We’re hearing from our friends in the tyre industry that they’re expecting cash-strapped drivers to buy increasing numbers of used car tyres. Of course, it’s related to increases in the cost of living: motoring costs are as badly affected as food when it comes to inflation.
And buying used (sometimes called part-worn) tyres is one way people might think they can save money.
Like a visit to the dentist, no one relishes forking out to replace the rubber on their car. But I think there are several reasons why buying used tyres isn’t a brilliant idea.
Experts believe there could be millions of illegal tyres on our roads
Illegal tyres are becoming an ever more regular occurrence when police stop cars for vehicle defects. With winter approaching and the threat of more adverse weather conditions, drivers are being urged to pay more attention to their tyres.
By analysing data from Britain’s police forces, researchers from garage chain Kwik Fit found that half (50 per cent) of the defective vehicles stopped in 2015 had illegal tyres. That’s up by 10 per cent over 2013. Two thirds (65 per cent) of drivers who were given penalty points for a dangerous vehicle had tyres below the minimum 1.6mm tread depth.
A quarter of cars stopped with dodgy rubber (26 per cent) had tyres with the cord or ply exposed. Cords are part of the structure of a tyre. If you can see them it means the tyre is seriously worn and possibly structurally damaged and could be liable to suffer a sudden deflation or blow out.
Looking after car tyres is one of the easiest elements of motoring. Yet how many times do we look at our cars and not see the tyres? Wheels yes, bodywork yes, but generally tyres can be neglected and taken for granted, even though they’re the greatest contributor to our safety on the road. Continue reading →