Any unexpected costs at this time of year are about as welcome as a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking! So if you discover you need new tyres the temptation might be to try and save a few pounds by fitting cheap part-worn tyres. This would be a big mistake. Big. Huge!
Secondhand tyres are consistently “putting lives at risk|”, according to the latest research by TyreSafe. It has revealed a shocking 99% of part worn tyre retailers it checked during the Tyre Safety Month campaign in October, were selling illegal and dangerous tyres.
In total, 18 investigations were carried out across England and Scotland involving 68 part worn traders, all bar one of whom were supplying tyres which contravened the legislation governing their sale. Even more concerning, of the 129 tyres inspected, 75% were unsafe.
TyreSafe has been working in partnership with Trading Standards for many years to investigate part worn traders, but during Tyre Safety Month a range of enforcement agencies also participated. These included numerous police forces and fire services, the Environment Agency, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive.
In a week of activity in the North East, a multi-agency team led by officers from Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit visited 29 businesses, none of which complied with the regulations.
These dreadful findings support TyreSafe’s advice for motorists to think again before buying part worns as there is no guarantee the tyres being sold to them are safe. Investigations also highlight a high level of incompetence among traders.
Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Despite years of appalling results from these investigations into the retail of part worn tyres, these findings still come as a shock.
“How can it be acceptable that three-quarters of the part worn tyres offered for sale were unsafe? Tyres are the only part of car in contact with the road and essential to road safety – selling dangerous examples to unsuspecting motorists is putting lives at risk.
“The number of dangerous part worn tyres being sold is no doubt related to the widespread incompetence of the retailers. With just one of the 68 retailers found to be compliant with the law, surely the part worn trade must vastly improve its standards before the British motorist can have any confidence in them.
“Until that happens, TyreSafe continues to urge drivers to buy new tyres to avoid paying a potentially heavy price for choosing to fit unsafe part worns.”
TyreSafe is campaigning to drive compliance of part worn retailers with the governing legislation (Consumer Protection Act 1987, referencing the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994) and raising their competence to a level comparable to new tyre retail technicians.
Compounding the view that old tyres belong on the scrapheap, is the fact that they do not offer good value for money either.
Secondhand tyres can be legally sold with as little as 2mm of tread, which is just a fraction above the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across three quarters of the circumference of a tyre. This means they are likely to need replacing very soon after fitting.
In contrast, all brand new tyres, whether they are budget, mid-range or premium brands, are sold with a clean bill of health and 8mm of tread.
Denna Bowman, Head Office