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13 Reasons why Cheap Tires should be avoided  

Why you shouldn't buy cheap tires

When it comes to buying tires for your car or truck, you really do get what you pay for. There are some cheap tires or budget tires available and while some might be tempted to save some money, tires are one of those things that are just too important to make buying decisions on, based just on cost.

Here are 13 good reasons why you should avoid buying cheap tires.

  1. They don’t last very long
  2. They’re more dangerous to handle
  3. Tread carefully
  4. Longer braking distances
  5. Not built for comfort
  6. Noisey rides
  7. Low product quality
  8. Low or no resale value
  9. They make your car look cheap
  10.  Fuel economy suffers
  11.  They can damage other car parts
  12.  Insurance costs may go up
  13.  They hurt the environment

1. They don’t last very long

By using a cheaper tire model, you will be driving on rubber compound material which doesn’t have the same physical qualities as popular or recognised brands and models. The material on these cheaper tires is less durable and less reliable in terms of handling and performance,  Due to a reduced durability, the owner of the vehicle will have to replace their tire far more often, therefore costing the user far much more money than they would’ve spent had they just bought a more durable, reliable and premium tire which would last longer. 

2. Handling can be dangerous

Good quality tires are designed to handle well in a variety of road conditions. But cheaper tires don’t have the same design and can make handling at best very difficult, and at worst dangerous in some conditions. Handling is just not a feature of driving which anyone should want to compromise on due to the inherent safety risk and lack of control that comes with it. In various weather conditions, including wet, dry and snowy road surfaces, even at higher driving speeds, a good quality tire will handle all of these well. But a cheap tire will always struggle and potentially put the driver into a dangerous situation, raising the risk of losing control and an accident occurring. 

3. Tread Carefully

The thickness, depth and pattern of a tire tread greatly impacts on its performance and this is reflected in the price. Cheaper tires have cheaper and thinner treads. A thicker tread can assist in handling in road conditions such as ice, snow and mud. A tire with better tread will cost a bit more than a cheap model, but it gives the driver the ability to handle a greater range of conditions. If you happen to regularly drive in harsh weather conditions, then shelling out a greater sum of money to purchase a decent set of tires is more than worth it, as cheap treads will only end up leaving you stuck, sliding or in danger of going off the road or having accidents in more dangerous cases. 

4. Longer Braking Distances

Braking is a vital part of the driving experience and the braking distances are something which are methodically tested as safety features in all vehicles. Tire tests are carried out on all recognized brands and models and a huge part of this is the distance it takes to stop the car once the brakes have been applied. A cheaper set of tires will almost certainly have a longer braking distance, compared to better quality tires. This means if the driver had to halt suddenly, everyone in the vehicle is at a greater risk of being in a collision due to the longer time it would take to stop the car. This is why investing a little more in better quality tires will enhance the safety protection you have while driving, and means you’re much less likely to have any accidents on the road.

5. They’re not built for comfort

A higher quality tire will give the driver a smoother and more comfortable ride and driving experience. This is because they are designed to absorb a greater amount of the bumps, shocks and potholes along the road surface. While this may not have the most serious impact on the driver, not feeling every bump in the road is a nice comfort for the extra cost, while cheaper tires may become frustrating for the driver and passengers due to the bumpier ride.

6. Noisey rides

Cheaper tires are made with a reduced amount of rubber, therefore have an inherently weaker construction. This can lead to the tires producing a greater amount of noise while on the road, especially at higher speeds, making it a noisier ride for the driver and passengers. Of course different brands and models and different types of tire will have different treads and these will all ride differently (tires with more aggressive treads such as those on off-road vehicles are usually noisier) but in general, the better quality tires should be less noisy on the road, when compared to the cheaper brands with their lower quality material.

7. Low product quality

More expensive tires will usually be produced by a big brand or manufacturer. These huge companies such as Michelin, Goodyear and Pirelli have the time and resources to develop innovative concepts and ideas to make their premium tires the best they can be and always the best on the market. Cheaper tire producers do not have the same resources to make such investments, so their tires will always be below average when compared to their competitors in terms of quality.

8. Low or no resale value

If you ever find yourself in the position where you need to sell your tires soon after you’ve bought them, you will find it extremely hard to re-sell cheap tires due to their low quality, and more than likely you won’t be able to recover that cost. If you were in the same situation with better quality tires and recognised brands then any potential buyer is far more likely to trust the quality of them, and make you a fair offer for their purchase.

9. They make your car look cheap

Not everyone will care about looks but if you need to present a good image, maybe for work for example, then how your car looks could be very important, and this will really stand out in car park for example or anywhere there are other vehicles alongside yours. There is no doubt your vehicle’s looks can be greatly diminished if you have a cheaper set of tires attached. Not only will it make the car look cheaper, but the coloring in the tires may start to fade, and suddenly your pristine black tires are turning a washed out gray color. 

10. Fuel economy suffers

Cheaper tires will certainly lead to a poorer fuel economy performance. The cheaper material is less efficient on the road and you’ll run out of gas quicker than you would expect if you were running better quality tires. Over time, and certainly well within the lifespan of the tire, you would actually save more money by purchasing better quality tires to begin with, compared with the additional cost of fuel incurred when running cheap tires. It's another example of a false economy.

11. They can damage other parts of your car

By purchasing a cheap tire brand, you may be compromising the ability of many parts of your vehicle to run properly. By having tires which are less durable, more flimsy, more dangerous and of lower quality, other areas of your car surrounding the tire could potentially be damaged in situations where a better tire would have saved you. The cost of any potential vehicle damage caused or made worse due to a cheap tire install, is likely to be a lot more than the initial extra cost of buying a decent set of tires for your car.

12. Your insurance costs may go up 

Cheaper tires are far more likely to gain lumps, cuts, bulges and tears when compared to premium tire sets. This may negatively impact you if you were to have an accident or be found to have any of these on your car at any time. This is because driving with these damages done to your tires, whether you knew about them or not, is a crime and can end you up with a fine, invalidation of insurance or even be prosecuted. This will in turn cost your insurance premium to skyrocket, whereas forking out the extra required for premium tires is far more beneficial in the long run.

13. They hurt the environment

Tire disposal is a real problem and can be costly, both for vehicle owners and the environment. When tires are used and done for, they are often taken to a scrap yard, where they will pile up, and are unable to biodegrade. Over 300 million tires are scrapped every year. By sitting in landfill, these tires have the chance to catch fire, which releases toxins harmful to humans and the wider environment. So, the more tires we send to scrap, the worse it is for the environment. And by purchasing cheap tires, which wear out a lot faster than better tires, this means you are only adding to the problem. If you stick to better quality tires, you help reduce the use of landfill space and help the environment.