Jack Dreyer | Wednesday 4th October 2023 11:00am
Everybody loves a bargain, especially when it comes to your car. When you need new tyres, the lure of cheap, part worn replacement tyres can be tempting. With prices as little as £10 per tyre, the old saying ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’ definitely comes to mind.
Part worn tyres can seem like a good deal, but you never really know what you are getting. With no knowledge of the tyre’s history, you have to ask yourself why the tyre is being resold: if the tyre’s condition is of a high enough quality, then why is it no longer on the vehicle it was originally fitted to?
In some cases, part worn tyres have come from cars that have been scrapped, while others are from cars that have been in accidents. While these part worn tyres may look good to the untrained eye, they could hide a number of issues, such as sidewall damage, which could put the safety of you and your passengers at risk.
Just how safe are part worn tyres?
With retailers being candid about the fact that the tyres they are selling are part worn, and used tyres being readily available on the high street and online, it’s understandable that many people would think that they are perfectly safe to use. However, while the act of selling part worn tyres is not illegal, there are rules under the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 that state the minimum requirements for any part worn tyre being sold; this includes structural integrity and tread quality. The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) previously inspected thousands of tyres and found that a staggering 98% were not compliant with these regulations.
But, even if your part worn tyres meet the stringent criteria set out by the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations, are you really getting a good deal? Many part worn tyres are shipped over from countries where the minimum legal tread depth is 3mm.
This means that tyres deemed illegal in other countries can be shipped to the UK, where they have up to 1.4mm of legal tread remaining before encroaching on the UK’s legal tread depth of 1.6mm. This can lead to having to purchase new tyres a lot sooner than you’d hoped, in order to replace the cheaper tyres once they’ve worn down to the UK’s minimum legal tread.
Part worn tyres cost breakdown
Many still argue that part worn tyres are still cheaper, despite more frequent replacement. However, If you were to work out the price-per-millimetre of legal tread on a part worn tyre compared to a brand new one with a full 8mm of tread depth, you would find that it actually works out cheaper in the long run to buy the new tyre, especially when you take into account the tyre fitting costs for all those additional part worn tyres you would be using.
In 2015, TyreSafe, one of the UK's leading tyre safety organisations, launched a website to highlight the dangers, real cost, and legal regulations relating to the sale of part worn tyres. There, you can find out more about the true cost of part worn tyres, including examples of unsafe part worn tyres offered for sale by unscrupulous dealers, as well as just how much part worn tyre costs add up. If you are considering purchasing part worn tyres over a brand new set, it’s worth visiting the site and weighing up the real cost difference between a new tyre and a used one – it’s negligible over time.
Tyre services at Kwik Fit
At Kwik Fit, we only fit brand new tyres from our own stock to ensure we know the origin of every tyre that we fit – giving you absolute peace of mind.
If you’re looking for new tyres, tyre fitting, or any other tyre services, we offer a whole range of solutions designed to keep your car at its best. You find out more on our tyres page, alternatively, you can visit your local Kwik Fit centre.
Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.
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