Car tyres Used or part-worn tyres
Are used car tyres safe?
Fitting second-hand, part-worn tyres to your car can be dangerous
It might be tempting to save money by buying used or part-worn tyres, but we don't think it's worth the risk.
It is legal for garages in the UK to sell part-worn – or second-hand – car tyres, but only if they are safe and properly marked.
Under the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994, a part-worn tyre must not have:
- Cuts longer than 25mm – or 10% of the section width of the tyre – which are deep enough to reach the ply or cord
- Lumps, bulges or tears caused by separation or failure of the tyre's structure
- Any penetration damage that has not been repaired
- Any of the internal or external cord or ply exposed
Part-worn tyres must also be properly marked. They have to:
- Show all the original markings for their type and design, including speed ratings and load indexes
- Feature the words ‘part worn’ in capital letters at least four millimetres high (this must be permanent, legible and not be made by cutting or branding)
- Be inspected internally if they are to be sold on the rim.
Some outlets sell part-worn tyres that do not meet these standards, which means they might have suffered internal damage – and could be dangerous. That's why Which? advises that you don't buy part-worn tyres.