Part-worn tyres a factor in up to 475,000 accidents – survey
A new study carried out by ICM Research for Kwik Fit suggests that 22 per cent of British drivers have purchased part-worn tyres for their car at some stage and nine per cent – a figure that represents close to three million drivers – have done so in the past year. However the survey of 2,561 adults in the UK found that only 17 per cent of respondents would consider buying used tyres in the future, with many saying they wouldn’t do so as they have experienced problems as a result of opting for used rubber.
No system is in place to properly check part-worn tyres before their resale, and therefore it is unsurprising that some survey respondents – a group representative of one million British drivers – said the used tyres they’d bought failed due to damage believed to be already present in the tyre when purchased. A respondent group representing 657,000 motorists said they’d experienced a loss of grip or control due to the poor quality of the part-worns they’d fitted, while a group representing 475,000 drivers said they’d been involved in an accident as a result. And in many cases the level of usable tread on part-worn tyres can prove to be a false economy, as the survey showed that a number of respondents representing almost 600,000 drivers said their second hand tyres failed the next MoT.
The majority of respondents said they wouldn’t consider buying part worn tyres in the future. 48 per cent expressed worry that there might be hidden damage in the tyres, 47 per cent said that new tyres perform better than those that are worn and 44 per cent said part-worns are a false economy and they get more for their money from a new tyre. Furthermore, 36 per cent expressed concern about not knowing where the tyres have come from, 35 per cent were uncomfortable with the fact that they don’t know how they were driven on a previous car, while 19 per cent indicated they don’t trust garages that sell part-worn tyres.
“This research highlights the problems that British drivers have experienced with part-worn tyres,” commented Kwik Fit communications director Roger Griggs. “Many of the second hand tyres sold in the UK are brought in from Europe by the container load, having been taken off cars across the Channel. Motorists considering a part-worn tyre should perhaps ask why a tyre that is no longer good enough for a Dutch, German or Danish driver would be good enough for them.
“We recognise that drivers are keen to keep their motoring costs low, and we work hard to provide products and services to help them do that,” he added. “There comes a point where cutting costs can compromise safety and this is especially true with tyres. After all, these are the only thing connecting a car with the road, so we urge drivers to consider whether they really need to opt for the unknown quality of second hand tyres.”