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Buying winter tyres - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Just moved to the UK from Switzerland. I am driving a Ford S-Max

We take occasional driving trips to the Alps (the next one in 2 weeks). My original plan was to buy some snow chains, but the owners manual says snow chains should not be used if we have larger wheels (225/50/17), which we do.

Second choice would be to buy winter tires....but these seem to be impossible to find in the UK at the moment. Someone suggested to me that there are websites in France and Germany where you can order online and have them shipped to a local UK fitter. I tried using mytyres.co.uk (Germany-based), but it seems rather dodgy (my credit card was refused and they are asking me to send a copy of a utility bill as proof of identity.....have also now seen many negative on-line comments about service).

Anyone have experience with reliable online tire services that have winter tires?

Thanks.

Chris

Edited by Honestjohn on 03/02/2010 at 22:02

Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - daveyjp
Try www.camskill.co.uk.

I've recently used them for 'normal' tyres and their service is better than their website design!

They appear to have your size available in a Vredestein, but you can call them to confirm.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - piston power
blackcircle tyres just got some from them great value.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Thanks for all the replies thus far

Tried blackcircle - they don't sell winter tires
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - dieselfitter
>>but these seem to be impossible to find in the UK at the moment

I s'pose there might have been a run on them in January.......
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Very true...

Hard to get used to coming from Switzerland, where winter tires are legally required :-)
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - drbe
Very true...

>>

Where are you in the UK?

You could try Micheldever Tyre near Winchester. I don't have their number to hand. You could Google them and send an email, they normally reply promptly
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - NARU
You could try Micheldever Tyre near Winchester. I don't have their number to hand. You
could Google them and send an email they normally reply promptly


I agree. They've got some tyres on order for my landcruiser, and are holding some tyres for my motorbike (I'll take the bike wheels down when I go to get the 4x4 tyres). Excellent prices and very easy to deal with.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Live in London, work in Maidenhead
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - gordonbennet
Popular sizes are nearly out of stock at Camskills, with some showing as no stock till October!

Have used Mytyres several times as well as Camskills, never had a problem with either, and never heard of any tbh.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - David Villa
I have also used mytyres.co.uk.

Good range of winter tyres.Recently ordered 4 tyres-they took 3 days to get from their warehouse in Germany to my doorstep.

Excellent service.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Despite a few attempts, no one seems to answer the phone at Camskill....
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Got though to Camskill.....can get tires, but might take a few weeks. Same story as told elsewhere...the allocation of winter tires to the UK is very small......so when a bad winter hits, they all sell out rather quickly
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - uksant
I tried using mytyres.co.uk (Germany-based) but it seems rather dodgy (my credit card
was refused and they are asking me to send a copy of a utility bill
as proof of identity.....have also now seen many negative on-line comments about service).

I recently bought winter tyres from mytyres.co.uk 'quite' successfully. After having placed the order by credit card I received an email asking for proof of id. I think this was because I wanted the tyres delivered to my home address rather than to one of their associated tyre fitters.

I would recommend first phoning their free 0800 number (gets you through a very polite and fluent English-speaking 'agent') to make sure they have the tyre(s) you want in stock, because I did a trial run of their website and it's not hooked in to their stock system. Only when they confirmed over the phone that they had a stock of 145 tyres of the exact make & size I wanted did I place the order online.

They ship from a warehouse in Germany so delivery took about 3 working days after the transaction had actually gone through.

Ultimately, no-one else had the tyres in stock (neither Camskill nor any of the local tyre places) and mytyres.co.uk were able to supply within a reasonable timeframe so I really can't fault them. The tyre fitter I used wasn't even able to get the Vredesteins I wanted directly from Vredestein themselves, and apparently I paid a little more than would normally be the case but that's supply and demand as I think people are starting to find out. For me, it was a choice of

mytyres.co.uk + winter tyres + my wife & kids are safe

or

no tyre supplier + no winter tyres + car undriveable in any more than half an inch of snow
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Thanks for all the comments on mytyres.co.uk - very helpful. I did call them and they verified tires are "in stock"....so I'll keep everyone posted on the results
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Focus {P}
As an aside, spent the weekend in northern Finland, which was as you'd expect at this time of year covered in snow and between -15 and -20 during the day. I know they're used to it, but barreling along an only partially cleared road in the bus from the airport at what felt like 60mph was pretty unnerving, especially going around corners when you could feel the lateral G force building up. No chains, just winter tyres.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Dave N
Buses and trucks don't usually have winter tyres. The operators usually just fit new regular ones at the start of winter. Certainly here in Sweden there is no requirement for anything over 3.5 tons to have winter tyres, and in fact there are none available. In tests on commercial vehicles with specially made winter tyres, they were shown to have no advantage anyway.

But when the snow and ice come, the ditches aren't full of coaches and jack-knifed trucks, so it must all come down to driver experience.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Focus {P}
Buses and trucks don't usually have winter tyres.


I'm glad you didn't tell us that last week :-)

Edited by Focus {P} on 03/02/2010 at 09:47

Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Mike H
But when the snow and ice come the ditches aren't full of coaches and jack-knifed
trucks so it must all come down to driver experience.

....or perhaps because a) they don't go as fast as cars in general, and b) they have more weight to hold them on the road? :-)
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - tim-cumbria
I looked at the tyres on our Ford Transit at work, it looks as if the tread provided for such vehicles may be more suited to snow conditions, they look half-way to winter tyres.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Mike H
Mytyres, as most other peole have said, are excellent for service. I even ordered two winter tyres once and they sent 4 by mistake....that's what I call service! And wouldn't you rather they check your credentials than have someone fraudulently using your credit card? You'd be unlikely to beat their winter tyre prices due to their german connections - I was quoted silly prices by UK-based companies such as Blackcircles.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
The experience with mytyres was slightly bumpy

After making the purchase on-line, I never received a confirming e-mail. I called them...and they said they had sent me an e-mail letting me know my credit card had been refused and requiring a copy of a utility bill (I never received this e-mail).

Regardless, I provided the copy of the utility bill since I was assured during the first call that they had the tires I wanted in stock. I called to confirm they had received it my utility bill. I was told I would receive an e-mail confirming the shipment.

I callled them later today to check status having received no confirming e-mail. They were then sad to inform me that the tires were not available...and that they would send me an e-mail later today offering an alternative tire.

I did receive this e-mail..which said they have no options for the size I am looking for...and they have no idea when tires will be available.

The folks on the phone do appear helpful enough...but are obviously not armed with up to date info.

Ugh.

Chris



Edited by Swissguy on 03/02/2010 at 19:42

Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Red Baron
I bought winter tyres (Vredstein Snowtrac 3) at the beginning of January direct from a local fitter near where I live because many places, including online did not have any in stock. Speaking to the chap who runs the place...he said that the all quotes for the larger size tyres (such as yours) would be delivery in APRIL!!! The main reason for this is that winter tyres are produced in the summer and once you get to November, the manufacturers are rolling (sic) out summer tyres.

Besides, wide winter tyres are a bit pointless - they will still act like skis. You really ought to go down to even 15 inch wheels and much narrower tyres to have maximum benefit. Narrower tyres will be more widely available too.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Good point about the narrower tires...although then I assume I will have to invest in wheel hubs as well for the narrower tires....

Edited by Swissguy on 04/02/2010 at 08:21

Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - uksant
Good point about the narrower tires...although then I assume I will have to invest in
wheel hubs as well for the narrower tires....


Fitting wheels of a different size to that which the car was originally supplied with will be classed as a modification by insurers, so they need to be told. Could, of course, impact insurance premium.
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Lovely :-)
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - ipsfr
In the handbook for my Touran there are several wheel/tyre combinations listed. I have wide alloys, and I simply chose the narrow tyre size that normally goes on the steel rims. It's in the book, hence no need to notify the insurers and no reason for any increase in premium. In any case you are making the car safer, aren't you?
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - ipsfr
I have bought from the French and German websites of this German company before with no problem, both summer and winter tyres. That said, I typically buy winter tyres in October and for a fairly bog standard rim size.

If normal metal snow chains cannot be fitted you might want to check whether the Michelin Easyfit version will work. They are made of a polyamide (or something) web, which works the same way as metal chains but is much lighter and I think needs less clearance. They are also less likely to flail the brakes to death should they break. You would probably need to check with Michelin direct to see if they would be suitable for your car, but it might get you out of the hole with regard to the unavailability of the tyres you need.

Ian
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Which company...mytyres?

I am still holding out hope that a firm in France or Germany might have tires...any other companies on the continent that people have had good experiences with?

Thanks again to all for the helpful comments thus far.

Chris
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - PatrickO
www.snowchains.co.uk/main/weisssock.htm

Get socks instead!
Buying winter tyres - online or otherwise - FotheringtonThomas
Hey! I saw some of those in use, I thought someone'd strapped orange trailer tie-down straps on, and thought "I bet they wouldn't last long!"!
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - ipsfr
Yes, Mytyres. It's a German company, Delticom, that runs subsidiaries in many european countries, also the US and Canada, even Japan. Look at the bottom of the mytyres.co.uk page and you'll see the flags and if you float the mouse over each flag the names of the sites in different countries - reifendirekt.de, 123pneus.fr, eiretyres.com etc etc. Maybe one of the other companies would help?

Where exactly are you going?
Buying winter tires - online or otherwise - Swissguy
already tried mytyres...

Switzerland - Arosa. Last 30 km is a very windy narrow road.
Buying winter tyres - online or otherwise - David Villa
Sorry you've had problems ordering from mytyres.

I actually rang them on the freephone number to check the availability and spoke to a very helpful lady who confirmed availability and took my credit card details.

One e-mail later,some on-line package tracking and 3 days later the 4 winter tyres were on my doorstep and put on to a set of rims and my daughter's car within an hour of them arriving.

So,definitely would recommend using mytyres via their phone ordering service.
Buying winter tyres - online or otherwise - Ben 10
I enquired about winter tyres at my local tyre fitters. For one off trips to snowy parts of Europe they rent snow tyres. Anyone else heard of this type of offer?
Buying winter tyres - online or otherwise - Swissguy
Sounds like a billiant option...but not one I was able to find

In the end we are going to drive to the main city at the foot of the mountain and hire a cab for the last 30km ride up the mountain.....

Thanks again to all for the replies

Buying winter tyres - online or otherwise - dumbo
A friend goes to Winnipeg in Canada where she has family. There, from the moment the snow falls it is kept compacted by the local council. You get your local tyrefitters to come and take off your summer rims and tyres and put on the winter ones you have in your garage. In the Spring you just have the process reversed.

Our friend says it's standard practice and works well.
Buying winter tyres - online or otherwise - PR {P}
Its probably too late now but I was having similar dilemma about a skiing trip. I have hired some Spikes Spiders...

tinyurl.com/ydetp34

It costs £65 for 13 days hire (from the start of your holiday) but they send them a good 10 days prior to that for no extra cost to familiarise with fitting etc..
 

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