After a study found that over 90% of sellers were fitting unsafe or illegal tyres to vehicles, British drivers are wising up to using part worn tyres and are being advised to avoid at all costs.
Part worn tyres are a low cost alternative to purchasing brand new tyres. Essentially they are tyres that have been removed from a vehicle but still fit the legal requirements on tread, damage and depth.
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It is illegal to sell part worn tyres that do not meet the legal requirements. An investigation by Trading Standards officers and TyreSafe, the industry body, discovered that the majority of part worn tyres were sold defective and not meeting the legal requirements to be safe. This inturn puts drivers and pedestrian’s lives at risk.
The study showed that out of the 152 tyre retailers the officers visited, an astounding 139 were selling part worn tyres unsafe for use. The most notable problems with them were; tyres with water in them being fitted to cars, to some having nails and other objects protruding from them.
In 2018, Chairman of TyreSafe, Stuart Jackson described their findings as ‘shocking’ and echoed the risk to safety for both drivers and pedestrians mentioned by Trading Standards.
Selling faulty safety critical vehicle components can be disastrous. When a vehicle drives on compromised tyres, the steering and braking are significantly impacted, which can put you at risk of catastrophic tyre failure which can be made worse at speed.
As the only point of your vehicle in contact with the road, tyres are an essential factor in road safety. They provide the car with grip which the steering and braking systems greatly depend on in order to operate effectively. Defective tyres will ultimately mean longer stopping distances and less control when cornering.
Often drivers believe that purchasing part worn tyres is better value for money compared to new ones. Although typically cheaper, it doesn’t mean partworn are better than new tyres.
When purchasing tyres it is advised that the cost per mm of usable tyre should be considered, instead of just the initial purchase price. In short you will get much more for your money when purchasing and using new tyres.
Typically, new tyres are sold with around 8mm of tread depth. It isn’t uncommon to buy part worn tyres with as little as 2mm. The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, this means that you have much less driving time on low tread part worn tyres when compared to new ones.