A new survey* has found that more than 33% of motorists would now consider buying tyres online, and 14% already have — up from 11% last year.
I’m one of the 14%, having made my first online tyre purchase last year, which I reviewed here. The company I bought my tyres from, mytyres.co.uk, is the UK branch of Delticom, the German tyre retailer that commissioned this survey.
Young drivers like online
Unsurprisingly, Delticom says that younger drivers are the biggest fans of online tyre buying.
More than 40 percent of the 18-24 age group said they had bought tyres online, compared to 15 percent of 45-54 year olds, and five percent of over-65 year olds.
Fitting is easy online
One key factor in buying tyres online is the delivery and fitting service. Taking delivery of tyres yourself isn’t always convenient, and not all local tyre fitters are keen on fitting tyres you have bought elsewhere, because they are missing out on the profit margin from selling the tyres.
Luckily, most of the leading online tyre retailers — such as blackcircles.com and mytyres.co.uk — offer a fitting service enabling you to pay a fee when you buy the tyres and have them delivered to and fitted by a local tyre fitter. This was the service I used, and it worked perfectly.
Cheaper, and more choice
One benefit of ordering online is that you usually get a far wider choice of stock than you do at even a large tyre fitters — the online retailers can store a huge selection of tyres in their central warehouses, rather like Amazon compared to a high street music retailer.
Also like Amazon, online prices are usually cheaper, too (they were for me, anyway).
Most online buyers seem to agree with me, as 70% of those questioned in the Delticom survey said that a wide range of tyres, brands and models was important to them.
Although many drivers don’t really care about tyres and only want the cheapest, for anyone that does care, the extra range of choice online is a real eye-opener. Rather than choosing from your local tyre fitter’s stock — usually restricted to a the most popular sizes and models from a handful of brands — you can choose exactly what you want, from all the major manufacturers.
I can’t see myself going back to buying tyres at a bricks and mortar tyre fitter, unless it’s an emergency — buying online was cheaper and gave me a much wider choice of tyres. Sorry to all the tyre fitters out there, but that’s the way it is.
*1012 participants were questioned by fastIMAP for Delticom in April 2013.