Well why not? We think nothing about renting or leasing a car or even a bicycle – and plenty of other things. In Britain, larger ticket items like washing machines and fridge freezers can also be rented. There are two obvious advantages, you avoid the up-front cost and if the products break down the user is usually not responsible. On the downside, the consumer pays a little more for these privileges.
This is a new and clearer twist on an old idea, so-called ‘mileage tyre contracts’ have been around for a very long time but really only featured on commercial fleets where the need for specialist tyre maintenance is more the issue although they are frequently sold on a cost per mile basis.
Extending the concept to car tyres, and especially to longer, more expensive premium sizes brings new benefits, it helps sell the brand by facilitating its purchase in the first place and also establishes a larger term relationship with the user, something most tyre makers have been at a loss to know how to do. Our better organised retailers will like that too!
These are still early days for what is a novel idea but in an industry traditionally weak in marketing skills, it is certainly one to watch.
Peter Taylor OBE