Here’s part two of my ‘tyres are rather important’ investigation, in which I obtain data from MOT centres around the UK and reveal the makes of car most likely to fail the roadworthiness examination because of sub-standard tyres.
Last week, I covered the cars that are least likely to have tyre trouble at an MOT test and, by extension, more likely to be looked after properly, making them potentially a safer bet for used car buyers. This week, I’m taking a look at the models that seem to have the most tyre issues.
I won’t keep you in suspense: the very worst was the Ford Focus C-Max. After 34,948 tests, 4118 failed due to tyres so the percentage failure rate was 11.78%. This model can work hard for a living and, being a Ford, is usually good value.
I would be tempted by a 2008 1.8 Zetec with 80,000 miles and two previous owners for £1700. That’s the cheapie option. Otherwise, there’s a 2017 diesel example, a 1.5 TDCi in Titanium specification with sat-nav, cruise control and everything else. Like the Zetec, it’s ULEZ-friendly – and all for £6995. Both are offered by dealers, so their tyres should be fine.
I was rather surprised to see the Mazda 5 at the tail end of the list, but there’s definitely a pattern emerging here. After 17,727 tests, 2015 failed on tyres (a 11.37% failure rate).
The 5 is a quite cool-looking MPV, which is also surprising, but it’s great value and widely available. A smart 2007 2.0 Sport with 90,000 miles is advertised at £1750 with a full service history (which needs checking, of course). Otherwise, spend £6495 to get a 2.0 Sport with 65,000 miles and a one-year warranty.
And here’s another oddity in the worst 10: the load-lugging Volvo V50, with 4233 tyre-related failures in 38,757 tests (a 10.9% failure rate). There are loads of examples up for less than £3000, but I will be more responsible and suggest you consider a 2011 1.6 DrivE SE Lux with 66,000 miles and three previous owners for £7500. That’s a bit pricey, but the tyres ought to be brand new for that.