Safe tyres are a vital element in safe driving. Work carried out in the past by trading standards officers has shown that the sale of part-worn tyres can be a particular problem.
What happens if a trader supplies an illegal part-worn tyre?
It is a criminal offence to supply (which includes offering, agreeing, exposing or possessing for supply), a part-worn tyre which does not meet the requirements.
Any trader breaching the controls is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty on summary conviction is a fine of £5000 and/or six months imprisonment.
Part worn tyres must not have any of the following defects when inflated to the highest pressure at which it is designed to operate.
- Cuts bigger than 25mm or l0% of the section width of the tyre - measured on the outside and deep enough to reach the ply or cord,
- Any internal lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial separation of the structure,
- Any of the ply or cord exposed internally or externally,
- Any penetration damage which has not been repaired.
The grooves of the original tread pattern of the tyre must be of a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
If the tyre has not been retreaded it must bear the relevant approval mark, a speed category symbol and the load-capacity index.
If the tyre has been retreaded it must bear the mark BS AU 144b, BS AU 144c, BS AU 144d, BS AU 144e.
Immediately next to this mark, the tyre must bear the words “part worn” in capital letters at least 4 millimetres high. This mark must be permanently and legibly applied to the tyre but NOT by hot branding or otherwise cutting the tyre.
All puncture repairs need to be filled externally in addition to being patched internally.
What should a trader do to comply with the law?
All sellers of part-worn tyres should check the condition of the whole tyre.
If it is not up to standard, or if you have any doubts, reject it. Though not required by the regulations it would be advisable to mark such tyres as rejected.
Ensure that all relevant staff are made aware of these requirements and document any training that they receive.