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Part-worns - Are They Worth The Risk?

By raccars Published

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If you get a puncture in a tyre, you have three basic options: get it repaired - the cheapest option, buy a new one - the most expensive option, or buy a part-worn, which is somewhere between the two, price wise. Similarly, if your old tyres are worn out and you need new ones, you can go for new ones or try and save some cash by going for cheaper part-worns. However, there are some significant risks associated with this. For the sake of trying to save a few quid, are part-worns worth it?

Tyres are one of the hardest working components on your car. According to statistics released by the Department for Transport, over 50% of motorway accidents attributable to vehicle faults are the result of underinflated, defective or illegal tyres. Arguably, a tyre that has been through a repair process is already in a weakened position and more likely to fail under pressure.

Tyre manufacturer, Continental, claims that a well performed puncture repair should remain in place for the lifetime of a tyre. However, not all punctures can be repaired - damage to the shoulder of the tyre (between the sidewall and the tread) is probably non-repairable. Also if wires are showing through a puncture, repair isn't an option. This is one of the dangers with part-worn tyres - that as its history is unknown, you risk buying a tyre which features a badly performed or unsuitable repair.

Part-worn tyres are very widely available and many people will try to convince you of their benefits. In some cases, they make a good point and can certainly save you cash. However, a tyre dealer was recently given a nine month suspended sentence and a £26,000 fine, for supplying dangerous goods in the form of unsuitably bald part-worns.

The National Tyre Distributors' Association (NTDA), cautions strongly against buying part-worn tyres, partly because of a number of cases in which it has seen part-worns sold containing horrific attempts at puncture repair. According to the NTDA, part-worns are carefully regulated but the system is rarely enforced.

A good quality new tyre can cost north of £100 per corner. A part-worn can be a tempting alternative for those on a budget, but the NTDA recommends buying budget new tyres rather than taking the risk. These start at about £35 each and, arguably, won't offer the performance or durability of a good quality new tyre, but they do come with the reassurance of 8mm of tread, compared to maybe 2mm and potentially risky puncture repairs with part-worns.

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