September 13, 2018

Report finds '91% of part-worn tyre outlets are selling illegal and unsafe tyres'

For some classic owners, buying a new set of tyres can be very expensive, especially for those who drive lower-value classics or those who need to source rare tyres. So it's understandable that second-hand part-worn tyres can seem like a great alternative option. However, a new survey warns that the number of unsafe second-hand tyres being sold in the UK has risen to worrying levels.

An investigation by TyreSafe and Trading Standards found that a staggering 91% of part-worn tyre outlets are selling illegal and unsafe tyres on to customers. This damning statistic means that just 13 of the 152 outlets visited over the last five years are selling roadworthy tyres. The figures come as a blow to classic car enthusiasts hit by rising prices for new tyres, and who have looked to second-hand dealers to find preferable deals.

Lack of knowledge

The study found that retailers are either knowingly ignoring the rules surrounding tyres or they do not have the required knowledge to make sure they’re serving motorists properly.

During the investigation, test purchases found that some outlets are fitting waterlogged tyres, while others are supplying tyres with nails embedded into them.

In a recent case related to the sale of unsafe tyres, a retailer in Hemel Hempstead was ordered to pay over £7,000 in fines and costs following prosecution by Trading Standards.

The magistrate involved in the case said that it had considered a custodial sentence and if Hemel Tyres, the retailer in question, committed further offences then a prison sentence was likely.

Unacceptably commonplace

Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, welcomed the recent magistrate’s decision to prosecute Hemel Tyres and called for more to be done to protect motorists.

He said: “It must be acknowledged that this retail of dangerous and defective tyres by part-worn dealers is unacceptably commonplace nationwide.”

“Let’s remember these dealers are selling safety critical components – when tyres are driven in an unroadworthy condition, a vehicle’s braking and steering are compromised.

“Road users are put at significant risk of a catastrophic tyre failure.”