A friend of mine, here on holiday, brought his car in for me to look at as he thought a rear wheel bearing needed replacing. A quick check revealed that it was the tyre causing the noise as it had become misshapen. So off he went to a local tyre supplier to buy a new one. Unfortunately they only had a Firestone tyre in his size & the old tyre was a Goodyear. He was told that they could not fit it as it would mean that there would be odd tyres on one axle which, he was told, is illegal - he would have to buy a pair, discarding a perfectly good & only slightly worn tyre.
I hear this quite often from customers & it really annoys me! Why? It is because it is complete bllcks.
My local CT centre is firm but fair & the last car I put through had a different make on all corners but it passed. How come?
Because the EU law states “All tyres normally fitted to the vehicle, thus excluding any temporary-use spare unit, shall have the same structure.” This means that you cannot mix cross ply & radial tyres.With me so far? It continues. “All of the tyres normally fitted to one axle shall be of the same type.” Type = a particular kind, class, or group. Not “brand”.
There is a french trade organisation, TNPF - Travaux de Normalisation du Pneumatique pour la France, which publishes the White Book, a guide for french tyre fitters. This is what they tell the trade:-
"There may be types of tires
different on the same vehicle,
but not on the same axle.
It is possible to mount tyres of
the same type
but of a different sculpture (tread pattern)
on the same
- However it is strongly
recommended to mount tyres
strictly identical to the
optimal behavior of the vehicle.
Codes of tire
speed or load indices
higher than those provided by the
manufacturer may agree. In
this case, the mounted tires must
be the same on the same axle.
Ensure the compatibility of the tire
and of the wheel (including width and
Neither say that the tyre must be from the same manufacturer although this is “strongly recommended”.
However, when you look for similar information on a tyre supplier’s web site, most of them, when giving out the rules, have added an extra word. This from Point S "Can I mount two tires of different brands on the same axle?
All tires fitted to one axle must be of the same type (except use of the spare wheel). Therefore, it is prohibited to mount two different tires on the same axle. Whether at the brand / size / use category / structure / speed code / load capacity index."
Extra word? BRAND
Popgom (online tyre seller) says the same, "When the Highway Code shall install different structures of tires on the same axle (Article 3, section 3.2 and 3.3) means according to the Official Journal of the EC N ° 129/105 of 14.05.1992 1 that tires should be both:
same mark same size same category of use (eg. road, snow, terrain). same structure: radial or diagonal same code speed same load capacity index"
Extra word? MARK
To be fair many of these sites are quoting from European Council directive 92/23/EEC from 1992, section L 129/105 conveniently out of context as the section refers to technical characteristics for tyres. It says "Annex II - Requirements for tyres. 1. Definitions. 2. For the purpose of this Directive. 2.1. “Type of tyre” means a category of tyres which do not differ in such essential respects as: 2.1.1. Manufacturer’s name or trade mark; & so on. This directive has been superceded by UE no 458/2011. This new directive simply says that “Type of tyre means a range of tyres which do not differ in the following essential characteristics…” The manufacturer is no longer mentioned although the tyre fitment wording is the same.
So, either the tyre companies are just confused or they rely on a bit of misdirection to sell more tyres. You, the customer, is made to spend more than you need to & more tyres have to be disposed of.
Argue the point or just take the tyre that needs replacing off the car & just buy one.
Otherwise this becomes another piece of nonsense like the famous “stopping for 3/5 seconds at a stop sign” myth.
The rule, code de la route R415-6, says that you must stop at a stop sign but it does not say for how long. I have read that some drivers have been taken to court & fined for not stopping for the required time. I suggest they get a lawyer who can read!