The sale of part worn tyres is legal, however, there is strict criteria which must be met to comply with the legislation and provide a safe product for the driver. Regrettably, there are too many unscrupulous dealers selling dangerous tyres to unsuspecting motorists. That’s a criminal offence.
Below you’ll see what a retailer HAS to do before they can legally sell a part worn:
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:
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.
Tyres must have passed an inflation test prior to sale.
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.
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.
Part-worn tyres that have been retreaded must have one of the following:
BS AU 144b, 144c, 144d, or 144e markings on the side wall (if first supplied as a retread on or before 31 December 2003 an ECE approval mark (if first supplied as a retread on or after 1 January 2004)
A permanent mark to identify the original model and manufacturer, the word 'RETREAD' moulded onto or into its sidewall (in upper case letters at least 4mm high) and further markings in accordance with ECE rules. You may need to seek further advice as to which rules apply
The indication 'PART WORN' must also appear next to the BS or ECE approval mark, or next to the word 'RETREAD'
For tyres marked BS AU 144e, a speed category symbol and load capacity marking should be present.
A tyre has to comply with all these requirements whether or not it is fitted to a rim.