New Vs Part Worn Tyres. What to consider.

Buying part worn tyres might look like a cheaper option but the statistics suggest a false economy. Have you ever stopped to consider where your part worn tyres are coming from?  The vast majority of Part-worn tyres sold in the UK are tyres that have been scrapped by drivers in countries such as Germany, Holland and Denmark.


Why would a tyre that’s only fit to be scrapped in these countries be safe for use in the UK?


Both TyreSafe and Kwik Fit have found that a great number of part-worn tyres  sold in the UK appear to be damaged or excessively worn to the point where many are being sold illegally.


TyreSafe found that 34% of the 817 tyres it purchased in a mystery shopper exercise in conjunction with Trading Standards over the last year “contained faults or damage which meant that they should not have been offered for sale“. A whopping 97% had not been marked by retailers as part-worn, a legal requirement before sale. The legal requirements for part worn tyres are listed below;


  • Tyres sold as part worn cannot have any cuts or slashes greater than 25mm or 10% of the section of the tyre.

  • Should have no internal or external lumps, bumps or tears.

  • No cord exposed or visible at all.

  • Tyres must have at least 2mm of tread across 75% of the section of the tyre and around the full circumference

  • Tyres must be stamped "PART-WORN" in uppercase letters at least 4mm tall on the sidewall of the tyre



At Samko we believe that a blasé attitude towards tyre safety can be fatal. To the untrained eye many part-worns look as good as brand new. Most are sold with glossy rubber and the only difference superficially is the price between new and used. The problem is though, when you buy these tyres your buying the history of the tyre too. You are purchasing the bumps, accidents and scrapes of the previous owner.


Below is a list of what you, the customer, should be thinking of when making the decision between new and part worn tyres:


  1. Have the tyres been fully tested to UK standards for part worns? (98% of tyres in a tyresafe survey were considered illegal)

  2. Why have the tyres been taken off the previous vehicle? (tyres are changed for a reason.)

  3. There are NO guarantees with a part worn tyre, if something goes wrong then chances are your stuck with it.

  4. It is IMPOSSIBLE to check the tyre "by eye" for all possible defects, tyres must undergo X-ray testing to check for micro defects that can have catastrophic results if failure occurs.

  5. If the previous car suffered from incorrect wheel alignment (9 out of 10 cars in the UK suffer from some form of missalignment) and is starting to wear on the edges then your tyre will still wear the same as if it was on the older car even if your car is aligned 100% to manufacturers specifications.

  6. Are the risks worth the savings? Pound for Pound part worn tyres work out around 20% MORE EXPENSIVE per mm of tread vs new tyres!