Many drivers are unaware of the market in ‘part worn’ tyres. However, for drivers struggling to keep a car roadworthy on a budget, part worn tyres are often seen as a way to save money. It’s worth considering the full cost of part worn tyres and how very often, brand new budget tyres are a better option. Here are some facts on part worn tyres that we hope our customers will find useful when choosing new tyres.

1. Part worn tyres are used tyres, previously fitted to another car and mainly come from continental Europe, where the legal tread depth minimum is higher than the UK’s 1.6mm. In Germany for example, the minimum is 3mm.

2. Many drivers buying part worn tyres do so in the belief that they offer better value for money when compared with new tyres. However, this isn’t necessarily so and buyers should consider the cost per mm of useable tyre, rather than just the initial purchase price.

3. New tyres are normally sold with around 8mm of tread depth, whereas part worn tyres may have as little of 2mm of tread. With a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in the UK, the cost per mm of useable tread of part worn tyres can be considerably more than that of a new tyre. Equally, part worn tyres will need to be replaced again much sooner than a new tyre meaning further expenditure will be required.

4. Price is the single biggest reason why people on a budget buy part worn tyres. It’s inevitable of course, that drivers will naturally think that a part worn tyre must be better value than new. It’s a logical assumption to make, but in fact, this just doesn’t make sense when you scrutinise the true cost of part worn tyres. Use our pricing calculator to check the cost of budget new tyres for your car

5. If you choose the part worn route, you have the inconvenience of tracking them down. Secondly, you’ll still need to pay a fitting charge to have your part worn tyre correctly mounted and balanced. Thirdly and most importantly, the life of your part worn tyre will be measured in just a few months, or even weeks. Typically, part worn tyres have around 4mm of useable tread remaining, though we’ve seen examples of tyres for sale with less than that. Compare that with the 8mm of a brand new budget tyre typically costing around £55 and the economics don’t really make sense.

6. You have no way of knowing how old the tyre is, where it’s been stored, or how well it’s been cared for by the previous driver. Sidewall damage due to bouncing up kerbs often remains hidden from view. More importantly, all cars have slightly different suspension settings. Fitting a part worn tyre can result in some very strange handling characteristics until the tyre ‘beds in’ to your car’s chassis.

7. To make them legal for sale in the UK, part worn tyres should have the words ‘PART WORN’ in upper case lettering stamped upon the sidewall together with an EC approval stamp, but all to often this is absent.

Of course, when money is tight any way of avoiding expense is very attractive and we don’t blame anyone for considering part worn tyres. However, before you do, try using our online tyre pricing calculator to check the price of some budget tyres with us. Simply enter your registration number to see a range of prices.

Part worn tyres Darlington specialists Exhaust A Fix sell new tyres, a more economical saving

Some useful facts and figures on tyres can be found at the TyreSafe website.