News item

‘Tread’ Carefully When Buying Part Worn Tyres!

To save money some drivers are turning to part-worn tyres, prompting Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service to test the safety of part-worn tyres on sale across the County.
For a part-worn tyre to be legally sold, they must have a minimum tread depth of 2mm all round (the legal limit being 1.6mm), be free of large cuts and bulges and not have any plies or cord exposed. They should also be marked as part-worn before they are sold.
Trading Standards Officers contacted tyre retailers across the County to offer advice and then purchased seven part-worn tyres to test, either directly from the retailer or via E-bay. Part-worn tyres often cost less than a quarter of a brand new tyre.
Janet Faulkner, Head of Warwickshire Trading Standards Service said:
“Whilst all the tyres we purchased passed the tread depth test, only one was stamped as ‘part-worn’ and two failed because of tread separation or slow pressure loss, neither of which would be obvious to a consumer straight away.”
“Our advice is that it’s always safest to buy brand new tyres, but if you are buying part-worn, make sure the tyre has been tested, check the tread depth, look out for lumps and bumps and keep an eye on the tyre pressure”
Other local authorities carrying out part-worn tyre tests have also found illegal and sometimes highly dangerous tyres. There have also been incidents when consumers were sold part-worn tyres ‘as new’.
Tyres are the only part of a vehicle that are in contact with the road, so it is imperative for the safety of the vehicle occupants and other road users that drivers examine their tyres regularly. 
Drivers should check that the tyre is at the correct pressure and has no bulges or lumps and that the tread is free of any stones or other objects. The tread should also be checked to ensure it is of a sufficient depth to keep you safe and legal. A simple way of doing this is to insert a 20p coin between the main tread grooves. If you can see the rim of the coin at any point then the tyre may be illegal and should be checked. Most tyre retailers will be happy to provide a free safety check if you have any concerns.
For more information on tyre safety visit 
•         If you believe that you have been sold a dangerous part-worn tyre, contact Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06. 
•         Follow Warwickshire Trading Standards at:
For more information, please contact: Simon Cripwell, Trading Standards Officer (01926) 414039 or 07771 975570.
The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 040506. The Citizens Advice consumer service provides a first-stage consumer advice service for Warwickshire Trading Standards.

DATE: 24 June 2013