Half of part worn tyres on sale deemed illegal, investigation reveals

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A worrying nine out of 17 part-worn tyres on sale were found to be unsafe, with some deemed ‘safety critical’, according to a Trading Standards investigation.

As a result of the findings of North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards officers, motorists are being warned they could be putting their lives at risk for the sake of saving a few pounds when they buy part worn tyres.

Each year more than 1,200 motorists in the UK are injured in an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.

Councillor Terry Walker, portfolio holder for Leisure, Citizens and Public Protection, said: “Many drivers who buy part-worn tyres do so because they think they are getting better value for money, but a new tyre will usually come with 8mm of tread where a part-worn tyre can legally have as little as 2mm.

“Although the price of a new tyre can be twice that of a part-worn, you are getting four times as much useable tread and clearly the part-worn tyre will need to be replaced much, much sooner than a brand new one.”

Neil Clark, Trading Standards manager at North East Lincolnshire Council, told the Grimsby Telegraph: “Obviously, not all part-worn tyres are unsafe. However, many traders do not realise that a repair to a part-worn tyre should comply with a British Standard and that they should be trained to do this. Not everyone can or should be repairing part-worn tyres.”

Figures provided by Tyresafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety group, show that the average cost per millimetre of useable tread on a part-worn tyre is £6.33 per mm whereas a comparable new tyre is cheaper at £5.32.

Additionally, the braking distances on a wet road for a vehicle travelling at 50mph can be up to 12 metres longer for a part-worn tyre. According to TyreSafe “part worn tyres = part safe” and it always recommends drivers fit new tyres.

Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, warned: “Buying part-worn tyres is not only a false economy, but it also comes with many more risks than buying new.

“A part-worn only has to have 2mm of tread depth, leaving just 0.4mm – half the thickness of a bank card – before it needs replacing again. That assumes it was fit for purpose and safe in the first place and, regrettably, survey after survey shows this is not the case most of the time.”

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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