Part worn tyres are an 'accident waiting to happen'

They may seem like a cheap alternative to new rubber, especially if you drive an older car, but part worn tyres are simply an accident waiting to happen according to experts.

The warning comes from Micheldever Tyre Services, one of the largest retailers of tyres in the UK. According to the law part worn tyres can only be sold if they meet certain requirements which cover aspects such as structural integrity and a minimum tread depth of 2mm. They must also have the words 'Part Worn' written clearly on the side.

However, the extent of the danger posed by these tyres was underlined last year by Birmingham Trading Standards which found that 90% of the part worn tyres they examined failed to meet the minimum legal requirements.

"Tyres removed from vehicles are usually taken off for a reason”, says Mark Harley of Micheldever, "they may have hidden damage which is only likely to be revealed when the car is driven down the road. The reality is that they pose a real road safety danger, are not fit for purpose and in fact offer very poor value for money”. 

According to a recent survey, arranged in conjunction with tyre safety organisation TyreSafe, the cost per millimeter of a part worn versus a new tyre was almost twice as much.

Micheldever and its 63 Protyre branches have introduced a policy of disabling all tyres removed from cars and vans. This is done by drilling two holes in the sidewall of the tyre, ensuring that they do not find their way back onto UK roads. The disabled tyres are then disposed of by the company according to the requirements set out under the Responsible Recycler Scheme.

Micheldever says it accepts that some motorists opt for part worn tyres as a means of saving money by buying from outlets that conform to the rules and label the tyres correctly. However it claims that many used tyre dealers are ignoring the requirements under the legislation which have been put in place to protect motorists and other road users.

"In addition to offering poor value for money”, says Mark Harley, “we believe that many are potentially dangerous with hidden damage. Using these tyres could put drivers and passengers at a safety risk."


Llyntyres    on 20 July 2012

Yes I agree with the article. At an outler near me people are paying £15 for a 175/65x14 with 2mm of tread on when for £40 they could have a new tyre with 8mm of tread. Some people are to stupid to see that part worn tyres are a waste of money.

   on 19 January 2019

Now look, this is just scaremongering, yes there can be really bad tyres out there fitted by unscrupulous places, but if you're cutting corners and stupid enough to be taken in by them you shouldn't be behind the wheel.
Have your wits about you, get an understanding of what you need to look for and part worn are fine. If you're not trying to get the cheapest barely legal peice of tat, then bargains can be had. Premium brands, with three quarters of their tread, no damage or repair for half new price. Buy them on eBay, mail order, with buyer protection, then have them fitted and checked by your local garage. I've been using them for some time, as long as you focus on value and not just to replace the last set you wore to the canvas.
It's a horrible generalisation to make to say that any used tyre is dangerous. Think of it this way, you buy a used car and as such used tyres, how do you have any clue what condition they are in or how they've been treated. But mail order some, you can clearly see all the tread, inner and outer walls, telltale signs inside the tyre or having been driven when flat of of repairs not obvious from the outside. You can fully examine a tyre ONLY when it's not attached to the car. Any tyre can fail, new or old, any can get punctured.
Common sense and the desire to understand where to look for potential problems and you can safely reduce your vehicle running costs.
Tyres, food sell by dates, all the 'occasions' invented by retailers to sell you more stuff, manufactured music bands, Fashion, gambling websites. All part of massive ploys by big companies to hold consumers to ransom. Come on guys, use your heads and beat the big boys before they take over the world!

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