As it’s Tyre Safety Month, we thought we’d give you a few simple tyre safety reminders. This time we’re focusing on the hidden dangers of part-worn tyres.
Part-worn tyres are often imported from other EU countries where the minimum tread depth is greater. Germany, for instance, requires a minimum tyre tread depth of 3mm, compared with just 1.6mm in Great Britain. So a part-worn tyre usually offers a maximum of 50 per cent of the tread depth.
Tyres are the only part of your car or van in touch with the road surface, so they play an essential role in keeping you safe and sound. The cost of part-worn tyres can be enticing, but there are real hazards involved. You can’t see what unseen damage may have occurred. At best you are purchasing a tyre that has already been used on another car for thousands of miles. How many potholes did it hit? How many miles did it drive with the wrong pressure?
Next, if you opt for a part-worn tyre with, say, only 2mm of tread, it won’t be long before it reaches the British minimum of 1.6mm and you’ll need to change it again. Compare that against investing in a sound, factory fresh tyre, which will come with a huge 8mm of tread.
Then think of your safety. Wet weather tests show that at 50mph a vehicle using tyres with only minimum legal tread needed a braking distance 12 metres longer than a car with brand new tyres.
Motorists whose tyres don’t meet the UK’s minimum tread depth face a hefty fine of £2,500 and three penalty points for every illegal tyre. If all are defective, and you get the maximum 12 points, you could lose your licence.