TyreSafe is advising motorists to think twice before turning to part worn tyres, amid concerns over a potential reduction in the supply of new low-cost tyres from China.
Low-cost tyres are a popular choice among UK drivers, with sales running into the millions each year, according to TyreSafe.
The vast majority of these are imported from China and across South East Asia where the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to governments closing facilities such as schools and factories to limit the spread.
TyreSafe says while these low cost tyres remain available at present, it is ‘inevitable’ they will become scarcer if the current approach to containing the spread of Coronavirus continues.
The tyre safety campaigning group is urging drivers not to be tempted by the price tag of part worns tyres and to consider the dangers associated with their use.
A recent investigation carried out by TyreSafe and Trading Standards found that 94% of part worn retailers were selling tyres illegally. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of the part worn tyres inspected during the investigations were deemed unsafe to return to the road network.
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: “Car ownership can push owners’ budgets to the limit and low-cost tyres have safely filled a need for those who have limited funds available to maintain their cars.
“However, if these owners are not able to find new tyres at this price point, there is a risk they will believe a similarly priced part worn offers the same value. TyreSafe’s investigations prove this is not the case – in our experience, part worn means part safe.
“Not only that, part worns rarely last as long – driving up their lifetime cost. TyreSafe’s advice is to seek a good deal on a mid-priced tyre and carry out regular checks to get the best out of that tyre over its full potential lifespan.
“Ensuring air pressure, condition and tread depth are properly maintained on a new tyre will minimise your risks and offer optimal value.”