Part Worn / Second hand tyres (cheap tyres)

By Chris Norman
on August 21, 2018 10:49:28 AM BST

Part Worn / Second hand tyres (cheap tyres)

By Chris Norman
on August 21, 2018 10:49:28 AM BST

It’s worrying that sales of part worn tyres are increasing in the UK. They may seem like the cheapest alternative but there are a few things you should seriously consider when purchasing part worn tyres.

We can't stress enough that the only part of your car that’s in contact with the road, are your tyres. They are so important in keeping you and other drivers safe. TyreSafe’s campaign on part worn tyres discovered 98% of part worn tyres they checked were actually sold illegally. Avoid purchasing part worn tyres.

The fact that a tyre has previously been damaged then repaired to be sold again… is massively worrying.

It is not illegal to sell a part worn tyre in the UK however there has been an up rise in the number of illegal part worn tyres being sold. This brings a number of safety concerns to all drivers on the UK roads.

In a world where each year more casualties are caused by defective tyres than mobile phones* (source - TyreSafe) we would only suggest that when the time comes for replacing tyres – you buy brand spanking new ones. Not only is it the safer option but they'll last you a lot longer.

It's a bit of a false economy in reality - A brand new tyre comes with an average of 8mm vs a part worn tyre with an average of 4mm. It’s a classic case of ‘Buy cheap… buy twice’ - You may be renewing your part worn tyres more often than brand new ones.  

Where do part worns tyres come from?

Part worn tyres come from three key sources:-

Scrap Yards

When badly damaged or old cars are sold for scrap the tyres are often stripped from the vehicles to be reintroduced into the tyre market regardless of the condition.


Believe it or not in other parts of Europe tyres need to be changed when they have a 3mm tread depth on them - 1.4mm more than the UK.  It is also a legal requirement for drivers in some EU countries to change their tyres seasonally from summer to winter. Many of these tyres are then sent to the UK to be resold as part worn tyres.


All tyres should be destroyed in an environmentally friendly way. When tyres are removed from a car by tyre fitters they are sometimes stored on site. It is often that these stores are raided and any tyres that have a legal tread depth can re enter the tyre market despite knowing the reason why the tyre has been removed in the first place i.e. irreparable punctures or severe damage to the tyre when involved in accidents etc.

Reputable companies such a ‘ProTyre’ have taken steps of eliminating this problem by drilling holes in the tyres to make sure they cannot be resold or used again.

All part worn tyres have regulations to adhere to, however, it is up to the re-seller to ‘test’ the tyres to make sure they are safe and legal. It’s extremely difficult to regulate and trace the re-seller should you need to.

All part worn tyres must :-

  • Be marked clearly with the bold words ‘PART WORN’
  • Not display any tears, bulges, internal or external lumps
  • Have at least 2mm tread depth
  • Not have any wire/cord exposed
  • Have an EC approval mark with a speed and load index
  • Not have any cuts bigger than 25cm or 10% of the section width of the tyre
  • Not have any damages un-repaired

The only real reason for buying part worn tyres is to save money, but that saving could be a risky gamble in the long run.


Tyre Safety 



Back to all articles