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Part worn tyres

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

part worn tyres

Part-worn tyres – a dangerous, false economy

Should you buy used tyres?

I recently read a report from the UK, warning that almost half of part-worn tyres sold are illegal. They are either damaged or don’t have enough tread on them, or both. Some part-worn tyres are nearly 30 years old! Driving on defective tyres is a big problem. It causes injuries and deaths. 719 injuries and 17 deaths in the UK in 2017 were caused by illegal, defective or underinflated tyres.

Part-worn tyres in Australia

The sale of new tyres in Australia is highly regulated. They must conform to ADR23 guidelines. New tyres have between 6mm and 8mm of tread, though the legal limit is 1.5mm. ADR23 doesn’t discuss second-hand tyres.

Why would you buy part-worn tyres?

There is only one reason to be tempted by part-worn tyres: to save money. To save a few dollars, there is a cost. That cost is risk. The risk you take by not knowing the history of the tyre. You must consider the age of the tyre – tyres don’t age well like fine wines. They degrade and weaken.

Are part-worn tyres dangerous?

The clue is in the name. Part-worn tyres are older. They have been used. Older tyres suffer from degraded rubber. Used tyres suffer from wear and tear and damage. Part-worn tyres are part-safe tyres. When you think about the job that tyres do for you – in terms of comfort, handling and safety – buying used tyres should worry you.

New tyres come with deep treads. Premium tyres provide premium grip. Part-worn tyres are often sold with 3mm of tread or less. That’s above the legal minimum, but dangerously close to being dangerous. That’s why we recommend you replace tyres if the tread is 3mm.

In the UK, part-worn tyres should have undergone testing before they are sold. Tests include internal integrity and inflation testing. They should also have at least 2mm of tread remaining. Despite these regulations, many part-worn tyres in the UK are sold in an illegal condition.

Here in Australia, we don’t have such strict rules on part-worn tyres. You’re on your own. Buyer beware. If you do buy part-worn tyres and they don’t have enough tread, you could be fined more than $100. Per tyre. And a demerit point per tyre.

When tyres are damaged, they become less safe

If you damage your tyres, each nick or scuff makes them a little less safe. Part-worn tyres have little tears, nick, scuffs and bulges. The accumulation of these could make them dangerous – even if they have enough tread. You may also find small pieces of metal or glass embedded in the tyre. This increases the chances of a tyre blowout.

Do you really save money when you buy used tyres?

You may save a few dollars when you buy part-worn tyres, at least on the initial purchase. But they won’t last like new tyres. You will need to replace them sooner. Much sooner. It’s likely that you’ll end up spending more in the long run. When you add in the poorer safety, buying part-worn tyres makes no sense.

In summary, there is no comparison between new, premium tyres and old, part-worn tyres. If you are concerned about comfort, handling and safety, then avoid part-worn tyres and buy the best-quality new tyres your budget will allow.

For advice on what the best tyres are for your vehicle, driving style and budget, call into our Darra Tyres shop. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

The Dangers of Driving on Part Worn Poor Quality Tyres

What risk are you taking behind the wheel of poor quality tyres?

No matter how good a driver you are, if your tyres aren’t up to scratch you’re putting your life in danger. More importantly, you’re putting other people’s lives at risk. Poor quality tyres includes partly worn tyres, even if they were once high quality.

A survey in Australia last year found that almost half of all drivers did not know if their tyres were legal or not. Nearly a third of drivers quizzed in the survey admitted that they drove on worn tyres they thought were illegal.

In this post, I’ll look at some of the dangers of driving on part worn tyres that are, in fact, illegal. You’ll also discover how to ensure easily that your worn tyres meet the legal requirements.

Women are more at risk than men

The Canstar Blue survey questioned 1,600 drivers in early 2015. It found that:

  • 40% of Australian drivers don’t know the law on tyre safety standards
  • 29% believe they have driven on illegal tyres
  • 25% don’t know what the correct air pressure for their tyres is, or where to find their tyre pressure guide
  • 20% don’t know how to check their tyres for wear

Perhaps most disturbingly, female drivers are:

  • two times more likely to not know about tyre safety standards; and
  • three times less likely to know how to check their tyres are safe and legal.

What job do tyres do?

Your tyres are an essential part of your car. They help you stick to the road in all conditions. A good tyre properly inflated will reduce fuel consumption and improve the driving experience. In wet weather, they push water away and stop you from aquaplaning.

If you’re driving at 100 kilometres per hour, each of your tyres might have to expel as much as nine litres of water every second in wet conditions. If they didn’t do this, you’d feel like you were driving on ice.

It’s the tread and tread depth which enables the tyre to cope with this amount of water on the road. If you drive on a worn tyre, the grip is destroyed. You might as well be driving in the Arctic. You can imagine the devastation a 100 kilometre-per-hour crash causes. And all because you didn’t know how to check your tyres.

What is a legal tyre, and how do you check on wear?

Under Australian law, you must have at least 1.5mm of the tread where the tyre contacts the road. We used to check this with coin edges. Not very scientific, and not very accurate. Fortunately, most tyres now have tread wear indicator bars. When the tread has worn down to the limit, the tread bar will be level with the tread.

Tyre wear is caused by a range of factors. The roads on which you drive and the weather conditions in which you drive are two of the things that you have little to no control over. But excessive speed, late and violent braking, and driving corners too fast all add to tyre wear. Driving poorly not only increases the possibility that you’ll have an accident, but it also increases the cost of driving.

Don’t stop at checking tread

Tyres have a limited life irrespective of how you drive. Excessive heat or sunlight will deteriorate the rubber. Every time you rub the sidewall against the kerb when parking, a little bit more damage is caused to your tyre.

Tread wear is easier to spot than sidewall wear or other damage. Don’t forget that a spare tyre might not be roadworthy, even if it has never been used before.

Whenever you have your tyres replaced, get the spare checked. And if you’re not sure how to check your tyres to see if they are part worn, bring your car to us, and we’ll show you how.

Don’t be embarrassed that you don’t know the legal limits or how to check your tyre for wear – you’re in the company of almost half of all Australia’s drivers. Getting your tyres checked regularly will put you into the elite driver category – those who make sure their tyres are legal and that road safety is a priority.

Contact Darra Tyres today on (07) 3333 5510. We’re here to serve.


Kevin Wood

Are second hand tyres the the best tyres for your vehicle?

Could buying second hand tyres be the costliest thing you do?

You might think that second hand used or part worn tyres are an affordable and reliable option. But do they represent good value for money? Here we debunk some of the myths to see if second hand tyres are the best tyres for your vehicle.

Besides everything in this article the fact remains that the cost of new tyres has dropped so much that second hand tyres, retreads and any other form of non-new tyres, is a declining market. So consider the new alternative to your second hand before making a decision.

Where do part worn tyres come from?

Part worn tyres are second hand tyres. They could come from anywhere. When you buy them, there is no way of telling who previously owned them. You don’t even know what country they have been used. Nor do you know how they were driven.

Second hand tyres might be sourced from car wrecking services, vehicle recyclers, or even illegal tyre dumps. We’re not saying that second hand tyre shops sell poor products. One thing is sure, though: you simply won’t know the history of a second-hand tyre.

Are second-hand tyres the best tyres for the safety of your vehicle?

A study conducted in England in 2014 showed that 1.5 million drivers had bought illegal part worn tyres in the previous five years. In 2015, TyreSafe found that 98% of part worn tyres would not pass trading standards.

I don’t know about you, but those statistics put me off buying second-hand tyres for life.

When you buy second hand tyres, you should be told what amount of tread they have remaining. Some will be as high as 80% to 100%. Others are as low as 40%. Any wear on tread will affect your driving performance.

Age of tyres also affects them. A second hand tyre could be almost 100% tread grade, but it might be ten years old. It could have been on a car that was hardly ever driven. But it has been weathered by ten years of sun and rain, while it stood on the road mostly unused.

Is the saving worth the risk?

There’s no doubt that buying second hand tyres will save you money. But you have to weigh the financial saving with the risk you’re taking. You don’t know the history of the tyre. You won’t know if they pass all the legal requirements in Queensland.

If you buy a pet from a dog rescue home, you won’t know the dog’s history. You won’t know its full medical or mental state. When you take the dog home, you understand that there is risk involved.

If second hand tyres are called ‘risk-involved tyres’, would you buy them?

For the best deals in new tyres, get in touch with the team at Darra today. Give us a call on 3333 5510 – we’ll be happy to help.



Kevin Wood