4.4m Brits to buy potentially dangerous tyres
-- Over 4 million UK drivers plan to buy one or more used tyres within the next 12 months
-- Almost 2 million British motorists mistakenly think used tyres are as safe as new tyres
-- Over half (55%) of motorists think new tyres are too expensive – but the ‘affordable alternative’ of part-worns is a false economy
-- Over two thirds of drivers (70%) would not feel confident checking the condition and safety of their own tyres
-- Over a third (38%) of UK drivers believe a tyre fitter would supply potentially unsafe tyres
An alarming number of Brits could soon be driving on unsafe part-worn tyres, as new research by AA Tyres, the AA’s mobile tyre fitting service, shows that 4.4 million UK drivers expect to buy one or more used tyres within the next year.
More than one in ten (14%) UK drivers expect to buy one or more part-worn tyres within the next 12 months. Young drivers are the worst offenders, with more than a quarter (27%) of 18-24 year olds expecting to buy used tyres in the next year.
Almost 2 million British motorists incorrectly believe that used tyres are just as safe as new tyres. Again, the younger generation appear to be less clued-up, with 14% of 18-24 year olds believing used tyres are just as safe.
Over half (55%) of motorists also think new tyres are too expensive, and worryingly, one in 10 (10%) think used tyres are better value for money. While you can pick up a part-worn tyre for as little as £10, the tread of a second-hand tyre is less than new – meaning the cost per mm over the lifespan of the tyre is often more expensive.
Alarmingly, 38% of UK drivers think that a tyre fitter would supply tyres without knowing they were safe, while 14% admit to not caring where their tyres come from.
Mark Shankland, Managing Director of AA Tyres, comments: “When it comes to choosing tyres, picking price over safety is a dangerously regular occurrence.
“It’s not surprising that drivers are looking for ways to lower the cost of running their car, but buying used tyres is simply a false economy that continues to mislead millions of motorists each year.
“While initial outlay on a part-worn tyre may be as little as £10, the legal limit for tread is 1.6mm. Buying a used tyre with 2mm left of tread is therefore far less economical than buying a new tyre with 7mm, for example.*
“Used tyres may seem like an easy way of saving money, but they can very quickly become dangerous to drive on – and that can be an incredibly expensive mistake to make. After all, the penalty for driving with tyres below the legal tread depth in the UK can cost you £2,500 and three points per tyre.
“Every tyre has over 30 components which means that existing damage can be overlooked by pre-sale inspections of part-worn tyres – even minor cuts missed in inspections can become a serious problem at high-speeds, leading to unexpected blowouts.
“With a number of serious accidents attributed to faulty tyres over the last few years, it is simply not worth the risk to make a quick saving.”