Part Worn Tyres

Looking for tyres? Considering part worn tyres? You should think again.

Part worn tyres – the bane of the Tyre Industry and driver safety organisations alike! If there’s one thing that gets our blood boiling it’s these dangerous, misleading, overpriced and often illegal ‘alternatives’ to brand new tyres.

Your driver safety is our top priority at Naas Tyres. So we are 100% against their usage.

Part worn tyres – the bane of the Tyre Industry and driver safety organisations alike! If there’s one thing that gets our blood boiling it’s these dangerous, misleading, overpriced and often illegal ‘alternatives’ to brand new tyres.

Your driver safety is our top priority at Naas Tyres. So we are 100% against their usage

What are part worn tyres?

Do you know what part worn tyres are? As the name implies, these are second hand tyres. They’ve been used by someone before, and as a result they have been partly worn down already and taken off due to poor handling, damage or deteriorating rubber. Why would you take off a good tyre? And the consequences of fitting worn down tyres? Buyers don’t have the tread depth you get with new tyres, and this affects their vehicle’s grip on the road.

So who are all these previous tyre owners, and where are the tyres coming from? There are many overseas territories that supply the Irish part worn tyre market, but the main one are Germany and Ireland’s Scrap Yards. This is because German drivers typically change their tyres when the tread gets down to 3mm.

Why? Because – even though, like in Ireland, their minimum legal tread depth is 1.6 mm – it’s long been established there that once it gets as low as 3mm, the remaining tread deteriorates quickly.

As a result, it means there is a huge amount of Germany’s waste tyres imported into Ireland for the part worn tyre market. They only cost €10.00 and mostly sold for cash.

So, in theory at least, they’re legal in Ireland if the dealer follows the law in how they are sold, but they don’t and that mean they are unsafe?

Part worns – safe or dangerous?

Originally invented by Continental Tyres in 1904, tyre treads are the grooves in the rubber that are vital for removing water from between the tyre itself and the driving surface. This small but essential area (often no bigger than a smartphone) is known as the “contact patch”, and it’s this that generates the necessary grip to ensure safe and accurate braking, steering and acceleration.

Continental are a leading developer and manufacture of driving technology, and are best known for their world leading premium tyres. Driver safety is at the heart of their tyre offering. As a result they offer an unrivalled range of summer and winter tyres for cars, SUVs, 4x4s and vans.

When you buy new tyres, they’re fresh from the factory with a tread depth of 8 mm. Once fitted, normal driving usage means that they gradually wear down, and – as they do – the grip they provide reduces. As a result, by the time they’ve worn down to 3 mm, tyre experts suggest that they’re nearly 80% worn. That’s a significant amount of braking ability gone, due to normal wear and tear.

So imagine how little braking ability a part worn tyre has to offer when it’s purchased with 3 mm – or in some cases just 2 mm – of tread left?! It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Good tyre tread depth is essential to ensuring you can brake quickly and successfully. It affects your ability to stop safely – and fast – in the wet, providing shorter stopping distance. If your tyre treads are too worn – as is often the case with part worn tyres – drivers simply travel further after hitting the brakes, often resulting in collisions, or skidding off the road and higher insurance premiums.

And this is the crux of the matter. If you decide to purchase part worn tyres, these are the potential circumstances with which they’ll start their ‘new’ life with you.

Tread depth wear and typical performance by numbers

  • 8mm is 0% worn. That’s excellent!
  • 7mm is roughly 15% worn. It’s still very good.
  • 6mm is approximately 30% worn. That’s still good.
  • 5mm is now around 45-50% worn. That’s okay though.
  • 4mm is about 65% worn. Low but still acceptable.
  • 3mm is now almost 80% worn. Recommend you plan to replace asap.
  • 2mm is now around 95% worn. This requires urgent attention!
  • Under 1.6mm is illegal to use on public roads in Ireland.

Not only that, it’s irrisponsible and potentially lethal, both endangering yours and other road users lives. And if you are prosecuted for driving with damaged or dangerous tyres and convicted of the offence, you could be fined up to €2,500, or be given a three month prison sentence, or (as is often the case) both. You’ll also have five penalty points added to your licence*.

“Your Guide to Tyre Safety”, published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA)


The majority of part worn tyres are illegal

In Ireland, the sale of part worn tyres is supposed to be governed by strict regulations, unfortunately it’s very easy to get around them, thee is no enforcement and that endangers all road users.

On top of this, there’s also an associated problem concerning the quality of tyre fitting. If you fit the wrong type of tyre to a car – such as if the size, load index or speed rating is incorrect – or mix tread patterns on the same axle, it has a detrimental effect on both braking and cornering. There’s evidence that this kind of malpractice occurs throughout Ireland, and all the time.


Still considering buying part worn tyres? Speak with Naas Tyres first…

All things considered, we can’t be more explicit: part worn tyres should be avoided. There are just to many uncontrollable factors with the tyres themself and the quality of fitting that could endanger your life, and that of your fellow road users. And even if you get lucky, because the tyres are already worn down, they’ll soon need replacing again. Frankly, they not only dangerous but also a false economy, so save your life and save your money and buy new tyres.

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