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The dangers of part worn tyres

Kwik Fit | Tuesday 12th March 2019 10:15am

Tyres with cuts, bulges and damaged sidewalls

Part worn tyres are easily available to buy. However, are they a safe choice for your vehicle? Many drivers are not aware of the safety risks of part worn tyres. Not only do part worn tyres pose safety risks but also are a false economy. In spite of the cheaper initial outlay, these tyres will wear down below the legal limit much faster than new tyres.

What are the dangers of part worns?

Tyre manufacturers, motoring organisations and independent testers have all highlighted the dangers of part worn tyres. As they have already been fitted to a previous vehicle, they have already been worn down before you purchase them.

New tyres, such as those made by Continental, come with 8mm of tyre tread depth as standard. In contrast, most part worn tyres only have 3mm of tread depth. Although this is above the legal limit of 1.6mm of tread depth, tyres with a tread depth of 3mm and below donít perform in terms of safety. Many part worns are actually sold with even less than 3mm of tread depth and are close to, if not below, the legal limit.

Part worns are often sold damaged

Another issue with part worn tyres is that they are often sold already damaged increasing the likelihood of an accident. The type of damage can range from tears to bulges and can be visible or hidden. This can compromise the structural integrity of the tyre. In addition, part worn tyres may have foreign objects embedded in them such as shards of glass which can increase the chances of experiencing a puncture or a tyre blowout.

Tyresafe have conducted research into how many part worns are being sold in a state unfit for driving. They found out that around 5.5 million part worn tyres are sold in the UK per year. Although there are regulations surrounding the sale of part worn tyres, many tyres that are sold do not meet these standards. Part worn tyres should be in good condition with no visible bulges in the sidewall. Additionally, the tyres should have a minimum of 2mm of tread and be marked clearly as part worn on the tyre sidewalls. An investigation, in partnership with BBC Scotland, demonstrated that only 2 in 10 were sold legally. The other eight either had incorrect markings or were unroadworthy. TyreSafe have also undertaken many investigations into part worn tyres including with the Trading Standards Authority to help keep drivers safe on the roads.

The benefits of new tyres

Premium tyres, like those manufactured by Continental, deliver on performance and safety. In contrast, part worn tyres can be sold damaged and unfit for purpose. Even the seemingly low prices are a false economy. Fitting part worns means that you will need to replace the tyres sooner costing you more money in the long term.


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