We all want to take shortcuts in life, particularly when it comes to saving money. It seems more and more people are getting a bit too carried away and taking one too many risks. Since the millennium there has been a huge increase in sales of part worn tyres in the UK. These outfits can often source used car tyres for as little as £10 per corner - a massive saving compared to when buying brand new - but if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.
In October of 2018, Tyre Safe led an investigation into 68 different part worn tyre retailers. A staggering 99% of the retailers were not complying with the regulations of part worn tyre sales, and 75% of the tyres sold or on sale were considered to be dangerous.
These part-worn salesmen will often run the line that their tyres are sourced from Germany, where tread depth restrictions are set at 3mm, compared to 1.6mm in the UK, so illegal tyres over there still have plenty of life over here, but that doesn’t make them any safer. 1.6 mm of tread depth is the absolute minimum amount to stay legal, not to stay safe. We advise that once your tyres hit 3.0mm or lower, you need to be looking at getting them changed.
After 5 years on a set of tyres, you need to make sure they’re looked at frequently. This should always take place during an annual MOT test, so you needn’t worry too much.
After 10 years on a set of tyres, Michelin suggests getting them changed regardless of their condition. Rubber perishes over time and even if they’ve not been overused, they will still be considerably weaker than they were when they were manufactured.
There are countless factors that alter the rate at which your tyres deteriorate; rain, sunshine, potholes, oil, grease, speeding, braking and so on. You’ve also got to remember that the contact patch of a tyre is roughly the same size as your hand, and this is the only thing keeping you and your passengers on the road. This is obviously the first (and most relevant) reason as to why tyres are important.
The second most important reason is value. Having good tyres, inflated to the correct pressure will save you money in the long run. You’ll cause less unnecessary wear and tear to the tyres and brakes while also allowing your car to burn less fuel over a long period of time.
The third and final reason why you need to prioritise new tyres is so you can actually enjoy the car you paid thousands of pounds for. A Lamborghini on tired tyres is about as useful as Usain Bolt in a pair of clogs.
Do you need new tyres?
If you’ve not had your tyres looked updated for a while, you’ve had an advisory on an MOT or if you’ve been managing a slow puncture, it’s best to get them looked at soon as possible and have a fresh set of rubber so you can enjoy your driving to the maximum.
To find a set of high-quality tyres that match your driving style and budget, Michelin has a huge range of tyres available to fit cars of all shapes and sizes. Find a set that suits your car and save yourself some money in the long run while also keeping you and your passengers as safe as possible.