Killer danger of cut-price tyres

2012-04-26 13:22

LONDON, England - Drivers opting to buy used tyres are putting themselves at risk, according to campaign group TyreSafe.

In a UK sample group of 50 worn tyres, TyreSafe found that 98% were being sold illegally. Even more alarming was that more than a third of the tyres inspected were found to be dangerously non-compliant.

One tyre was described by an inspector as having "the potential to kill" as it still contained a metal object penetrating 5cm through the tread. Other serious safety breaches included unsafe repairs, exposed cords, bead damage and evidence of run-flat damage.


Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Although a number of clear regulations exist which permit the sale of used tyres, it’s obvious from our investigation that they are not being adhered to. Not only are drivers putting their own life at risk but they are also endangering their passengers, which in many cases may be their children, and other road users.

"Before buying worn tyres I would urge drivers to ask themselves if the risk for the saving is really worth it."

Whatever, as maintenance costs rise many drivers are foced to buy used.

TyreSafe data shows the average cost per mm of useable tread on a used tyres was (the equivalent of) R79 whereas the comparable cost when selecting an equivalent new tyre was 16% lower at R66. To put it simply, if a used tyre has 2mm of tread left (R158 x 6 = R474 ) it will cost you less to purchase a comparable new tyre at 6mm of tread (R396).

Not everybody, however, can afford new rubber.

Jackson said: “Even if properly marked, it is impossible to know the history of a worn tyre which makes it extremely difficult to be sure about its internal condition and safety. With rigorous quality controls on all new tyres, fitting these as replacements is undoubtedly the safest option.

"What’s more, as our investigation showed, it’s often the best value too."

Check out TyreSafe's helpful guide on tyre managment here!