TyreSafe, one of the UK's leading tyre safety organisations, has recently conducted an investigation into part worn tyres in the UK, which has uncovered some startling figures.
The investigation revealed that:
• 98% were being sold illegally
• 16% contained dangerous or unsafe repairs
• 18% contained other potentially lethal forms of damage or non-compliance.
The key message that TyreSafe are hoping to put across to UK drivers is that part worn tyres are much less trustworthy than new tyres, as part worn tyres are not required to be examined by x-ray for internal damage. This can compromise tyre safety. Although there are laws which restrict the sale of part worn tyres that do not meet certain safety criteria, the investigation clearly shows that many sellers of part worn tyres are cutting corners on this front.
Many drivers believe that part worn tyres offer better value for money, although TyreSafe are hoping to dispel this myth by pointing out that this is often not the case. Where new tyres are sold with 8mm of tread, part worn tyres may have as little as 2mm of tread (the legal minimum is 1.6 mm).With this in mind, a part worn tyre may need to be replaced sooner than a new tyre, which would add up to a greater overall expense.
Christine Joyce, manager at TyreSafe, gave the following comment regarding the issue of part worn tyres: ‘While there are a number of rules in place which govern the sale of part worn tyres, our investigations have proven these are not being adhered to, placing drivers and other road users at great risk.
This information is particularly relevant when we are experiencing wet weather, as braking distance on wet roads is significantly higher with part worn tyres when compared with new tyres – almost 12m longer than a new tyre from 50mph as uncovered by the TyreSafe investigation.
If you are considering buying a part worn tyre, we urge you to first consider the benefits of buying new, or to ensure that the part worn tyres meet the safety criteria legislation so that you can stay safe on the roads.