Part Worn Tyres: What are they and are they safe?

By Mariana Saenzpardo

Part Worn Tyres are second-hand tyres that are usually sold with around 50% of the original tread depth, having been driven for several thousand miles prior to being sold as second hand.

Part worn tyres

Are used tyres safe?

Quick answer, no! Unfortunately, 98% of part-worn tyres are sold illegally – 34% are sold with dangerous and potentially life-threatening defects.
Because used tyres are not required to be x-rayed for internal structure defects before their sale, it’s virtually impossible to determine if any internal damage exists, or if the safety of the tyre has been compromised. So, if you’re wondering are part worn tyres safe, there’s no way to tell and they’re best avoided.

How much are part worn tyres?

A part worn tyre can cost as little as £20 but don’t be fooled. In comparison to a good value mid-range tyre from a brand like Falken or Sumitomo, the cost per mm of tread can actually be higher for part worn tyres than for brand new ones.

Why part worn tyres are a false economy

Research by TyreSafe has shown those who buy part worn tyres will:

  • Buy tyres at least twice as often than those who buy new

  • Pay significantly more per mm of tread – TyreSafe reported that a part worn tyre will cost £6.33 per mm of tread whilst a comparable new tyre, in quality terms, would cost £5.32

  • Risk their safety - Part worn tyres are not required to have passed an inflation test prior to sale unlike new tyres

The more tread the better

3mm is the recommended limit for tyre tread depth. The legal limit for tyre tread is a minimum depth of 1.6mm. Part worn or pre-used tyres could have as little as 2mm tread.

Make sure your tyres are safe and legal

1,200 motorists a year are injured in an accident while driving on illegal tyres. Because you trust us with your safety, Protyre do not sell part worn or used tyres and our tyre professionals will always advise you to buy new tyres for your vehicle. You will always drive away from one of our centres with safe and well fitted new tyres (8mm of tread) thanks to our qualified fitters.

Tread depth legal limit

More tread means more grip, meaning you stop quicker!
The legal limit (minimum depth) of tyre tread is 1.6mm, however the recommended limit is 3mm. But why is this so important? The image below displays the braking distance on a wet road travelling at 50mph to rest.

Image courtesy of TyreSafe

Image courtesy of TyreSafe

Part worn tyres and the law

It is an offence for anyone to sell part worn or used tyres that do not meet the following requirements - irrespective of whether that tyre is fitted to a wheel rim:

  • The structural integrity must not be compromised; it should be free of large cuts and any bulges or lumps both internally and externally

  • The original grooves must still be clearly visible in their entirety and must be to a depth of at least 2 millimetres across the full breadth of the tread around its entire circumference

  • Tyres must have passed an inflation test prior to sale

  • No plies or cords should be exposed

  • Tyres that have not been re-treaded must clearly show the relevant ‘E’ mark, alongside which ‘PART-WORN’ must be permanently and legibly applied in letters at least 4 millimetres high. These words cannot be hot branded or cut into the tyre

Part-worn tyres that have been re-treaded must have one of the following:

  • BS AU 144b, 144c, 144d, or 144e markings on the side wall next to the ECE approval mark (which is required if first supplied as a re-tread on or after 2004)

  • Permanent markings to identify the original manufacturer and model

  • A speed category symbol and load capacity marking for tyres marked BS AU 144e

We Can Help You Choose The Right Tyre

Tyres are essential for keeping your car safe and performing at its best, but with so many options out there, it can be tough to know where to start. That's where our informative articles come in – we're here to help you navigate the world of tyres and make the best choice for your specific needs.

Whether you're considering upgrading to Premium car tyres for enhanced driving dynamics, run flat car tyres for added peace of mind, or trying to decide between summer car tyres and winter car tyres, Protyre can help. Our articles have got you covered with a wide range of tyre-related topics to help you make informed decisions.

The brand you choose matters too. We offer recommendations for trusted names such as BF Goodrich tyres, Bridgestone tyres, Continental tyres, Dunlop tyres, Falken tyres, General tyres, Goodyear tyres, GT Radial tyres , Hankook tyres, Michelin tyres, Pirelli tyres, Runway tyres, Sumitomo tyres, and Toyo tyres. But our articles don't just focus on choosing the right tyres – we also offer practical advice for maintaining them. From simple tips like checking your tread depth and keeping your tyres inflated to the proper pressure, to more advanced topics like extending tyre life through regular rotation and balancing - we've got you covered! Dive in and discover everything you need to know to keep your car running smoothly and safely with Protyre.

The Protyre promise

Our tyre professionals will never agree to sell our valued customers used tyres. We know that used tyres with illegal repairs are putting lives at risk. These tyres very often have cracks and lumps and have very little tread left which does not make them a safe or cost-effective purchase for your car.
Protyre, your local tyre experts, offer a wide range of tyres from leading tyre manufacturers including Pirelli, Bridgestone, Continental and Goodyear. However, we also understand that affordability is sometimes the key criteria when it comes to selecting tyres, so we have a large selection of Mid-range and Budget tyres for our customers to choose from.

Buy Tyres

If you are still unsure what tyres to select, the best option is to call into your local Protyre garage and talk to one of our experienced professionals. They will be able to advise you what the most cost-effective option is after taking your budget and driving style into account.

Free Tyre Check with Protyre

If you are unsure whether your tyres need replacing why not book a free tyre check and let our expert technicians offer you the impartial advice you require. All of our garages within our UK network offer free tyre checks so book today.

Book A Free Tyre Check

The local garage you can trust

When you bear in mind that our prices represent the final amount that you will pay, this is the cheapest option in the long term. There will be no extra hidden costs for fitting or balancing the tyres or for disposing of your old tyres in an environmentally responsible way. If you would prefer to enquire about leading budget tyre brands over the phone, just give us a call.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By Mariana Saenzpardo
Mariana is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protyre website.
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