Second Hand Tyres - The Dangers Of Part Worn

Are second hand tyres worth the saving?

One of my regular customers asked for my opinion on second hand tyres, as some of her work colleagues were suggesting they could be an option in these difficult times. I informed her that there have been quite a few independent studies recently on the quality and safety of part worn tyres and suggested she search the internet for the final conclusions.

Upon reading about the dangers of second hand tyres, she was horrified with the findings and informed her colleagues not to compromise safety.

One thing you have to ask yourself is - "Why would somebody take a perfectly good and safe tyre off their vehicle?"

The answer is - THEY WOULDN'T!

Where do part worn tyres usually come from?

Scrap Yards

Old or badly accident damaged cars are sold for scrap. The tyres are often removed from these vehicles to be recycled into the tyre market.


Tyres that are removed from vehicles by reputable tyre fitters will normally be stored on site before being removed for disposal through environmentally friendly way. Sadly, these stores are often rifled and tyres with any level of legal tread depth - without discussion on why the tyre has been removed for instance because of irreparable punctures or due to damage caused by hitting pot-holes. Some tyre fitting businesses have taken the step of eliminating this problem by drilling holes in the sides of scrap tyres to ensure that they cannot be reused as tyres.

The regulations on Part Worn tyres are part of the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulation 1994. The onus is on the reseller to test the tyres to ensure they are safe and to then apply a vulcanised patch to confirm this has been done and to mark the tyres clearly as PART WORN. Some of the tyres which are part worn will have been repaired however there is no competency test for a "properly repaired" tyre and no traceability on the test examination.


Regulations in certain other European countries require tyres be changed when they have 3mm of tread depth on them 1.4mm more than the UK. Additionally, in many European countries there is a legal requirement to change from Summer to Winter Tyres.

Many of the tyres removed have 3mm to 6mm of tread depth left on them, it is largely uneconomic to store these over the winter period and then to refit these. Many of these tyres find their way to the UK to be resold as part worn tyres.

This creates significant problems for the UK in that at the end of their life they must be destroyed in an environmentally friendly way. Research has shown that in 2009 Germany exported 69,000 tones of used tyres, it is believed that many of these came to the UK.

Hometyre do not sell part worn tyres, however should you wish to purchase new tyres start your search here!



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