Fleet News

Web watch: we review what’s hot on the net

WHEN our long-term Renault Grand Espace got a puncture, a replacement was needed in a hurry. After searching at various retail outlets without success, the internet led to the answer: blackcircles.com.

The blackcircles.com homepage looks a bit manic, but once you get the eyes settled it proves to be easily navigated via the top menu.

The site aims to let you buy specific tyres sent to one of 700 UK dealers linked to the blackcircles all-inclusive service or by post to your house. You can do this online or over the phone.

It’s always a good idea for a site with a purchasing function to include the option of talking to a human being. This was one of several features on the website which created a more personal touch.

The site puts the customer in control by allowing users to choose tyres and then book an appointment to suit them.

An idiot-proof five-step guide is the basis on which the site is structured.

Step one can be found on the homepage and just in case you don’t know what tyres you need – click on the ‘how to find your tyre size’ icon featured throughout the site and a neat little pop-up window explains the ins and outs for you.

By selecting the relevant tyre details (width, profile ratio etc) from a drop-down menu you can progress to step two. Simply select a tyre of your choice from the table, then move to step three.

This is a really simple feature that allows you to locate the nearest fitter in your area.

Once you’ve selected a fitter, fill out the purchase form online and choose a time and date to suit you. This method proves an invaluable saver on time and bother. In our case the right tyre was available within two days.

Another feature on blackcircles.com is the ‘tyre tests’ section, which provides information on specific manufacturer tyres. You can look at blackcircle.com’s opinion on which tyres best suit different cars.

This slick site is simple to use and provides an online alternative to more traditional methods of tyre buying. Tom Seymour

The lowdown

The site: www.blackcircles.com

We like: We tried and tested the site. It passed with flying colours

We don’t like: Over-stimulated homepage

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