Part worn tyres: what are the risks?
Whether online or through tyre distribution networks, there is no shortage of cheap second hand tyres for sale. But how can you tell if these tyres are good value? You don’t know, for example, if the tyres have sustained damage, if they have been correctly maintained when used, or if they have been properly stored. This is important because well-maintained tyres are vital to guarantee your safety on the road. What’s more, if the tyres you buy don’t meet legal standards, you risk failing your MOT, or even being fined if checked by police.
Factors which affect the quality of used tyres:
- Age: tyres age even when not used. The rubber hardens over time and the tyres can lose a lot of their performance in just 5 years.
- Maintenance: tyres can wear unevenly when over- or under-inflated, or if there is an alignment fault for example.
- Storage: tyre rubber is sensitive to humidity, temperature changes, direct sunlight, chemical products, etc.
- Use: the tyres may have sustained damage resulting in external deformations (bulges, cracks), but also internal damage which is not visible.
Because these factors are difficult to control, there is always a degree of risk when buying second hand tyres.