Some tyre fitters sell tyres up to 5 years old as brand new!

Replacing road tyres after 10 years is surely wise and part of maintaining a car in a roadworthy condition?
See our recent article. More

Tyre sidewall markings explained
See our article. More

How old are tyres when you must replace them?
See the feature on the proposed 10 year replacement. More

Braking better with worn tyres? - but what about in the wet! More

Member survey
Do let us know the age of your last set of replacement tyres when they were fitted - just let us have the sidewall marking and the date the tyres were fitted. The results of members' feedback will be published without members' names or other identity. Please participate and send your survey info to the V8 Webmaster. Email

Posted: 190410

Callum, Apr 9, 17:30 BST
Good afternoon,

Thank you for your email. will sell tyres up to 5 years old as brand new. We do not guarantee what age the tyres you order will be as they come from several of our suppliers large warehouses.

If we can help at all further please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind Regards,

Customer Service Advisor

Following our two items in the recent four page V8 Newsletter in the April issue of Safety Fast! a member with an RV8 has been in touch noting "the age of tyres in use is a matter for concern to all road users and living in a rural area the most pragmatic way to buy tyres is to use an online supplier and a local garage to fit them. The last time I brought tyres through Black Circles I found the tyres they supplied were at least 12 months old when I got home".

He now needs to order some more replacement tyres for his RV8 but as the car only covers a low mileage, they need to last age wise as he never wears them out. He notes "the tyres I am to replace are now 10 years old, yet were over 18 months old when originally fitted. After 20,000 miles they are still only half worn tread-wise, so in replacing them I want to ensure that they are new tyres which were made within the last couple of months. So I am looking for tyres with a near full ten years of life".

He contacted Black Circles again but this time asking them "can you guarantee that the tyres will be of at least this year's manufacture?" The reply - see alongside - was that they could be up to 5 years old as brand new. His response was "needless to say I will reject any tyre not made in 2019. I do think this revelation should be widely known".
Tyre distribution system
New tyres of course have to be delivered to tyre fitters through distribution centres which have to hold sufficient stocks, so inevitably there will be at least 3 to 4 months from manufacture to fitting. It's possible that tyres held in store with growing age on them may be sold off as special offers at an attractive discount from time time and some tyre fitters may use that as a way of lowering the cost of tyres they can offer.

Take care to avoid unintended consequences
when demanding tyre date information
A longstanding member of the Club mentioned that with tyres stored correctly there is no evidence so far as he has seen that they suffer, so 5 year old tyres under those conditions could be very serviceable. He then mentioned a caution over kicking up a fuss over the age of new tyres supplied for classic cars like the RV8 and MGBGTV8, because with such relatively small sales volumes of tyres for those models, and indeed other classics using the same size of tyres, the major suppliers or indeed the manufacturers might cease producing them if they are hit by curt demands and other communications. That would be a classic unintended consequence from over-lively demands in emails and similar communications. So be grateful the tyre sizes MGV8 enthusiasts need are available and acknowledge that the reply from BlackCircles was an honest reply which with tyres stored in cool and relatively dark conditions, would mean that a seemingly long period from the date of manufacture is not such a concern in terms of the condition of the tyre. Once the tyre is fitted to a classic car and it is used in the open air and in bright sunshine, the ageing process then progresses at a much faster pace than when on racks in a storeroom.

How can I know the age of my tyres?
Before having new tyres fitted to your car you can very easily check the age by looking at the tyre sidewall markings. There you will see an elongated circle within which is the date of manufacture as four numbers – the week number and the year. So in the example alongside the 2618 indicates that tyre was made in the twenty sixth week of 2018. In drafting the article for the V8 Newsletter in early April the photo alongside was taken at a local tyre fitter. Tyres 40 weeks old - over 9 months old.