Does my wife's car really need new tyres after five years?

Over the last couple of weeks my wife, who has a prestigious German car, has been contacted twice by our local dealer. He advised that because the car was five years old they were obliged by Health & Safety rules to recommend that the tyres should be changed, not because of wear but because of age. I have never heard of such a thing. Is this true or is it a rather slippery marketing ploy. Needless to say we ignored their advice, but an elderly vulnerable driver could easily have been taken in.

Asked on 4 June 2011 by JC, Camberley

Answered by Honest John
That's a new one on me. It's true that generally tyres with high carbon black content can start to deteriorate after five years or so subject to UV rays, but the deterioration is obvious in the form of cracking. No cracking, no problem. And, of course, you do not pay a dealer for him to take your car to a fast fit place to change the tyres. You go to the fast fit place directly and benefit from the money you save.
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