Driving home for Christmas? New eBay research reveals motorists are delaying buying safer tyres due to the cost-of-living crisis

Old used tires stacked with high piles in secondary car parts shop garage close up

eBay is warning drivers about the risk of driving on worn tyres as research reveals that 87% of drivers surveyed admitting to the ongoing cost of living crisis the reason behind why they have been put off buying new tyres.

One in ten (11%) said that they had put off buying new tyres for their car in the past three years, despite knowing they needed replacements, a number that jumps to 44% for 18-24 year olds, while 58% said that tyres sold direct by garages were too expensive. When it finally comes to replacing their tyres, 23% of motorists surveyed said they were unaware what the information on the sidewall of their car tyres means.

With worn tyres being cited as the fourth most common reason for cars to fail their MOT test from January to March 2023, more than 15% of motorists admitted to ignoring an advisory for their tyres following the annual vehicle check, with almost one in 10 (8%) having done so in the past 12 months. That number increases for younger drivers with 33% of 18 to 24 year olds admitting to ignoring a tyre-related MOT advisory.

While many people have received advisories for low tyre tread, 27% said they had waited months before addressing the problem while 11% admitted to waiting a full year, until their next MOT test, before getting a new set of tyres.

The research comes as eBay relaunches its tyre purchasing and fitment service. The one-stop shop allows buyers to order tyres before then choosing a local fitment centre, where the tyres will be sent and fitted at the owner’s chosen date and time.

eBay’s relaunched programme allows customers to choose from more than 250,000 tyre listings and over 3,000 installers across the UK, meaning eBay UK is now home to the UK’s largest tyre fitment network. It has now more than doubled the number of garages working in its UK tyre fitment network.

As well as delaying the purchasing of new tyres, eBay’s research also found that 11% were not confident when checking the tread on their tyres, while 10% stated that they have no clue about the recommended tyre pressures for their vehicle.

These findings come as 18% of drivers revealed plans to embark on long journeys (more than 100 miles) during the Christmas break, when weather conditions are typically poor.

Ian Faulkner, Category Manager, Car Tyres and Performance Parts at eBay UK Ltd, said: “Our research suggests millions of motorists aren’t fully considering the ramifications of driving with unroadworthy tyres, especially during the winter months. It’s not worth the risk when you think about how accessible and affordable a fresh set can be. We want to help motorists embrace the amount of choice that’s out there, providing that hub to buy new tyres and book fitment at a garage to suit their specific needs.”

Hannah Gordon, eBay expert and mechanic, said: “As a mechanic, I’ve witnessed first-hand the reluctance of drivers to address tyre damage promptly. People are often put off by cost, and understandably, they think if they pass an MOT they’re fine, which isn’t always the case. Braking distance and overall handling, especially in winter weather, can be seriously impacted by tyre health and tread depth. eBay’s tyre service makes the process of buying new tyres super simple, just put in your tyre size, select your tyres and then the site will find you a local installer.”

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