Councils have warned that motorists are putting their lives at risk by buying ‘dangerous’ second-hand tyres.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, says part-worn tyres – some of which are nearly 30 years old – are being sold with serious safety defects, unsafe repairs and incorrect labelling.
The LGA is urging motorists to check second-hand tyres bear the required ‘part-worn’ marking – which confirms the tyre meets legal requirements.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, said: “Dangerous part-worn tyres are putting motorists’ lives at risk and blatant, inexcusable breaches of the law are happening with shocking prevalence in some areas.
“Cheap used tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don’t have the correct legal markings, motorists could unknowingly buy illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accident.
“Motorists buying used tyres should go to a reputable trader and check they have ‘part-worn’ stamped on them as without this mark, they are unlikely to have been checked and the retailer is breaking the law.
“They should also look out for any cracks, tears, lumps and check the state of the thread before buying.
“Selling illegal used tyres to unsuspecting customers is a really serious offence and we encourage all motorists to report potential breaches of the law.”
Latest DfT figures show there were 17 people killed in reported accidents in the UK in 2017 where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
Research by the National Tyre Distributors Association suggests that more than five million part-worn tyres are being sold in the UK every year.