Recently there has been a large amount of discussion on blogs and forums about non European tyres being imported into the UK and sold as UK specific tyres. With the help of Goodyear Dunlop UK and pistonheads.com we have written the following to try and help steer you in the right direction when buying replacement tyres.
This is without question the number one factor to consider. If a tyre garage fits tyres without an "E" mark on the sidewall they can be taken to court. Tyres without E marks have not been designed with the demanding European conditions in mind and could fail under standard use.
This is where things get a little more complex. Tyre companies, like most major suppliers have factories around the world and are constantly revising their tyre models. Goodyear for example make E marked tyres for the UK market in factories in numerous factories around the world and officially import them via their own dealer network. Many reputable wholesalers also import and sell these tyres that will have been sourced through a manufacturer's European company.
What complexes matters is that most tyre manufacturers also make E marked tyres for other climates in these factories which they don't choose to import into the UK. Unofficial tyre dealers then import these "E marked, but not intended for the UK" as they benefit from a lower buying price due to the strength of the pound.
Unfortunately, while there is a polluted supply of various brands to the UK there is no guarantee of getting the right rubber, there are however a number of common sense steps you can take to try and eliminate incorrect tyres / dealers.
This problem is a small but growing issue. All the major tyre brands are fighting to eradicate this problem as tyres being used outside of their original design specification has serious safety and performance consequences. If you believe you might have non E Marked tyres please either contract the brand directly with details of where you purchased them from or let us know and we'll pass the information on to the relevant contact.
Feel free to post any comments detailing your experiences below. Tyrereviews would like to extend it's thanks to Goodyear Dunlop for providing us with information.