Are part worn tyres unsafe?

Many outlets sell part worn tyres with unsafe repairs and incorrect labelling putting everyone at risk. While second-hand tyres or part worn tyres are cheaper than buying new ones, they may present more problems than they are worth. Second-hand tyres pose some of the biggest threats to road safety and remember, the condition of your tyres also impacts braking distance, steering and cornering.New tyres normally have approximately 8mm of tread depth compared to some part worn tyres with as little as 2mm. Based on the legal minimum tread depth in the UK (1.6mm), the cost per mm of useable tread on part worn tyres are considerably more. Due to the small amount of tread, many people have to replace part worn tyres much sooner than a new tyre which adds to the cost.

Part worn tyres can have serious road safety issues, including unsafe repairs, exposed cords, bead damage and evidence of run-flat damage. Motorists should always look for any cracks, tears or bulges.
According to Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, “Cheap part worn tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don’t have the correct legal markings, motorists risk buying illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accident.”

Criteria for part worn tyres

While new tyres are the safest option, the legislation does permit the sale of part worn tyres. However, they must meet the following primary requirements under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.):

The structural integrity must not be compromised. It should be free of large cuts, any bulges or lumps both internally and externally. No plies or cords should be exposed.
Tyres must have passed an inflation test prior to sale.
The original grooves must still be clearly visible in their entirety and must be to a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of the tread, around its entire circumference.
Part worn tyres which have not been retreaded must clearly show the relevant ‘E’ mark alongside which ‘PART-WORN’ must be permanently and legibly applied in letters at least 4mm high. These words cannot be hot branded or cut into the tyre.

Poorly repaired tyres also feature in the second-hand tyre market resulting in weaker tyres. Many suppliers and service centres don’t repair rips and tears properly and they subsequently sell these ‘repaired tyres’ to unsuspecting consumers. This practice is unacceptable and incredibly dangerous for all road users.

New tyres provide a safer option and last longer than used tyres. In essence, they offer better value for money in the long term so don’t compromise on safety just to save money – you could put lives at risk.

5 Basic rules for tyre safety

Maximise road safety and extend the lifespan of your tyres with regular pressure checks, tread depth checks and visual inspections. Looking after your tyres the right way will not only save you time and money in the long run, it will also keep you and your family safe.

Always replace tyres with the same size as recommended by the vehicle or tyre manufacturer
Tyre brand, size and tyre tread pattern must be the same across each axle
Watch out for counterfeit tyres or illegal replicas of well-known and respected brands. Always pay close attention to the tyre labelling and overall condition
All your tyres must be the same size with the same speed rating and construction type (radial or cross-ply. Manufacturers might recommend different-sized tyres for the front and rear axles.
When using two radial tyres with two cross-ply tyres, fit the radials on the rear axle.

Not only is it dangerous to drive on tyres with less than 1.6 mm of tread, it is also against the law. It can result in fines of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre. If all your tyres are excessively worn, that will cost you a hefty £10,000 and 12 penalty points.

Why buy tyres from Elite Garages?

Elite Garages provide dealership quality services at competitive prices and a selection of tyres to suit any budget. Our staff are honest, friendly, professional and always ready to assist wherever they can. Furthermore, we also give you the Elite Price Promise that, “If you find a genuine printed cheaper price for the same product which is in stock we will meet or beat this price at the time of purchase.”

We know how challenging it can be to manage everyday life with work, driving the kids around and still looking after your car. Book your FREE tyre safety check and let us take care of it for you. Get in touch if you need more information on tyres, puncture repairs, MOT, services, wheel alignment and more. Why don’t you join us on Facebook and become a valued member of our online community?

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