Fair Price for Part-Worn Tyres?

Probably be buying some soon. Never bought any before, here or in The Yook (I bought remoulds in The Yook which no longer seem to be a thing) , and I’m wondering what would be a fair price.

I’m told the UK going rate starts around 5-10 quid, with free fit and balance, which is remarkably cheap, though those are probably pretty marginal, and the UK trade has a generally poor rep.

Its a different market here in Taiwan so the UK is not necessarily a guide.

I’m thinking that from first principles, there could be some formula based on age, remaining tread, and a “negative premium” of what, 30-50%, because they are used?

So, IF you were buying part-worns (OK, perhaps you wouldn’t, but IF you were) how would you work out what you should be paying?

I suggest taking the unmounted tire and bounce it on the ground, concoct some overly complicated and impractical method to measure the height of the first and third bounce (assuming there is a third bounce, if not then suggest using a higher launch platform, perhaps something assembled from used shipping pallets atop the Skywing? Assuming there is enough room alongside the refrigerator, radiator and jury-rigged fuel tank ) and then take an average from the two bounces. Actually it may be better to use a statistically representative sample size and then plot a distribution before calculated a practical, usable value for the unmounted tire bounce performance. Repeat for all tire candidates.

Have all tires then mounted to Skywing rims (doesn’t have to be your Skywing rims, assuming they are standard, however it may be better or at least you may be more confident in the results, if they are your Skywing rims, plus if you do purchase then they’re already mounted which may save some time and indeed is a potentially good bargaining point as the vendor may not wish to demount the mounted tires). Inflate the tires to the correct pressures, note the front and rear may have different ranges, left and right are unlikely to however if you mostly travel alone it may be worth considering an adjustment to the left side tire pressures, or indeed the right(!), some experimentation may be needed to offset the uneven loading, although at lower speeds perhaps this will not be a significant factor. Ensure the tire and rim combination is correctly balanced (statically and dynamically). Redo the bounce tests with the same number of repetitions (note, with the inflated tires it may be prudent to use a lower height to drop from) and calculate the value for the inflated tires.

Taking the 3 values (assuming unmounted, mounted fronts and mounted rears and no difference in left and right) and attempt to form a right angled triangle. The number you are looking for is the number that is required to be added or subtracted to/from the hypotenuse in order to correctly form the triangle. Note that if the measurements form a right angled triangle without the need to add or subtract then the tire and rim combination was not correctly balanced. Square the number and then divide by 0.752. The resultant number is the wholesale value of the tire. I suggest adding 30% to represent the retail value of the tire. You may use the retail value as a staring point for negotiations, it’s probably easiest to simply show your calculation method to the dealer and let them understand you have insider information on the valuation process, although I guess they may realize that when you start the valuation process.

Let us know how you get on.


I suggest as seen above, earlier, over there.

But I suppose you might already be shagged out after all that typing, whatever it was.

It’s really just about making up some reasonable price in your head and then bribing the guy in the store with enough beer to get the tyres at that price. The only downside is after all the beers the free fit and balance ends up less fitting and balanced.

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I got a couple of Maxxis MA-P1 for 800 NT each.

One of them has ECC 0717 (irritatingly, on the inside as mounted, probably NOT a coincidence) which I think means its 2.8 years old, with 72% of a nominal 10 year life span left, which is OK-ish

The other has ECC 1015, which I think means its 3.9 years old, with 61% of a nominal 10 year life span left, which is not so good.

Both have about 60% of the legal tread left, measured with a cheapo plastic vernier caliper (average of 16 measurements.)

Calculating the residual value against an ebay new price of 1800NT, and averaging it for lifespan and tread, (I now have a mildly complex spreadsheet) it seems the used discount on that is about 30%.

I was hoping for 50%, but I wasn’t really in a position to haggle. Still likely to outlast the car and/or me, here at least.

My impression is that the UK is cheaper, perhaps because there’s less competition here because Taiwanese don’t generally buy used stuff, and are generally clueless.

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I suppose I was a bit dismissive of your efforts above.

I can’t be sure without reading it, which of course I’m not going to do, but my impression is that you produced the above…er…material de novo?

Perhaps I could offer a suggestion based on my experience as a proof-reader here, sniffing around the edges of Taiwanese academia like a lone hyena in search of a bone.

IF, for whatever reason, your objective is to fill up space with turbid, tedious tosh which will only be read by a very few very unfortunate people (as for much of Taiwanese academic writing).


Since the Cars and Motorcycles forum is (or used to be) nominally about…er…cars and motorcycles, I’d suggest this as a possibly inspirational source.

These are the Taiwan DMV Driving Test Papers. The “Mechanical Knowledgee” section is outstanding, though one needs some mechanical knowledge to appreciate the satire.

Potentially intimidating though.

The fact is, they are Mozart. At best you could only ever hope to be a poor, poor Salieri.

But perhaps that’s aspiration enough.

Oops. Could have been picked up on the way home, but I bet it wasn’t. Worth checking.

Pretty small nail-end (about 4mm), so probably won’t really affect the structure much now its out

800NT’s worth?

No, you’d be lucky to get NT$5 for that nail end. And even that only from a collector, not if you sell it for scrap.


Damn! That’s what happens when you deal with professionals.


No, should have done the bounce test, would have caught that dodgy one and identified the different manufacturing years!

Bounce these!

Or just buy brand new ones for SFA extra…

They’ll bounce like champions!

Bit late for these wheels but perhaps not for the next ones, or for anyone else considering used tyres in Taiwan.

Value of the first (used) ones will depend on age and tread. Unless these details are supplied in the ad (which might as well be in Chinese) its a guess, but the seller I bought mine off had 700NT (less tread/older) ones that looked similar.

So for 100NT more (0.2 X SFA by your calculation) I maybe got a better tyre. OK.

Depending on the unknown (free?) delivery and fitting charges, (ad might as well be in Chinese) the new ones for 1200 (a much better price than my GF, who (does Chinese, found online) are a better deal for most people.

Objectively they are probably not a better deal for me, (especially since I’m told they are at the other end of the country) but they do make the used ones look overpriced, since there is now a 5% negative used discount on the residual calculated value.

(SFA = 70%. To quote a slightly less unfunny clown “I never knew. This changes everything”)

I’m flabbergasted

You sir are unreal.

Keep up the good work. One never knows when this type of tyre info could come in handy in Taiwan.


Having seen the suggestion (on an otherwise fairly irritating youtube video) that you could get “60% of the tyre for 40% of the money, or 70% for 50%” I thought I’d have a look on US Ebay to see what the usual differential was, since that would be a relatively simple yardstick to aim for.

Not many ads give you the required tread depth or age (and why would you buy a used tyre on the Internyet without this information?) but those that do vary a lot.

I got 11, 3, 11, 31, 15, 24 and 15 before I lost interest. That’s an average of 16%, but the variation means its not a simple rule of thumb.

Not going below a 10% minimum and maybe aiming for 15% might be though.

I got 7%, so probably overpaid.

Bet value (31 and 24 % differential) were allegedly “showroom takeoffs” and essentially unused.

Only a couple of the ads gave the age, which I’d want to know too.

I was impressed by this ad though, for a pair of (presumably fairly rare) OEM Porsche tyres at 150 USD each.


Couln’t find a new price for them but (I suppose to the sellers credit), in the detailed description were the following DOT codes

DOT: 4208 & 1407

I THINK this means they are about 11 years old.

Now I’ve admittedly been guilty of running tyres that old.

But I didn’t pay 150US for them

And I don’t drive a Porsche