normal tyre, but they just got defensive and told me it wasn't a problem and as a result you can't change the tyres to a standard set-up of normal tyres and space saver/spare wheel. Is there a solution? If not I think I'll buy a new Japanese car with a more practical tyre arrangement.

Asked on 20 February 2010 by R.F., via e-mail

Answered by Honest John
First he's been going to the wrong place. www.event-tyres.co.uk are not only 30% cheaper, they usually have good stocks of all sizes. Second, a new type of Bridgestone Runflat is just arriving called RFT3s, with softer sidewalls, so there is no ride quality penalty. Third, Runflats can usually be repaired, but the carcass has to be inspected first and, since that means taking the tyre off the rim, most tyre fitters think they might as well fit a new tyre and make proper money out of the job. Fourth, 19" wheels with 30 - 35 profile tyres are basically unsuited to UK road use. You need to switch to 18" with slightly deeper profile tyres. I think 18" is the minimum that will clear the front brake callipers of a 330i.
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Stylish four-seater coupe. Plenty of room for four and their luggage. Comes with a great choice of engines including frugal diesels. 335i is outstanding to drive.

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