Part worn – part safe?

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by GEM Motoring Assist

TyreNew research published today reveals that more than a fifth (22%) of British drivers have bought second hand, or ‘part worn’ tyres for their car, with nearly three million motorists (9%) having done so in the last year. However, the study found that only 17% of drivers 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.

One of the dangers of buying part worn tyres is that their condition may not have been properly checked.  One million British drivers who have had used tyres fitted said that they had failed through damage which they believe was already present in the tyre when they bought it.  657,000 of those fitting part worn tyres to their car said they experienced a loss of grip or control due to their poor quality while 475,000 said they had been in an accident as a result.   In many cases the level of usable tread on part worn tyres can prove to be a false economy, as almost 600,000 drivers who opted for second hand tyres said that they failed their next MOT.

83% of British drivers say they would not consider buying part worn tyres in the future for a number of important reasons.  48% worry that there might be hidden damage in the tyres, 47% say that new tyres perform better than those which are worn and 44% say they are a false economy and they get more for their money from a new tyre. Over a third of motorists (36%) are concerned that they don’t know where the tyres have come from, 35% say they don’t know how they have been driven on a previous car, while one in five (19%) say they don’t trust garages which sell part worn tyres.

Roger Griggs from Kwik Fit, who commissioned the research, said: “This highlights the problems that British drivers have experienced with part worn tyres.  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.  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.”