A recent study has shown that UK roads could face a growing danger from a generation of young drivers happy to purchase part worn tyres.
Advantage Research and Innovation surveyed over 4000 UK car drivers between the ages of 17 to 84, all of whom had purchased tyres in the past month.
The research showed that respondents aged 17 to 34 had an increased acceptance of part worn tyres as a safe and cost-effective option, whereas the older age groups would not consider driving on part worns.
The majority of those aged over 55 agreed with the statement, “I would never drive on part worn tyres”.
Younger respondents were more likely to agree with the following statement on part-worns; “They’re the cheapest option”. Approximately 70% of 17 to 34 year old's chose this as their first choice to describe their attitude towards part worn tyres. In contrast, over half of the 55-64 year old's selected the statement “They are unsafe” as their first choice.
Craig Sprigmore, Retail Director at HiQ, comments on the findings saying, “These are really worrying statistics. We know that the safety of part worn tyres is far from guaranteed. An investigation by TyreSafe and the National Tyre Distributors Association, in conjunction with Trading Standards, back in 2014 found that out of 800 part worn tyres bought in a mystery shopper exercise, 97% had not been marked as “part-worn” (which is required by law), and more than a third of these were faulty or damaged.
“When it comes to buying a part-worn tyre, you don’t know what you’re getting.
“It’s really important that we get this message out to young drivers. There is always the temptation of the cheaper option, but part worns are a false economy – on average a part worn tyre will cost you £6.33 per mm of useable tread, whereas a comparable new tyre will cost £5.32 per mm,” (TyreSafe).
Sprigmore concludes, “Quite often, the only time a driver will think about their tyres is when their car fails its MOT because of a tyre fault. We’re trying to encourage behavioural changes – firstly we want to give drivers the tools to help them improve their own tyre care, and secondly engraining the fact that, when it comes to having to buy a tyre, the safest option is always to buy new!”