An end to the British tyre saga


About 3 weeks ago, when we thought the rain was here to stay, I was coming back home via the back roads of Westerham and what should I come across but a pot hole. It was full of water and I was doing no more than 30 (honest) but nevertheless that little rain filled pot hole was not as little as I thought. Seconds later, and a great big jolt, I had a big old puncture.

The very kind AA man came within 45 minutes and changed the tyre for the spare and we were at least on the road again but now only up to 50mph. With the prospect of being a slow coach for the rest of the year I needed to find a British made tyre and quick. It quickly became apparent that we were not going to find a British owned tyre company but thankfully we actually make a lot of tyres in this country. Michelin, Cooper, Avon and others all make tyres in this country. However, I now needed to find one company who make the one tyre I needed in the UK. After a week of searching and quite a lot of phone calls it seemed that it really was going to be pot luck whether the tyre I ended up buying was made in the UK or not. It therefore seemed sensible to opt for the brand which produces the most of the UK tyre quota, Michelin, who have 3 factories in the UK. This I will admit was my own conclusion from the research and the many phone call I made, so if it is wrong I am sure someone will tell me.

The tyre was ordered at our very friendly local independent garage and finally now it is fitted. I would rather have just bought a new tyre the day that the puncture happened and then been back on the road safely. When it comes to the safety of my family I like to think that I do my best and having to drive on the spare was not fun. So there we are, the rather sad story of the bust tyre and the 3 weeks it took to get it fixed.


  1. We own a cycle shop and have now only foreign tyres to choose from. Michelin were the last to produce tyres here but this came to an end in the 1980’s. Almost all cycle tyres are made “out east”, even the ones with German names on them.This is a very sad situation to say the very least.

    • Gordon Smith says

      You didn’t say if your tyre was British made. There needs to be ways of telling where goods are made. I’ve just ordered bird food from RSPB because in the mini catalogue all bird tables and most bird food are marked UK MADE. If organisations support British products I’ll support them

  2. Hi Gordon – In this case there does not seem to be any conclusive evidence that this particular tyre is British. What we have been told is that it is 99.99% likely to have come from one of the 3 British factories. That will have to do and we are happy to bring the whole drama to a close. However, I agree that there should be more transparent tractability with all goods!

  3. That was bad luck getting a puncture. Just from curiosity, are there any affordable cars still made in the UK? I mean, I know about the hand built Astin Martins, Rolls Royce and Bentleys…but what about the ordinary style?

    • ejt1974 says

      Land Rover and Jaguar. Not that they’re all necessarily affordable either!! Freelander not too bad price wise. All uk designed and manufactured and carbon offset for manufacture and first 40000 miles.

  4. Graeme says

    I’ve been told that all Avon tyres are made in Wiltshire. I have therefore been buying Avon tyres for our two cars for the last 5 years or so.

  5. Rob Williamson says

    Sadly, the last set of Avons that I bought were made in eastern Europe (Slovenia, I think).
    I am contacting Avon to find out if they still make tyres in the UK.
    Next time I buy, I’ll email Michelin and see if they make my size in the UK.
    Tyres (all ?) still say where they’re manufactured – you just have to have good eyesight!

  6. Pirelli make their Scorpion tyres in the UK (though I’m struggling to find out much about it). In answer to the affordable car question – I’d say a Honda Jazz/ Civic / CRV (made in Swindon), Nissan Note/Qashqai (made in Sunderland), Vauxhall Astra (made in Liverpool), Toyota Auris (made in Derby I think). I’d also consider a Mini (Oxford) as they’re very efficient and have great residual values so although up front it’s quite expensive if you own it for a few years it’ll work out cheaper year on year.

  7. Malcolm says

    What I’d like to know is what were doing while the AA man was changing your tyre for you?

  8. I had an Avon ZV5 fitted today, thought it would be made in England as the last one was, but it was made in Serbia. Seems I will have to fit Kingpin remoulds in future, which are all made in the UK as far as I am aware.

  9. My 2 Avon tyres fitted 2 months ago came from Serbia. No mention on the Avon website of this fact.

    • David Murphy says

      Serbia was bad enough, I have just noticed one of my Avon is made in China! I am actively looking for UK made tyres as the thought of 70mph on Chinese made tyres is scarey.

    • N smith says

      Yes they’ll soon all be made in Serbia

  10. Joe Borg says

    Just bought two Avon ZV7s and it crearly states on the tyre “Made In England”!

  11. I don’t mind where my tyres come from, other than Korea and China, due to their horrific practice of so-called dog and cat meat festivals. My local dealers say 99 per cent of tyres come from those countries. I will now check out Avon and Michelin following your information.

  12. Joe, were you Avon ZV7s size 225/50R17? I’m looking to buy British tyres for my Astra.

  13. Midland_dude says

    Just ordered some Michelin tyres for my BMW after reading this, we should all support British manufacturing in all its forms! (regardless of company ownership) 🙂

  14. Matt Taylor says

    Anyone know if there is a company that still makes wheelbarrow / sack truck tyres in the UK?

Leave a Reply

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed