How long do tyres last if not used?

By Julia Freeman

With lockdown measures being lifted in phases soon across the United Kingdom, many people are going to be looking to get into their cars for the first time in some weeks. Many motorists will have saved a small fortune in fuel costs, and other wear and tear on the engine could have been limited in these months, but what of the tyres?

Tyre tread

If a tyre is stored in optimal conditions, it will last for between 6 and 10 years, if it is not used. Under manufacturers' guidance a tyre is only guaranteed to be safe for the first five years of its life, although if checked regularly for issues, some manufacturers admit that this can be extended up to 10 years. Most of us don't have the optimum conditions, so checking tyres over five years old regularly should be a priority.

Why does this happen?

As a natural product, rubber will degrade over time and this happens even if the tyre is not used. The main culprit for rubber degradation is oxygen. Given that oxygen is both prevalent in the air we breathe as well as in the air that tyres are inflated with, the rubber is degraded from both sides. Although tyre rubber is generally infused with antioxidant compounds, these will only slow the ageing process down.

What about the 20p test?

A general rule of thumb when it comes to tyre safety is that if the rim of a 20p coin cannot be seen when inserted into the tread then the tyre is safe. Unfortunately, when it comes to the age of a tyre, this does not guarantee safety. A ten-year-old tyre which has been previously unused can run the risk of catastrophic failure. In the road accident that took the life of Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker, the California Highway Patrol noted that the age of the tyres on Walkers' Porsche Carrera GT could have seriously compromised their handling and driving characteristics. Even if the tread looks good, the condition of the rubber means it could separate from the tyre, making the tyre and the car itself a ticking timebomb.

In normal usage

In our experience, if you drive anywhere near a typical number of miles annually, the tread of your tyres is likely to wear out in around 4 years, meaning that it will be time to buy car tyres before the rubber has degraded. The rubber from which your tyres were made is only at risk of perishing before the tread wears out if you only use the car on a very limited basis. The two months of lockdown is unlikely to have made a dramatic impact on this.

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.

Book with Protyre

If you are worried about the condition of your tyres following lockdown, be sure to contact your local Protyre garage and arrange a free tyre check. If it turns out your tyres are in need of replacement, we stock Pirelli, Bridgestone, and many other leading brands at great prices.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Brand Marketing for Micheldever Group and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to deliver their automotive needs.
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