Should you buy part worn 4×4 tyres? Purchasing part worn tyres might seem like a cheap alternative, but can end up costing you more in the long run.
When it comes to buying 4×4 tyres, no corner should be cut. Tyres are extremely important for keeping you and your fellow motorists safe on the road. Your tyres are the only part of your 4×4 in contact with the road, therefore it’s vital they should be in tip-top condition.
What are part worn tyres?
As the name suggests, part worn tyres are tyres that have already been used. Buying part worn tyres could be considered like buying anything other second-hand, if something goes wrong with it, you can’t take it back.
Are part worn tyres safe?
Tread depth is one of the key components of safe driving. If a tyre has low tread depth, it can become increasingly ineffective and dangerous to other road users.
Are part worn tyres legal?
In the UK, it is not illegal to sell part worn tyres to motorists, However, a legislation has been put in place to permit the sale, subject to the tyres meeting a number of strict criteria. Despite this, part worn tyres are being sold illegally and a pose a serious safety risk to motorists.
Part worn tyres must:
Under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.) which is part of the Consumer Protection Act, it is an offence for anyone to sell part worn tyres that do not meet the following principal requirements:
- Have an EC approval mark + a speed & load capacity index
- structural integrity must not be compromised
- The tyre must NOT have large cuts any bulges or lumps both internally and externally
- The tyre should not have plies or cords exposed
- Prior to the sale, the tyres must have passed an inflation test
- The tyres original grooves must still be clearly visible in their entirety and must be to a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of the tread, around its entire circumference
- Part worn tyres which 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 4mm high.
Part-worn tyres that have been re-treaded must have one of the following:
- The tyre should have BS AU 144b, 144c, 144d, or 144e markings on the side wall (if first supplied as a re-tread on or before 31 December 2003 an ECE approval mark (if first supplied as a re-tread on or after 1 January 2004)
- The tyre should feature a permanent mark to identify the original model and manufacturer, the word ‘RETREAD’ moulded onto or into its sidewall (in upper case letters at least 4mm high) and further markings in accordance with ECE rules. You may need to seek further advice as to which rules apply
- The indication ‘PART WORN’ must also appear next to the BS or ECE approval mark, or next to the word ‘RETREAD’ on the tyre
- For tyres marked BS AU 144e, a speed category symbol and load capacity marking should be present
- A tyre has to comply with all these requirements whether or not it is fitted to a rim
More information can be found here.
TyreSafe discovered that 98% of part worn tyres that they checked were sold illegally – with 34% of the tyre containing dangerous forms of damage.
How much do part worn tyres cost?
The cost of a part worn tyre can vary depending on the size of the tyre, brand, and how much the tyre has worn. Costs will also vary depending on the fitter you choose. When purchasing a part worn tyre, the cost is lower than that of a new tyre. However, despite the initial upfront cost, part worn tyres do not offer good value for money in the long run.
This is because a part worn tyre has been used before, and will have less tread depth than that of a new tyre. Part worn tyres typically have 4mm and under, whereas a new tyre will on average come with 8mm of tread. Instead of focusing on the cost of the initial price, you should look at the cost per mm of a tyre.
Are part worn tyres any good?
Depending on their condition, part worn tyres can be good for a short amount of time when compared to new tyres. If you only drive low miles every day, then part worn tyres might be a great solution for you.
Where can I buy part worn tyres?
If you’re tempted to buy part worn tyres, you can simply Google “part worn tyres near me” and you will be given an abundance of links to different companies selling part worn tyres near you.
Should I buy part worn tyres?
The choice is yours. We will always advise you to buy new tyres for safety reasons and for long-term investment. In the UK, it isn’t illegal to sell part worn tyres, but if you do decide to buy part worn tyres for your 4×4, please check they meet the strict criteria mentioned above. Part worn’s may appear to save you money initially, however, they actually cost you more in the long run & could put you and others road safety at risk.
See our great selection of new 4×4 tyres.
Milner Off Road are one of the leading 4×4 parts suppliers in the world. Established in 1981, we have extensive knowledge in the 4×4 industry. We don’t only sell parts, we have a team of mechanics who can help with the fitment of any part. Our mechanics will often check our blog posts to ensure they are correct.