In the current economic climate, spending limited disposable income on new tyres is not a prospect anyone looks forward to. The temptation to buy supposedly cheap or part-worn tyres is often attractive. In reality, this can endanger your life and those of your loved ones. Unfortunately, no legislation exists in this country governing the sale of second hand tyres. In the U.K. and other countries, there is a minimum tread depth below which a part worn tyre cannot be sold. Tyres with little or no usable tread can be sold in this country without repercussion to the seller. However, this is not true for the customer as a recent article in the Kilkenny People Newspaper reported;
Examples of the part-worn tyres we have encountered include many tyres over 10 years old, winter tyres mixed on the same axle as regular summer tyres (a common failure in the NCT) and unevenly worn tyres due to misalignment. That’s not to mention the huge number of customers who have come to us with punctures or sidewall bulges on recently fitted part worn tyres. Older tyres lose their oil content naturally over time leaving them less likely to grip the road under breaking.
Apart from these dangers, there is often an economic cost to fitting part worn tyres. Although sometimes advertised as having “as much as four millimetres of tread” these tyres can work out more expensive than a new tyre with eight millimetres. The tyre becomes illegal for use at 1.6mms and most manufacturers will admit that the effective grip in a tyre is greatly reduced below 3mms.
Who knows how much those few millimetres could cost?