Tyres Leicester

Part Worn Tyres

Each year in the UK, more than 1,200 motorists are injured in an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres are a contributory factor.

To maximise the life of your tyres and enhance your safety on the roads, TyreSafe recommends regular checks of your tyre pressures, tread depth and general tyre condition. When replacing your tyres, TyreSafe strongly recommends the fitting of new tyres. However, TyreSafe recognises that legislation exists which permits the sale of part worn tyres,subject to them meeting a number of criteria. You should be aware that part worn tyres that do not meet these legal requirements pose a serious safety risk to you, your passengers and other road users.


Under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.), part of the Consumer Protection Act,it is an offence for anyone to sell part worn tyres that do not meet the following principal requirements:

  1. The structural integrity must not be compromised. It should be free of large cuts, any bulges or lumps both internally and externally. No plies or cords should be exposed.
  2. Tyres must have passed an inflation test prior to sale.
  3. The original grooves must still be clearly visible in their entirety and must be to a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of the tread,around its entire circumference.
  4. Part worn tyres which have not been retreaded must clearly show the relevant ‘E’ mark alongside which ‘PART-WORN’ must be permanently and legibly applied in letters at least 4mm high. These words cannot be hot branded or cut into the tyre.
  5. Part worn tyres which have been retreaded must show the relevant British Standards mark as applied at the time of retreading alongside which ‘PART-WORN’ must be permanently and legibly applied in letters at least 4mm high.These words cannot be hot branded or cut into the tyre. Retreaded tyres must also show speed category and load capacity index marks in accordance with BS AU 144e 1998.
  6. Any repair to a part worn tyre must have been carried out in accordance with paragraphs 4-7 of BS AU 159.


Many drivers who buy part worn tyres do so because they believe they offer better value for money. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Rather than just considering the initial purchase price, drivers should look at the cost per mm of useable tyre. New tyres are normally sold with 8mm of tread depth whereas part worn tyres may have as little as 2mm of tread. With a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in the UK, the cost per mm of useable tread of part worn tyres can be considerably more than that of a new tyre. Equally, a part worn tyre will need to be replaced again much sooner than a new tyre meaning further expenditure will be required.


Adequate tread depth is essential for safe driving on wet roads. The tread grooves help to remove water from the contact patch between the tyre and the road surface, which is essential for effective acceleration, cornering and braking. A tyre with lower tread depth levels is less effective at removing water from the road, leading to longer stopping distances and reduced road safety. Indeed, according to tests conducted by the British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association, braking distance in wet weather of a tyre with only 1.6mm of tread depth is almost 12m longer than a new tyre from 50mph.

Tyres Leicester