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Selling safe part-worn tyres

By law, it is illegal to supply a part-worn tyre that is capable of being fitted to a motor vehicle or trailer unless certain conditions are met regarding specific markings and the general condition of the tyre.

Most importantly, all types of part-worn tyre must be marked 'PART WORN', any repairs to tyres must comply with British Standards, and it is illegal to have unsafe tyres in possession for sale.

In the guide
The legislation
Marking
Condition
Part-worn retreaded tyres
Repaired tyres
Tyres in storage
Penalties

The legislation
The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 set out minimum safety standards for the supply of part-worn tyres. To comply, it is important that you and your staff are fully aware of these Regulations.

Under the Regulations, it is illegal to supply any part-worn tyre that is capable of being fitted to a motor vehicle or trailer unless the conditions detailed below are met.

Marking
Part-worn tyres (except retreads) should have an EC approval mark (for example E11) and a speed and load capacity index (for example 76 S) moulded into the sidewall at the time of manufacture.

In addition, all types of part-worn tyres must be marked 'PART-WORN' in upper case letters at least 4mm high.

This wording must be permanently and legibly applied to the tyre, otherwise than by hot-branding or cutting into the tyre and adjacent to every approval mark.

Rubber labels can be cold vulcanised to the tyre and are available from companies that advertise in the trade press.

Condition
Part-worn tyres, whether deflated or inflated to the highest operating pressure at which they are designed to operate, must not have:

In addition, the grooves of the original tread pattern of the tyre must be at least 2mm deep across the full breadth of the tread and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

Part-worn retreaded tyres
Part-worn tyres that have been retreaded must have one of the following:

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.

We recommend that a thorough inspection of the tyre be made before fitting to the rim, and also after fitting and inflating the tyre to the highest operating pressure. Tyres that are sold unfitted will need to be inspected with particular care as it is an offence to supply tyres with the defects listed above, even if they only become detectable when the tyre is inflated. Inflation and inspection is recommended.

Repaired tyres
If a tyre has been repaired, it must have been properly repaired.

Any tyre that has been repaired should be inspected very carefully. Repairs need to comply with BS AU 159f, 1997: 'Specification for repairs to tyres for motor vehicles used on the public highway'. If you are not competent to judge a repair, we suggest the tyre is disposed of.

Tyres in storage
It is also illegal to have unsafe tyres in possession for sale, so you will need to be clear what is and what is not for sale. If you have tyres in storage, but not intended for sale, they should be clearly marked as such.

Penalties
Conviction could render you liable to a penalty of six months' imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 or both.

Please note
This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.

Relevant legislation
Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994

Last reviewed/updated: December 2013

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Medway Council, Trading Standards Team,
Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR  

Telephone: 01634 333555    Fax: 01634 332006  
Electronic Mail: consumer.protection@medway.gov.uk
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