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Pitfalls of part worn tyres

For many years, Worcester’s Mobile Mechanic have refused to fit part worn tyres.

The most important reason is that they are unsafe, aren’t tested and their history is largely unknown.

An investigation carried out by campaign group Tyre Safe in 2018 suggested that 99 per cent of part worn tyre retailers are actually selling illegal or dangerous tyres and, of the 129 tyres they inspected, 75 per cent were unsafe.

Customers often tell garages their vehicles have vibration and steering issues and the cause is a badly misshapen, bulged or flat spotted tyre. Cut or perished sidewalls on tyres are common too.

We recently read a salutary tale about a Porsche owner who asked a reputable garage to fit some used tyres he had bought on the internet.

The best they could offer was an inspection of the tyres he was planning to fit to his performance vehicle. To the garage’s amazement none of the tyres measured more than 3mm of tread, meaning there was less than 1.4mm of legally useable tread left.

Three of the tyres were over 12 years old, the other was over eight years old and two of the tyres had already had puncture repairs. What a complete waste of money!

Which brings us neatly is our second point - part worn tyres don’t make financial sense.

If you consider a new budget tyre to cost in the region of £60, it will come with around 8mm of tread. The legal limit is 1.6mm, which means you pay £60 for 6.4mm of tread – that’s around £9.40 per millimetre.

Compare this to a part worn tyre for around £20 with 3mm of tread and you’ll get 1.4mm of useable at a cost of £14.30 per millimetre.

The fewer vehicles on the road with dangerous or illegal tyres the better it will be for everyone.

So please don’t ask Worcester’s Mobile Mechanic to fit part worn tyres. Our answer will be a polite, yet firm, no.

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