Some people, especially those in tyre shops, will tell you that you should not buy tyres online because you need to go to their tyre shop so you can benefit from their experience and get their advice about which tyres you should buy. The assumption here is that the tyre shop team will know everything about every tyre pattern in every brand and will have had vast experience driving every tyre on every vehicle. Well, its transparently obvious they they could not possibly have such knowledge.
Probably all of us have shopped in a tyre outlet where all opposition brands were put down and all of the tyre shops brands were the best in the world and so highly suited to New Zealands driving conditions. Sure they will know something about their own brands tyres and have probably driven on at least some of them, but they are not in a position to make authoritive comments about how their tyres compare to other brands which they have never driven. Similarly mileage claims have to be viewed with some suspicion, like have they really driven all their tyre patterns in every vehicle model over 30,000 to 90,000 kms to really find out the mileges the tyres are capable of? Of course not!
The best way a consumer can research tyre purchases is to read tyre reviews on the internet and talk to other vehicle owners and drivers and then buy their tyres online. That way you can avoid pressure selling tactics and simply make your decision when and how it suits you.
And be wary of claims like “our tyres are especially made for New Zealand roads”. The simple fact is that our tyre market is far too tiny to warrant international tyre giants making special patterns and formulations for our country. What really happens is the reputable tyre company’s like Hankook select tyres from their range that will be suitable for our roads taking care not to ship other patterns not suited to our climate and road surfaces.