Should You Buy Part-Worn Tyres?

Part-Worn Tyres: More Dangerous and More Expensive in the Long Run

Occasionally, motorists come into our tyre shop in West Brisbane and, after a tyre check, discover they need to change their tyres and ask if we sell part-worn tyres. Now, it is pretty easy to buy part-worn tyres, but we don’t recommend you fit them to your vehicle. Just like we don’t recommend that motorists buy blemished tyres.

Part-Worn Tyres Are a False Economy

They may save you a few dollars on the purchase price, but part-worn tyres will wear faster. Having been previously used, they don’t have the tread that new tyres have. So you’ll get to below the legal limit faster. This means you’ll need to replace them sooner, and that means a second outlay on tyres. Perhaps a third and fourth.

Suddenly, you’ve spent moreover two or three years than you would over five years if you’d have purchased new tyres.

Looks Aren’t Everything

Even if part-worn tyres look in good condition, it doesn’t mean they are. They could have been on a vehicle for four or five years. Even if the previous driver only covered a few hundred miles each year, the age of part-worn tyres compromises their condition.

Most manufacturers recommend that you change new tyres after five or six years, irrespective of how many miles they have covered. Even in storage, tyres become aged and the stability of their rubber degrades.

Ageing of tyres is worse in sunny climates because it is UV rays from the sun that do most of the damage. Small cracks that appear in a tyre over time become oxidised by the sun, and this accelerates the breakdown of the tyre.

Part-Worn Tyres Compromise Your Safety

As a tyre’s rubber is compromised by age, so too is your safety. Those cracks make a tyre weaker. You’re more likely to suffer a tyre blowout, especially if you’re travelling at speed. The shallower tread also leads to less grip on the road, making cornering more dangerous. Get it wrong and you’ll be heading into oncoming traffic in the blink of an eye.

You don’t need to take my word that part-worn tyres are more dangerous. Many international studies have found the same. For example:

  • In Ireland, the Road Safety Authority found that, over a four-year period, 66% of fatal accidents were caused by worn tyres
  • In the UK, Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that defective tyres were the most common reason for road traffic accidents

Most Part-Worn Tyres Are Sold in a Dangerous Condition

Okay, so now I hear you say, “Yeah, but that’s defective tyres. Tell me about part-worn tyres.” Well, here’s an astounding statistic for you:

The DfT found that a staggering 58% of part-worn tyres purchased have defects.

In other words, when you buy a part-worn tyre, you have an almost 6-in-10 chance that it is unsafe. Plus, by driving on part-worn tyres you massively increase your chances of having a fatal accident.

The defects that are commonly found in part-worn tyres include cracks, bulges and tears. These are visible and should always be avoided, however inconsequential they appear. Perhaps even more dangerous are the defects that you cannot see – embedded shards of glass, and structural issues such as damaged belts, tyre casings, and body ply. All these defects make a tyre more dangerous and put you in greater danger of suffering an accident.

Why You Should Buy New Tyres

New tyres are rigorously tested. You know they don’t have defects, and they have 8mm of tread depth. Any new tyres that don’t pass the testing process are cast away and labelled as blemished – which is why we never sell blemished tyres. Like part-worn tyres, you just cannot be certain that what you are buying is safe.

We don’t think it is wise to play with people safety. When we supply tyres to customers, they can be certain that they are buying the best quality within their budget. Not blemished tyres. Not part-worn tyres. New tyres that keep you safer, deliver trustworthy performance, and, in the long run, will probably save you money.

Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

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