An amazing 98% of part worn tyres could be illegal when sold, according to tyre safety group Tyresafe.
The group is issuing a warning to all motorists to avoid part worn tyres following a month-long trial during which it purchased 50 part worn tyres and found that 98% of them were already illegal when sold – and some had dangerous defects.
What’s worse, one-third of the tyres were found to be potentially dangerous due to damage or extreme wear.
Part worn tyres are increasingly popular in cash-strapped Britain, and some estimates suggest that one-third of motorists are now choosing to buy secondhand tyres for their cars, rather than new ones.
In Tyresafe’s experiment, one tyre still had a large nail embedded into it – almost invisibly from the outside – meaning that a sudden, dangerous blowout would be highly likely, probably at high speed or when under heavy load.
All of the tyres were inspected by a tyre expert and many came short of the standard required to meet the law. Other serious safety breaches included dangerous and unsafe repairs, exposed cords, bead damage and evidence of runflat damage.
“Although a number of clear regulations exist which permit the sale of part worn tyres, it’s obvious from our investigation that these are not being adhered to,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Not only are drivers putting their own lives at risk, but they are also endangering their passengers, which in many cases may be their children, and other road users. Before buying part worn tyres I would urge drivers to ask themselves if the risk of buying part worn tyres is really worth it?”
I think that part worn tyres are a dangerous rip off and that British drivers should set their standards higher. Tyres are one of the most safety-critical parts of your car and using someones else’s scrapped tyres is simply not a good idea.
People who buy part worn tyres usually do so on grounds of cost, but even here they do not deliver. Although the initial outlay is lower, part worn tyres end up costing more per mm of usable tread.
TyreSafe’s investigation found that the average cost per mm of usable tread of the part worn tyres was £6.33, whereas the comparable cost when selecting an equivalent new tyre was 16 per cent lower at £5.32. It’s important to remember that even though the tyres are cheaper, the fitting costs will be the same – and you will need to have new ones fitted much more often as they have so little legal wear left on them.
I’ve written about part worn tyres before and find the trend for using them extremely worrying – not least because the tyres being sold are only thought to be good enough for scrap in other European countries, like Germany, where most part worn tyres come from.
British motorists need to start taking a bit more responsibility for the safety of their cars. Buying decent quality, new tyres and keeping them legal and correctly inflated makes a major contribution to the safety of your car and is worth sacrificing other expenditure for – such as Sky subscriptions, pub visits, meals out and all-inclusive mobile phone contracts.
Sorry, but it’s true.
For more information, visit the Tyresafe website.