DVSA Guidance On Part-Worn Tyres

February 14, 2023
Contact us
Request a call back

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recently published an article regarding the use and sale of part-worn tyres.

Part-worn tyres are tyres that have been used on a previous vehicle then removed to be sold to be used on a different vehicle. This means that the tyres will be partly used and worn which can create some safety issues.

The Tyre Industry Federation estimates that 10% of all tyres sold are part-worn tyres with many being shipped over from other countries where the legal minimum depth tread is higher than the UK’s requirement of 1.6mm.

It is not illegal to sell part-worn tyres as long as they meet the standards set out in regulations and are properly inspected, tested before they are sold. However inspection campaigns by groups have found many examples of part-worn tyres that did not meet the required standards when sold.

requirements listed in the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. The general requirement is that the structural integrity of the tyre is not compromised however the law also states a series of more specific requirements that the DVSA Vehicle Market Surveillance Unit (MSU) investigated. One requirement is that tyres must have a tread depth of at least 2mm across the entire circumference of the tyre. The MSU found that all part-worn tyres investigated easily passed this requirement with 96% of tyres having a tread depth of over 4mm. Despite this there were still some very clear issues with many of the part-worn tyres investigated. The MSU found that a shocking 85% of all the part-worn tyres were not correctly marked, a clear requirement under the regulations. Additionally the MSU found a variety of other issues including tyres with cuts, incorrectly fitted tyres, insecure and unsafe repairs, objects penetrating tyres and abnormal bulges. The DVSA has stated that will undertake further investigations and take further action against the relevant businesses if part-worn tyres continue to not meet regulations when sold.

DVSA advise that when purchasing part-worn tyres it is important to check tyres for potential issues including:

  • that the structural integrity isn’t compromised. They should be free of cuts longer than 25 millimetres or 10% of the section width of the tyre (whichever is the greater), measured in any direction, on the outside of the tyre and not be deep enough to reach the ply or cord
  • the original grooves are clearly visible in their entirety and must be to a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference
  • there are no lumps or bulges either internally or externally caused by the separation or partial failure of its structure
  • none of the ply or cord is exposed internally or externally
  • tyres must have passed an inflation test before sale. When inflated to the highest pressure at which it is designed to operate, the tyre must not exhibit any of the external defects
  • any penetration damage has been repaired to British Standard BS AU 159


If you have any questions or would like support with managing issues at your workplace, please speak to your usual contact or get in touch using the form below.