Condition of sold part-worn tyres 'truly horrific'

More than a third of part-worn tyres that are sold are in no fit condition to be passed on to motorists, an investigation has found.

The largest ever nationwide study of its kind – co-ordinated by TyreSafe and the National Tyre Distributors’ Association – found that many used tyres sold had dangerous faults, such as puncture repairs, exposed cords, damaged beads, penetration damage and evidence of being run under-inflated. The investigation also found that 97 per cent of the 817 part-worn tyres examined had not been marked by retailers as part-worn, as is required by law.

The findings indicate careless and dangerous practices within some areas of the motor trade industry, which could lead to unforeseen problems for drivers. For the motor trade businesses themselves, obtaining motor trade insurance – whether just a road risks policy, or a more comprehensive combined traders’ policy – can help protect them against unforeseen issues they might encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Due diligence is key when purchasing an insurance policy of any kind, and the same level of care and attention ought to be applied when testing used tyres. The Consumer Protection Act states tyres must pass an inflation test; have at least 2mm of tread depth; repairs must have been carried out in accordance with the relevant British Standard; and it must be marked as ‘part-worn’.

Stuart Jackson, the chairman of TyreSafe, branded the results of the investigation as “truly horrific”. He added: “Your safety on the road is reliant on the condition of your tyres so it’s essential that retailers only offer for sale either brand new tyres, or those used ones that have been carefully and thoroughly inspected to ensure they meet the various requirements laid down by law.”