Dec 2011: Swinton Urges UK Motorists Not to Opt for Second Hand Tyres
Leading car insurance retailer Swinton has warned UK motorists about the risks associated with second hand tyres. These risks become more pertinent, especially in winter weather, where even driving with new tyres is extremely challenging.
Eye-Opening Survey Results
What has prompted Swinton to issue such a warning is probably the results of a recently conducted survey. On being asked whether they would choose second hand tyres or new tyres at the time of tyre replacement, 43% motorists replied that they would rather go with second hand tyres.
The main reason behind this choice obviously was the cost saving.
Perhaps there is a lack of awareness too about the dangers associated with used tyres.
Consider a Few Numbers
Swinton wants to put across the point very clearly that savings which motorists may make on used tyres is not lasting as such tyres tend to give rise to problems frequently. And more importantly, such tyres compromise safety to a considerable extent particularly in winter.
These figures speak for themselves. According to Swinton, 1,215 motor casualties that occurred last winter were the result of use of worn/used tyres on the vehicle. Further Department of Transport data reveals that 18 motorists were killed last year due to defective tyres.
These figures should be reason enough for you to invest in new tyres rather than second hand ones.
Possible Dangers Associated with Second Hand Tyres
The very first thing to remember is that used tyres are the ones that have been removed from the original vehicle, because of some valid reason.
(No one would discard their tyres if they were perfect.) Such tyres are then repaired, worked on etc. and sold again as part worn/ used/ second hand tyres at lower costs.
They may have the following issues which make them risky. Second hand tyres may have structural damage invisible to the naked eye. Such defects affect braking distances, which is a very important parameter, particularly on roads covered with snow or ice during winter.
Reduced braking distances greatly compromise safety. Also used tyres have only 3mm of tread and with such tyres, you may be driving on a tread depth of 1.4mm, while the legal limit is 1.6mm. Not only are you at a safety risk, you may also be fined for it.
You Don’t Want To Push Up your Insurance Premium
Swinton Claims Manager, Steve Chelton, commented that there is no rule against buying second hand tyres.
However he hoped that all the information put forth by their company on the hazards associated with used tyres will motivate motorists to invest in new tyres.
And naturally if you claim on your car insurance due to accidents occurring as a result of defective tyres, it will push up your renewal premium. This can be avoided by opting for new tyres, particularly while replacing tyres in winter.
Swinton is working with Goodyear to promote awareness about winter tyres. As the temperature dips below 7 degrees Celsius, the rubber in regular tyres lose their flexibility and the grip gets compromised.
Winter tyres incorporate special grade silica which maintains its flexibility at low temperatures and thus offers uncompromised grip and safety during winter.