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Road Users

Buying tyres

Types of tyres, re-treads, winter tyres, importing tyres.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

Refer to the owner’s manual or contact the original manufacturer. We recommend using A-rated tyres.

No, however under testing laws, a vehicle will fail its roadworthiness test if the two tyres on the one axle are not the same size or type e.g., radial vs. cross-ply, run-flat, winter or summer. For best performance, the same type of tyre should be fitted in all four-wheel positions.

Some off-road tyres are marked with words such as ‘off-road use only’ and these may not be used on a public road. However, if your off-road tyres are type-approved i.e., e-marked, s-marked and have a minimum 1.6 mm tread depth they can be used on the road as normal.

Currently, there is no law in Ireland which states that you should or should not fit such tyres. We advise that should you wish to install a set of snow tyres always install a full set of four to reduce the risks of over and under steer. Once the possibility of snow is gone, remove snow or winter tyres and reinstall all-season or summer tyres.

There is no law against the use of such devices. However, they must be properly fitted to tyres according to manufacturer’s specifications.

Any tyre manufactured since 01 October 2011 must bear an s-mark. This stands for ‘Sound’ and shows the amount of road noise produced by the tyre and that they comply with EU or international standards.

Not necessarily. M+S tyres are available in both winter and summer variations.

  • A winter M+S tyre will bear the winter symbol i.e., snowflake inside a mountain in addition to the M+S lettering.
  • A summer M+S tyre will only have the M+S on the sidewall.

No. They are legal here in Ireland but must bear the word ‘Re-tread’ and have an ‘E-mark’ on its sidewall. We recommend purchasing new tyres for your own safety.

An e-mark confirms that a tyre meets minimum EU or international UNECE standards. E-mark tyres have been tested to ensure adequate tread depth and performance ability. All motor vehicle tyres in the EU must be e-marked, whether new or re-treaded. 

The E-mark below shows that this tyre was approved in the Netherlands.

The sale and supply of re-treaded tyres in Ireland is governed by S.I. No. 118 of 2008 of the Road Traffic (Re-treaded Tyres) Regulations 2008. For a re-treaded tyre to be placed on the market, purchased, sold or fitted to a vehicle or trailer, it must conform to a type that has been type-approved and must bear the required ‘E’ or ‘e’ mark. Once re-treaded at an approved production unit, it must also bear the word ‘Re-tread’ on its sidewall.
Download our Tyre Safety Information Booklet pdf | 2825 KB

Related pages 


Tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road surface. That’s why it's vital you choose the appropriate tyres and keep them correctly maintained.