British drivers are being advised and urged to steer clear of buying part-worn tyres after a study found that more than 90 per cent of sellers were fitting illegal and unsafe tyres to motor vehicles. Part-worn tyres are a low-cost alternative to buying brand new ones. In theory they are tyres that have been removed from a vehicle but that still fall within legal requirements on tread depth and damage.
What Are Part Worn Tyres?
It is legal to sell them in this condition – but an investigation by Trading Standards officers and industry body TyreSafe found that the vast majority of part-worn tyre outlets were selling defective and illegal tyres, putting road users’ and pedestrians lives at risk. Of the 152 UK retailers officers visited, 139 were selling unsafe tyres. Problems ranged from tyres with water in them being fitted to cars to examples where tyres were the wrong size for the car or even had nails or other objects embedded in them.
The Catastrophic Risk Of Using Part Worn Tyres
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, described the findings as shocking and pointed out the risk drivers were taking by opting for part-worn tyres. He said: “Let’s remember these dealers are selling safety critical components – when tyres are driven in an unroadworthy condition, a vehicle’s braking and steering are compromised, and road users are put at significant risk of a catastrophic tyre failure.
Tyres are an essential factor in road safety as the only part of a vehicle in touch with the road. They provide the grip which both braking and steering systems depend upon to be effective. Driving with defective tyres will mean a vehicle takes longer to stop and be more difficult to control when cornering.
The Best Tyres In Devon
A spokesman for Continental Tyres, which is a corporate supporter of TyreSafe added that part-worn tyres could be a false economy. He said: “Tyres play a critical role in road safety and we strongly recommend buying new tyres, not part-worn or ‘used’ tyres.
“Many drivers buying part-worn tyres do so in the belief that they offer better value for money when compared with new tyres. However, buyers should consider the cost per mm of useable tyre, rather than just the initial purchase price.
New tyres are normally sold with around 8mm of tread depth, whereas part worn tyres may have as little of 2mm of tread. With a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in the UK, the cost per mm of useable tread of part worn tyres can be considerably more than that of a new tyre.”
Devon Tyres Sales
On top of the safety risks, driving with sub-standard tyres can also land you with a huge fine and even a driving ban. You can be fined £2,500 and given three penalty points for each faulty tyre on your car.
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