Aasma Day: Bang goes my hope of cheaper new tyres

Beware not having a spare tyre in your boot.
Beware not having a spare tyre in your boot.
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I’ve had a problem with a spare tyre this week. I don’t mean the one around my midriff – although that is a problem too. I mean the tyres belonging to my car.

When I say “problem with a spare tyre”, the problem was actually the lack of one!

Earlier in the week, my eagle-eyed hubby spotted that the front tyres on my car looked worn, and suggested that I book in for new ones sharpish.

Using my usual technique of buying everything online, I ordered some suitable tyres and booked in to get them fitted at a nearby garage in a couple of days.

“There, that’s sorted,” I thought. Unfortunately, luck was not on my side, as the following day, one of my tyres gave up the ghost in untimely fashion.

On my way to an interview using my trusty sat nav, I’d just come off the motorway and saw I had only seven minutes of driving before I reached my destination.

As I drove along, I thought: “Gosh this is a bumpy road” before suddenly realising that it wasn’t the road which was bumpy, but my car.

Swiftly pulling into a side street, I was aghast to find that my front passenger side tyre was completely shredded and had a huge split.

Pulling out my mobile, I then realised I had very little battery life left – and no in-car charger. Thankfully, I have breakdown cover, which saved me from having a complete mental breakdown.

However, I revealed my motoring incompetence straight away when the woman on the phone asked me if my car had a spare tyre.

“Errrm… I don’t know” was my stuttering reply. The lady decided to send a roadside assistance vehicle to help me, and said if I didn’t have a spare tyre he could put on, he would tow me to a nearby garage to have a new tyre fitted.

Using the last dregs of my mobile battery. He confirmed my car had no spare, as apparently these new fangled cars have run-flat tyres which you squirt with foamy stuff if you have a puncture, so you can drive to the nearest garage.

Fat lot of use that is though when your tyre is in shreds.

And so a nice recovery lad took me and my car to a garage. Unfortunately, the man at the garage wasn’t as nice and had me over a barrel.

He told me the only tyres he had in stock to fit my car were a whopping £50 each dearer than the ones I’d paid for the evening before – and not even as good.

After realising I had no choice as I needed both front tyres replacing to get me home safely, I begrudgingly agreed to the price quoted.

However, when it came to paying, the bill was another £30 on top of what I’d thought. When I queried the price, the man said this included the cost of balancing both tyres, valves and disposing of the old tyres.

Fortunately, the online company I had ordered the tyres from were only too happy to refund me for the other two tyres I had ordered.