Why you should never buy second-hand car tyres

By Julia Freeman

The allure of second-hand car tyres is clear. Tyre prices are often a big determiner of choice, and second-hand car tyres are often substantially cheaper than new versions. There's a reason for this, however.

flat tyre

In our experience, cheap car tyres represent a false economy. The initial outlay may be less, but these tyres will often wear down more quickly, develop faults and generally need to be replaced sooner.
Second-hand car tyres are, after all, used. No matter how they've been refurbished, checked or treated, they're not at the start of their life, and that makes a major difference. They can even damage your car or risk lives.

The Protyre recommendation

Our tyre professionals never recommend choosing second-hand car tyres. We always advise our customers to fit high quality tyres from industry leading specialists such as Bridgestone and Sumitomo. These don't have to be as expensive as you might imagine. Even the world's leading tyre brands produce budget tyres, so you're certain to find something that suits your needs from manufacturers including Pirelli or Falken. These tyres are guaranteed with years of innovation behind them. You simply can't determine the condition of a second-hand tyre and many come from dubious origins.

Buy Tyres

Where have the tyres come from?

Simply running a search for "car tyres near me" will turn up hundreds of results, many from private sellers offering second-hand tyres at an implausibly low cost. If you don't buy direct from a garage then you have no idea where these tyres have come from, their history or even whether they have been obtained legally.
The trade of second-hand tyres is occasionally linked to theft so you should always consider how these tyres have been sourced. Some are imported as scrap from countries with different legal limits on tread, others are stolen from garages before they can be disposed of properly. Many simply aren't roadworthy, no matter what the seller claims.

Book A Free Tyre Check

Tyre health affects vehicle health

Tyre health has a knock-on effect on the rest of the vehicle. Tyres that are worn, degraded or damaged affect braking, steering and even fuel economy. Driving on poor quality tyres for an extended period of time will cause suspension wear and higher running costs quickly negate any early savings. It's simply not worth risking your vehicle's health for a cheaper set of tyres.
The suspension can be affected by poorly maintained tyres and the consequences for your vehicle can be potentially dire. Second-hand tyre laws are vague at best, but they put all the emphasis on the seller to test for safety and efficiency. Since there's no set competency test and these laws are barely enforced, buying second-hand tyres is a potential minefield that is best avoided.

Book A Free Suspension Check

The local garage you can trust

If the time has come to replace your tyres or you're worried about how your vehicle is performing, our expert mechanics are ready to help. We offer a free tyre check (bookable online) or you can call into one of our many nationwide garages for further assistance. We are always happy to help and will be able to advise you on your next best steps.

Find My Protyre

Share with your friends...

About the author

Article Author Photo
By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
View authorArrow right