Like a number of people on this forum I now drive a Motability car.
This week I took it in for its first service at 12,500 miles. I arrived
at 10.15am as arranged at the dealership. I then had to wait
about for well over an hour whilst the dealer rang (several times) to
Motability to get authorisation for the work to be done. The service
rep was apologetic, but apparently although the booking was
prearranged, Motability will ONLY authorise the work once the vehicle
is actually sitting on the forecourt. (Clutters the crowded forecourt
Following the service I questioned him about the tyre wear, alignment
and wheel balance. (None of which can be done by the dealership) I was
assured that any Quikfit outlet would do it.
Friday I rang the Motability number for 'tyres' and was assured by a
man from 'Fleet Services' that I should just take the car to Quikfit.
So I did.
Quikfit however was apologetic and willing to help BUT, they will not
change a tyre until it is down to 2mm. Then they will only change ONE
tyre, if the other is only nearly down to 2 mm it stays until it is
down to 2mm. (despite the imbalance across that axle!) Utter madness.
I needed the the wheels/tyres balancing as there is a noise and
steering wheel shake at motorway speeds. Not possible though to get
authorisation as the tyres are nearly (but not enough) worn out they
I wanted to also get the rear tyres swopped to the front (more meat
left on the rears, to even out the wear) so that I'd get the full set
changed in time for winter. No chance...
I also questioned the alignment of the car, (from new it's always
seemed a little short on toe in = straight line stability) and was
similarly told that Motability would not authorise the work until the
tyres were changed even though the service report would indicate some
imbalance in the wear pattern.
I've since read reports that independant testing has shown that
although the minimum regulation tread depth is 1.5mm, a minimum of 2mm
should be mandatory. AND a safer minimum tread depth is 3.5mm, as less
means that a car at 50mph will take two MORE cars lengths to stop
compared to a tyre with a tread depth more than 3.5mm. Stopping power
drops off markedly around that point.
I will ring Motability on Monday and find out what they have to say, if
Quikfit are correct in what they said I may have to make a little noise
about all this.