Long term tests

Volvo C30 T5

Fresh tyres were needed for the Volvo C30. Shop around first if yours are due...

Three points a corner, that’s the law. So if you have four bald tyres on your car and the police stop you, you could lose your licence. Yet while we’re busy looking out for Gatsos, Truvelos and white vans with cameras poking out the back, it’s easy to forget that what’s right beneath you all the time you’re driving could lead to a ban too. And on top of the points you’ll also be slapped with a fine of up to £2500 per tyre. Ouch! Oh, and your insurance is invalid if your tyres are illegal…

So needless to say, it’s worth keeping an eye on your tread depths, which is exactly what I’ve been doing with our Volvo recently. Having covered over 17,000 miles, quite a few of them on trackdays, the C30’s front Pirelli P Zero Rossos had done well to last so long, but while they were still technically legal, with just 2mm of tread left replacements were clearly needed.

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Now this, a bit like when your car insurance is due for renewal, is where you need to shop around. Phoning various tyre fitters and surfing the web in search of the Pirellis in 215/45/18, I found prices ranging from £138 to £215 per tyre, some fully fitted, some for the tyres alone. I eventually decided to buy the tyres separately and get Hi-Q to fit them. Well, if they’re good enough to change the tyres on the cars competing in the BTCC then they’ll do for our C30!

True to form, they didn’t hang about. Within minutes of arriving at my local branch on Bourges Boulevard in Peterborough (01733 554064) they had the old Pirellis off and the new ones on. Interestingly, to stop your alloys getting scratched, Hi-Q use plastic blades on their tyre-fitting machines and plastic sockets on their wheel guns. Pity the Volvo’s alloys are already damaged – I’m in the process of hunting down the clot who recently scuffed its once pristine wheels. The net is closing, mark my words…

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Anyway, the P Zero Rossos are great tyres in both wet and dry conditions, so it’s good to have a fresh pair on the C30’s front again. I’m no John Barker, but even I’ve noticed that I can now get the loud pedal pressed fully down a lot earlier. I can even persuade the Volvo to go around corners without the nose trying to plough straight on, too. Which is nice.

Running Costs

Date acquiredDecember 2007
Total mileage17,245
Costs this month£276 (two tyres)
Mileage this month989
MPG this month28.4
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