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Second-hand tyre investigation reveals alarming results

That’s according to TyreSafe, which has conducted the largest ever nationwide investigation into the sale of part-worn tyres across the UK with the help of the National Tyre Distributors Association.

In conjunction with various Trading Standards offices and local councils, the research found that more than a third (34%) of the 817 part worn tyres bought in mystery shopper exercises across the country during the last year, contained faults or damage which meant that they should not have been offered for sale. Furthermore, a remarkable 97% had not been marked by retailers as ‘part-worn’ as is required by law.

‘The results of this latest investigation are truly horrific,’ exclaims Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. ‘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.’

Among the faults found by the independent tyre inspectors assessing the tyres were dangerous puncture repairs, exposed cords, damaged beads, penetration damage and evidence of being run under-inflated, all items which could pose a potential safety hazard to the user and other motorists.

Meanwhile a previous study by TyreSafe has found that not only were new tyres safer, they also offered better value as the cost per useable mm of tread for part worn tyres was £6.33 whereas the equivalent cost for a new tyre was 16% less, at just £5.32 per mm.

‘Previous investigations into the sale of illegal part worn tyres have focused on locations where there was a strong suspicion of improper behaviour, but these latest results show beyond doubt that this a national epidemic that needs tackling at the highest levels,’ concluded Jackson. ‘We look forward to working closely with even more local councils, Government officials and Trading Standards Offices across the whole of the UK to eradicate this problem and help make our roads a safer place.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.