The difference between used tyres and part worn tyres

Author Name – Wendy Riach


Part worn tyres are tyres that have been removed from a vehicle and then put onto a different vehicle. Once a new vehicle or a vehicle that has had a new set of tyres heads out on the road, the new tyres will be classed as used tyres, this is not the same as knowingly putting part worn tyres onto a vehicle as they are not new tyres and there is usually a good reason why they have been removed from another vehicle.

used tyres image

Do used cars have new tyres?

All new vehicles have new tyres and second-hand vehicles sold from car dealers (such as Auto Trader or Arnold Clark) should have had a safety inspection carried out before the new owner picks up the vehicle, this should include checking that the vehicle’s tyres are legal. For a tyre to be legal in the UK it must not be below the minimum legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm and this is across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around the full circumference.

Second-hand vehicle tyres should also not have visible cords, bulges, tears, damage to the sidewall or extreme wear on the edges as this would be extremely dangerous.

The Importance of Tyre Checks

When you buy a second-hand vehicle through a private seller you should inspect the tyres before you make a purchase. The second-hand vehicle will usually have tyres that have been driven on so they will be classed as used tyres, however, even after inspecting the tyres you may not be able to tell if the vehicle has part worn tyres and it is advisable to have your tyres inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

To book a free tyre check at National, please click the button below.

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Most tyre manufacturers recommend that you change tyres when they are at 3mm, which is when you might notice a difference in braking performance.

Experts Guide to Tyres

The Dangers of Part Worn Tyres

Drivers who knowingly buy part worn tyres do so without the knowledge of why the tyre has been removed from another vehicle. Tyres are not removed from another vehicle for no reason, they can often have low tread depth which can be false economy, they could have multiple repairs and illegal repairs which are often hidden with tyre paint.

They could also have external and internal sidewall damage caused by hitting potholes or kerbs, or the tyre could have been used while under or over-inflated which can damage the tyre’s structural integrity. Sidewall damage is often not visible until the tyre is fitted and inflated. You should also check for signs of rubber deterioration, which can be due to age and exposure to UV light.

At National, we don't only sell new tyres, we also offer a tyre puncture repair service which can be booked online. To book a tyre puncture repair for only £25 per tyre, please click on the button below.

£25 Per Tyre

used tyres

Part worn tyres should go through rigorous inspections, must comply with the law and should carry a part worn tyre stamp before they can be sold to customers. Recent investigations carried out by TyreSafe the UK’s charity dedicated to raising awareness of the importance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres revealed that of 50 part worn tyres they purchased for inspection, only ONE was legal and had been properly inspected and correctly stamped. Also, over a third of the tyres inspected had damage deemed very unsafe. It would be worth reading more about their investigation before you decide to buy a part worn tyre.

For the reasons above we do not recommend that you buy part worn tyres.

Buy New Tyres Today

To purchase a new tyre for your vehicle online, please click on the green button below. Here at National Tyres and Autocare, we offer same day tyre fitting as well as offering a variety of tyres to suit any budget.

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Spread the cost

You may be interested in part-worn tyres as they are cheaper than new tyres. Do not take the risk. We understand that purchasing a new tyre for your vehicle rarely comes at a convenient time and to help our customers, we offer Payment Assist. Spread your payment over a number of months with no interest. More information can be found on Payment Assist by clicking on the green button below.

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