TyreSafe: Think of the cost of part-worn tyres, not the price

Motorists shouldn’t need to be reminded of this, but it seems they do – safety should be the primary concern when replacing tyres. This is the message from TyreSafe this Tyre Safety Month, and the organisation emphasises that although part-worn tyres may appear to be a cheaper option, numerous studies and investigations it and Trading Standards have carried out give reason to question the roadworthiness of these products. In the most recent actions, 93 per cent of part-worns inspected were sold illegally, and more than have possessed safety-critical faults.

The low-price tags affixed to part-worn tyres attract those seeking car maintenance on a shoestring, however TyreSafe points out that its research suggest that the lifetime cost of buying used tyres is actually higher, at £6.33 per mm compared with £5.32 for a new tyre. And in addition to questions over their safety and false economy, the tyre safety association brings up the issue of poor quality of service and the expertise shown by those fitting the tyres.

Jahmel Hamilton-Alexander from Buckinghamshire, is just one motorist who has suffered as a result of buying part worns. “My MoT was looming and I needed to replace the tyres quickly so I went to a part-worn dealer. The tread was okay so it went through the MoT but then it started to deflate. I was having to pump it up every few days so I took it back but I was not greeted in great fashion.

“After it was removed, it was clear it had had an illegal repair, which made it dangerous but they wouldn’t do anything about it. In fact, I ended up having to go through Trading Standards and getting a County Court judgement to get my money back. That took two-and-a-half months.

“No amount of money is worth risking your safety – my family could have been in that car when the repair failed on the motorway. I won’t buy part-worns again and I wouldn’t advise anybody else to either.”

Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, adds: “However tempting it may be to save money by paying a lower price at the time of purchase, motorists should be aware of the false economy. Your tyres will have to be replaced much sooner and at a similar price to the ones previously fitted so you won’t benefit in the long term. TyreSafe urges Britain’s motorists to put safety of themselves and others on the road first and not buy part-worn tyres.”

Part worn tyres can be sold with 2mm tread depth, which leaves just 0.4mm – half the thickness of a bank card – before they reach the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm. For more information on the regulations governing the sale of part-worns, visit tyresafe.org or partworn-tyres.co.uk.

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