Can we get a local tyre dealer to fit winter tyres to our 318d rather than pay BMW's prices?

We have a BMW 318d Touring with 225/45 R17 91V Continental Sport Contact 2 SSR runflat tyres. We want to fit winter tyres for a European trip this winter and similar trips in future. BMW has quoted £785 including fitting for set of 16-inch steel wheels with Pirelli W210 Sottozero 2 non-runflats, or £900 for a set of 16-inch steel wheels and Dunlop Winter Sport M3 runflats, which are both above our budget.

Is there any reason why we shouldn’t get a local tyre dealer to fit 17-inch winter tyres on our existing wheels, which is going to work out massively cheaper? Assuming these are non-runflats, will this have any adverse effect on the runflat sensor when the regular tyres are refitted? Anything else to be careful of?

Asked on 22 October 2010 by RN, Eastbourne,

Answered by Honest John
One reason for a separate set of rims is the cost of removing and refitting the tyres twice a year, which will work out at £10 - £25 a wheel including balancing, so £80- to £200 a year, assuming none of the tyres get damaged in the process. Another reason is that 16” tyres will work better than 17s in the snow. But you may get a cheaper set of rims and tyres from: www.mytyres.co.uk ; www.Wheel-Base.co.uk or www.rarerims.co.uk.

If they are non-standard BMW rims then you have to declare them to your insurer as a modification and face a premium increase.
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