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Part worn Tyres

The name gives a pretty clear indication of what part worn tyres are.

These are tyres that are ‘partly worn' and therefore don't have the same amount of tread that you'd expect to see on a brand-new set of tyres.

Part worn tyres or new?

Drivers choose to fit part worn tyres as they're much cheaper than new or budget tyres. However, while it seems on the surface that they offer better value for money, this isn't necessarily true.

When you buy new tyres, they come with 8mm of tread as standard, but you can find as little as 2mm of tread on part worn tyres. This means if you go for the cheapest option, you'll need to replace them much sooner because the minimum legal tread for tyres is 1.6mm.

Do Tyre Shopper have part worn tyres for sale?

We don't sell any part worn tyres – and here's why. We only sell brand new tyres. We do this so that we can offer excellent product guarantees and assure our customers of absolute quality and workmanship that comes from our trusted manufacturers.

Tyre Shopper supports the 3mm campaign that promotes the replacement of tyres when they reach tread depth of 3mm – when the tyre begins to perform less well in wet conditions, when travelling at speed.

Are part worn tyres illegal?

It's not against the law to fit part worn tyres, but they must meet specific legislation.

Part worn tyres are covered by the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (regulation 7) which falls under the Consumer Protection Act. This means that they should meet the following conditions to be considered roadworthy:

  • Structural integrity – No substantial cuts, bulges or lumps either internally and externally. No plies or cords should be exposed.
  • Inflation test – Free from punctures.
  • Tread depth – Grooves must be visible in their entirety and have 2mm of tread left on the part worn tyres across the whole width and circumference.
  • Stamped and labelled – Have an E stamped on them and labelled PART WORN in permanent letters of at least 4mm in height. They must not be branded or cut into tyres.
  • Re-treaded – These tyres should have the correct British Standards symbol applied alongside the PART WORN text. Part worn tyres must also display speed and load index ratings.

Part worn tyres under investigation

Tyre safety organisation, TyreSafe, and AutoExpress magazine carried out a study of part worn tyres sold in the UK, testing 50 retailers of them at random, to see if they met legislative standards.

Worryingly, 98% of those retailers had part worn tyres for sale that were illegal.

TyreSafe estimated that by measuring the amount in mm of useable tread before a tyre becomes illegal, new tyres would cost £5.32 per mm compared to £6.33 per mm of usable tread on part worn tyres.

That means you'd pay 16% more overall when opting for part worn tyres.

Part worn tyres and tyre safety

As with any set of tyres, it is important that you carry out tyre safety checks to ensure they remain safe and legal.

It's also imperative that you check the general condition of the part worn tyres, ensuring they are free from lumps, bulges, cuts and cracks. You should also ensure no foreign bodies are present which could cause a puncture or blow out at high speeds.

Finally, you should also check your tyre pressure regularly (at least every three weeks) and before any long journeys. This helps prolong your tyres' life and improves fuel efficiency. Find your recommended pressure in the petrol cap, in the driver's door or the vehicle manufacturer's handbook.

What would happen if you were caught driving on illegal tyres?

Drivers face fines of £2,500 per tyre and three penalty points on their licence should they have illegal tyres fitted. Part worn tyres can be extremely dangerous and pose a serious safety risk to the motorist and their passengers.

Free safety checks at our fitting partners

To ensure your tyres are safe and legal then why not ask for a free visual tyre safety inspection at our fitting partner, National. With over 200 branches nationwide, there's a location near you.

The free inspection includes a tyre tread and general condition check - including the spare tyre.

If you need more help from Tyre Shopper, call our experts today.

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