Tyre quality in focus as record levels of used imports bought
Buyers of used imports are being advised to check out their tyres.
A recent survey of imports on forecourts in Dublin found 75pc had cheap tyres to help keep down the price.
While that is a perfectly legitimate and straightforward commercial decision, attention is being drawn to them on the basis they may not have the same ability to stop as quickly in the wet as so-called "premium" tyres. Research has shown that to be the case.
The stopping difference is being highlighted in view of the huge increase in used-car imports this year: experts predict well above 100,000 by year-end.
It is important to point out that the warning is being sounded by a vested interest - Continental Tyres Ireland.
Nonetheless, from a consumer point of view, it is still worth being aware of it. At least you can think about getting more expensive tyres fitted if you feel that your driving routine, road and weather conditions warrant such an extra outlay.
According to Tom Dennigan, of Continental, independent tests have shown a car with budget tyres can take an extra 15 metres, or four car lengths, to stop in an emergency in the wet.
He said some dealers are helping to keep the used-import price as low as possible by fitting such tyres.