With tyres, is definitely pays to be thorough – a solid set can keep you roadworthy for years to come without a second thought. This makes it all the more surprising when you think about the huge volume of second hand tyres that are sold to drivers every year, especially those tyres that are clearly not up to scratch or even in roadworthy condition.
We believe that the problem arises when retailers sell on dangerous or even uncertified tyres to their customers as standard practice, and at Derek Campbell Tyre and Exhaust Centre we see examples of worn and damaged tyres on cars all the time. Even so, the numbers came as a shock to us when a recent survey revealed that nearly 98% of all part-worn tyres are sold illegally. In addition, the survey found that some 16% of part worn tyres were sold to drivers in a dangerous condition, or had been repaired to a poor standard.
Part Worn Tyres: The Dangers
The problem with part-worn tyres is that it is difficult to ascertain whether any damage to the tyre has been repaired properly and thoroughly. The only reason that you would remove a tyre is because it has suffered a puncture or is suffering from insufficient tread, so it is reasonable to assume that at least some repairs would have to be carried out before the tyre could be used again.
However, this makes it very possible that products which have not been thoroughly assessed and repaired are resold, and this survey shows that a good many tyres which do not pass current UK legislation get through the system and are used on UK roads.
Often, this means that drivers are using tyres whilst being unaware of its true history, including damage to the side walls or to the integrity of the internal casing.
Where do part-worn tyres come from?
One of the main culprits is Germany, which currently represents the largest market for part worn tyres in Europe at the moment. This is because legislation demands that tyres maintain a minimum tread depth of 3mm, significantly more than in the UK. In addition, the use of winter tyres have been made compulsory here, which means that every winter the market is flooded with cheap used tyres coming from Germany.
Whilst the driver may think that they are getting a bargain here, the opposite is true – you will have to replace the tyre far sooner than you may think, and this can cost a lot more than you realise in the long run. We believe that this only ever represents a stop gap or a short term solution at best, and a high risk one at that.
A far better solution is to simply replace old with new, something with a certificate of authenticity that you can rely on to work and keep working for some years to come, barring any accident or damage. This also represents better value for money for the consumer, since you will be buying more tread depth for each pound spent.