Part-Worn Tyres: Are They Ever Truly Safe?

Tyres are expensive, so it’s not surprising that some people opt for part-worn. But are they ever truly safe?

Part-Worn Tyres

When it comes to maintaining and servicing a vehicle, replacing tyres with new ones can be very expensive; especially if more than one tyre needs to be replaced. As a consequence, many motorists opt for part-worn tyres, in order to keep costs down. According to data, around 5.5 million part-worn tyres are sold in the UK each year. This is perfectly legal, of course, but there are some regulations that need to be followed.

Vendors need to ensure that part-worn tyres have at least 2mm of tread across their width and circumference. They also need to be free of damage and bulges. Moreover, the also need to be clearly marked, in large letters, as ‘part-worn’.


Naturally, there are advantages when it comes to buying, and using, used tyres. Some people may be put off by the concept entirely. However, anyone who’s ever purchased a used vehicle has, ultimately, bought used tyres as well. Some used tyres are imported from countries like Germany, where the legal minimum tread depth is 3mm – higher than our own.

The most obvious advantage of used tyres is that they can be significantly cheaper than new ones. In addition, you may also be able to get your hands on used tyres from a premium brand; which could mean they’re better than non-premium new tyres in some instances. If it matters to you (it probably should) there are also environmental benefits in using used tyres; rather than constantly purchasing new ones.


Why do part-worn tyres end up being for sale? Because someone, somewhere, decided that they were no longer safe enough, or good enough, for their vehicle. It’s that simple. Of course, some motorists may be over zealous and even wasteful. But many will simply swap them when they feel that they’ve got insufficient tread depth or aren’t providing enough grip.

One survey conducted by TyreSafe suggested that a staggering 98% of used tyres don’t actually comply with regulations. A further 34% could pose a danger.

Potential savings could also be misleading. A used tyre will already have a lower tread depth. It may be that they don’t last very long and you simply end up replacing them relatively soon after purchasing them. In which case, it might have made more sense in the long-term to opt for new tyres.

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The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive discounts on servicing and new tyres and will gain access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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