In straitened times it’s little wonder so many drivers baulk at the cost of a new set of tyres. One solution, at least for some, is to avoid buying brand new rubber altogether and instead buy tyres that have already been used by somebody else. They’re called part-worn tyres.
UK law on part-worn tyres
In the UK, buying or selling part-worn tyres is not illegal. In fact, according to industry body TyreSafe, as many as 5.5 million used tyres are sold here every year. Vendors are bound by law to adhere to a number of strict regulations, however. First and foremost, second-hand tyres should be in good condition, which means no bulges in the sidewall and no large cuts in the tread, while none of the structural carcass or cords should be visible. Additionally, they should have have at least 2mm of tread across their width and around their circumference, and they should be clearly and permanently marked ‘part-worn’ in upper case letters at least 4mm in height on their sidewalls.
Although these regulations are very straightforward, many part-worn tyre suppliers are known to flout them. If you are considering buying a set of used tyres, make sure the vendor is compliant with these laws - and remember, tyres that do not meet these minimum requirements could cause you to have a very serious accident.