An investigation by not-for-profit organisation TyreSafe has found that motorists looking to save money by purchasing part-worn tyres in and around Bristol are at great risk of endangering themselves and others.

The warning has been issued after TyreSafe teamed up with Bristol Trading Standards officers to inspect ten part-worn tyres from retailers across the city- all were subsequently inspected and found to be sold illegally as they failed to meet all relevant regulations.

Furthermore, tyres in the sample were also found to contain serious safety breaches and levels of neglect which could have resulted in their catastrophic failure, had they been fitted to a vehicle.

“The results of the latest investigation once again emphasise the hidden dangers associated with buying part worn tyres,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.

“A very clear set of regulations exist to control the legal sale of used tyres but as we’ve seen time and time before, these are not being adhered to. As a result, drivers are taking a massive gamble with their lives if they decide to buy and fit these.”

It is not illegal for retailers to sell part-worn or used tyres but they must adhere to a strict set of rules and regulations relating to their condition before they are passed on to customers.

Among the requirements needed for compliance are that the tyres must have undergone a thorough inspection, been pressure tested, have at least 2mm of tread depth and be permanently marked as part worn tyres.

Dean Gray, Trading Standards Investigator for Bristol City Council said, “People can buy second hand tyres without any problems but we have seen some horrific cases, including a tyre sold as new but which was in fact sixteen years old and blew up on the motorway the day after.

“For the safety of consumers it is essential that the vendor follows legislation and checks for damage, illegal repairs and properly marks the tyre as part worn. A few simple checks could save someone’s life.”

The news comes after an exclusive investigation by Micheldever found that an alarming number of motorists are fitting inferior or part-worn tyres due to the current challenging economic climate.

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