All drivers are encouraged to make sure their tyres are suitable and safe for driving. Safe tyres are a vital element in safe driving.
Recent research has revealed that the purchase of part-worn tyres can be a particular problem. A part-worn tyre has been used previously and removed from another vehicle. The main attraction of part-worn tyres for many motorists is the price but you must be aware that there are a number of repair issues that make a part-worn tyre illegal to sell e.g. certain types of cuts, tears, bulges or exposure of the ply or cord.
All part-worn tyres must be labelled with the words PART-WORN in capital letters, at least 4 millimetres in height. In respect of the tyre tread, the grooves of the original tread pattern must be of a depth of at least 2 millimetres across the full breadth of tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
Any repairs to the tyre must have been carried out in compliance with the relevant British Standard.
Part-worn tyres which comply with the legal requirements and have been fitted by a competent tyre fitter are perfectly safe.
Safety Risks of Unsafe, Part-worn Tyres
It is a criminal offence for someone to sell you tyres which do not meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (as amended).
Damage to a part-worn tyre due to previous poor repairs, penetration damage, being over or under inflated or after an impact such as hitting a kerb can cause irreparable and invisible damage to the structure of the tyre, compromising its safety. Unsafe tyres increase the risk of tyre related accidents. If a tyre fails at the wrong moment the consequences can be significant with the possibility of serious accidents leading to loss of life.
What you can do?
The Council strongly recommends, where possible, that you fit new tyres to your vehicle.
If you decide to purchase part-worn tyres always check that the tyre is marked ‘PART-WORN’ and ask for the tyre to be fully inflated so it can be thoroughly checked for any lumps and/or bulges.
Remember part-worn tyres will wear out more quickly and it is important to check your tyres regularly.