Dealer said my tyres need changed due to cracks on the surface. Is this a con?

I took my Mercedes E-Class for its MOT at my local Mercedes dealer. I received a strange phone call from the tyre department advising me that my rear two tyres need replacement because of age rather than tyre wear. My car is a 2015 model with only 4600 miles on the clock. When I challenged that they said that tyres tend to deteriorate with age and develop cracks on the surface. They quoted me £420 including VAT and fitting. When I said I would like to get an independent assessment, they dropped the price to £350 all-inclusive. This reeked of a blatant rip-off. I told them I do not want to get them replaced, and they agreed reluctantly. Please advise. Also, could you please recommend good all-weather tyres for my car, considering I do very little mileage (having other run-around cars in the family)?

Asked on 22 January 2021 by Satpal Bhogal

Answered by Georgia Petrie
While there's no definitive age limit as to when you should replace your car tyres, once they reach 7- 10 years old, you should keep a close eye on their condition and consider replacing them. Tyre ageing is commonly identified by small cracks, known as crazing, which appear in the tyre sidewall. This can happen more significantly after 5 years, and some experts suggest that after 5 years - close attention should be paid to the tyres as they're more likely to start deteriorating. I would Google image search crazing if you don't know what it looks like, and then take a look at your tyres. Then you can make your own decision on whether the dealer was right or not.

As for the all-weather tyres, I don't know your tyre size so can't be too specific - but we highly rate Michel CrossClimate+, Continental AllSeasonContact or Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2. Saying that, if you're not doing very high mileage but want all-season tyres, I'd go onto Black Circles, Kwik-Fit or another online tyre retailer's website and input your tyre size. You might find that a mid-range brand is more financially savvy if the car isn't seeing a lot of miles.
Tags: tyres
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