Chinese tyres: What price is your safety?
Sold at unbeatable prices on retailer’s websites, Chinese tyres may attract consumers looking for a good deal. Yet, they do not stand up to comparisons tests, particularly when it comes to performance on wet roads.
On the same topic
More than 300 Chinese brands identified
It is impossible to precisely count the number of Chinese tyre brands imported into Europe. According to our experts, there are more than 300. LingLong, WanLi, Blackstone, Goodride and Infinity are among the best known. But others appear each month… It is true launching a tyre brand in China is all about marketing, the tyre manufacturer generally produces tyres for other brands than its own…
Undoubtedly, price is the Chinese tyres trump card: 20 to 50% cheaper than products from competing premium brands… If we take a common tyre size such as 185/60 R15 H, the mytyres website offers Goodride H550A at just over £30, whereas Dunlop SP Sport 2030 is sold at around £85. That’s a big price difference: Obviously, makes you think…
Also, Chinese tyres are readily available. Although it is difficult to find them in car centres or at specialised dealers, they can be easily bought from dealers’ websites. On the pneus-online website, for example, out of the 83 brands displayed, around fifteen of them are Chinese brands.
… but poor performance on wet roads
The real problem, however, is in terms of performance. This can be seen in comparative test results published in car magazines or by independent organisations such as Adac (German automobile club) or TÜV SÜD. Now, the range of tyres tested often includes one or two Chinese tyres, which are not in the same league when compared with other tyres.
As such, in the latest Adac comparison test for summer tyres, there are two Chinese tyres with the dimension 185/60 R15 H: The Rotallia Radial F108 and the Sailun Atrezzo SH402. Both rank at the bottom with very poor scores for wet handling: Longer braking distance, little resistance to aquaplaning… In other words, these tyres are dangerous when it rains.
In general, safety related performances are scarce, if not totally lacking. The only area where Chinese tyres shine: The low rolling resistance, which enables them to achieve good scores for fuel efficiency.
Conclusion: Today, buying Chinese tyres presents serious risks. Although prices are attractive, the frequent shortcomings of these products in terms of safety cannot be overlooked.
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- What are the best tyres for my driving environment?
- Second hand tyres: good deal or a risky buy?
- Can I change my tyre size?
- Which tyres for what type of vehicle?