Now is the time for the bold tire thieves

tire thievesMany people change to winter tires just now, but it is also the time when tire thieves thrive. Photo: Nicholas Jackson

Now is the time for the bold tire thieves

You clean and place the car tires outside the garage or the storage room. Suddenly they are gone.


Many people change to winter tires just now, but it is also the time when tire thieves thrive.

– This is a real problem. The tires are usually hidden away in a basement, storage room or garage, but as it approaches the time of tire change, they are taken out of hibernation. Many leave them outside the garage, around the house or similar without a thought. Then they are much more prone to theft, says chief engineer in Frende Insurance, Roger Ytre-Hauge.

Risk of reduction of the insurance pay out

If you are unlucky and get robbed of tires that have been left outside the garage, you can not count on getting total insurance coverage.

– You can then risk between 50 and 100 percent cut in the compensation from the insurance. The decisive factor is, among other things, the value of the tires and the rims, and how much traffic it is in the area. The more central you live and the more traffic it is past your garage, the higher the chance is that someone will steal your tires and rims, says Ytre-Hauge.

Large price differences

There are large differences in the price of tires and rims.

– It’s very diverging from one car brand to another and whether it’s original rims or not. Most tire packages range between NOK 5,000 and 10,000. But we have had cases where the rims cost NOK 20,000 a piece. Then we are talking of more than NOK 80,000 for four wheels, says Roger Ytre-Hauge.

The head of department also says that there are regular tire gangs that carry out tire thefts on a grand scale.

– There have been major thefts where there are break-ins into tire hotels and large vans are filled by hundreds of tires belonging to customers. Fortunately, such occurrences has not been experienced in the last few years, but there is an “industry” for this too, says Ytre-Hauge.

Perform the tire check

When the winter tires are brought out from hibernation, it is advisable to take a tire check before using them:

  • Check the pattern depth. The minimum requirement is 3 mm, but we recommend at least 4-5 mm.
  • Remember that the tires are a fresh commodity. Although the pattern is within the minimum requirement, the rubber becomes harder over the years. We recommend changing winter tires every four years.
  • When can you change to winter tires? In the three northernmost counties, Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, the limit is October 16th. In the rest of the country, the 1st of November applies. it is however important to emphasize that it is perfectly legal to put on a tire before this if the weather conditions indicate so.
  • Check the air pressure – even in the spare tire.
  • Check that all you need to change a tire is present in the car. It’s a quest to miss the jack up if you have a puncture in the middle of winter.
  • Many cars today do not have a spare tire. Then you may want to bring what is popularly called “spare wheel in a can”, which is a can of foam for filling the tire at a puncture.

When can I use a studded tire?

On vehicles up to 3500 kilos, winter tires are not required. The regulation states that you must ensure adequate road grip for the driving conditions, according to NAF.

You can use studded tires as of November 1st in most of Norway or October 16th if you live in Nordland, Troms or Finnmark. Should you travel into the mountains, or weather conditions make it necessary, you can use studded tires earlier.

– The requirement of sufficient road grip is more important than the date for when you can use studded tires or chains, concludes Ytre-Hauge.


©  Frende Insurance / Norway Today